The Silent Treatment is Cruel

It’s cruel

It hurts! It is manipulative. It is mean. It is silent abuse. It is like being punched in the stomach.

And now studies show that this kind of emotional abuse will have the same chemical reaction in your brain as if being physically hurt.


I lived with The Silent Treatment as a child.

Out of the Fog website describes The Silent Treatment as:


A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence.


The silent treatment is a common way of displaying contempt for another individual while avoiding confrontation about that contempt or without giving the target of the contempt an opportunity to resolve the issue or dispute. The goal is typically to invoke FOG – fear, obligation or guilt – in the mind of the target individual.

What I have learned about The Silent Treatment:

  1. This abuse is used by people with narcissistic tendencies
  2. This abuse is emotional abuse
  3. This abuse places the abuser in a position of control
  4. This abuse is used to avoid resolution and the person will not take responsibility
Read the blog post and watch the interview!

The person who is the “target” will usually have high empathy and conflict-resolution skills. This person will work so hard to try and work things out and will do what they can to try and stop the silence. It is a type of abuse that no one should tolerate.

This type of abuse is damaging to our health. It is passive-aggressive. It causes distress and threatens the human emotional needs of needing to belong. Our self-esteem is low. This type of abuse can make us feel powerless and feel shame.

Remember, just because you cannot see this type of abuse, does not mean that it is not harmful. Victims of this type of damage can suffer PTSD. Because of being excluded and ignored and shunned, many people feel symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

As far as being in a relationship – couples argue. Debate. It is human nature. But, if you are a victim of “the silent treatment” in a relationship, it is highly dysfunctional. Studies now show that couples will divorce 100% of the time when silent treatment is used by one of the partners.

Do not accept this abuse. You are worthy, and you are loved.

I have taken a stand against this type of abuse. My book, My Courage to Tell, was written because I would not accept the Silent Treatment.

Many people confuse ‘The Silent Treatment’ with ‘No Contact’. The two are so very different. An abusive personality will initiate the silent treatment as a punishment, a means of showing their displeasure or disapproval. Their contempt for you is blatently obvious. On the other hand, an injured party will initiate no contact in order to protect themselves time to recover, not to punish or hurt anyone. The key is in the intent.

—Anne McCrea

Please watch my light-hearted video with my puppets.

And please subscribe to my channel. It’s free!








Please follow and like us:

2 Replies to “The Silent Treatment is Cruel”

  1. I didn’t realise that I had some PTSD from 20 years of being devalued by my victim-N mid-range sister. I knew she saw me through a negative lens. I knew that I was subjected to endless cycles of stonewalling, exclusion from family birthdays and events, and always deserved punishment, the return on my love and support of her.
    Nothing was resolved, or discussed, and nothing ever changed.
    Not one tiny speck of personal or spiritual growth did she exhibit.
    She became nastier, and more smug.
    The smirking smile of schadenfreude.
    I knew that she was trying to draw me into endless cycles of drama where I had to answer for unspecified crimes. Her carrier Empath with codependent overlap husband was her Hoover executor in chief (read attack dog), and would say “you need to sit down and have a coffee and sort out your differences”.
    Ummm, no. That ship has sailed.
    My work colleagues who loved their sisters being loving auntie to their children would say “your sister has ISSUES!”.
    When my N-mother died in 2011, I had a sense that my sister wanted to be the alpha female in the family. I removed myself from that competition.
    In 2012, after one more spiteful Hoover where she wrote to me calling me to account for some perceived crime (we lived in different states, and hadn’t seen each other for 18 months), I prayed and felt God say gently “sit down, you don’t have to do anything”. So I ignored her.
    Then came the text hoovers. I declined contact.
    I felt guilty, as I was conditioned to feel by my parents and sister. I was vacillating, and had a dream where I knew that if I had anything to do with her, it would be like getting into a coffin with a corpse.
    Next day my resolve was hardened. No contact was implemented, before I knew that was a thing.
    Fast forward to 2019, and I’m in domestic violence counseling.
    I’m finally talking about things. There wasn’t ever any to tell before.
    I’m processing and grieving. I found a little photo of me with my precious niece at 4 yrs old. The nausea, tightness, fear, apprehension, oppression and smothered feeling came back to me in a tidal wave.
    My hand shook, and I averted my eyes as a reflexive protective mechanism.
    All at once I could recognise the emotional terrorism that I had been subjected to.
    I felt so angry!
    It was emotional blackmail, emotional abuse.
    It was Narcissistic Abuse.
    I had words for it.
    I cried, grieved and poured my heart out in prayer at the evil perpetrated against me. The ugliness of the N-sister lifeform, as I began to call her. I acknowledged all the pain that I had carried about that. The near suicidal depression that I had experienced in 2000 (made worse by the demands of nightshift and tag-team triangulation with N-mother and N-sister lifeform).
    I felt glad to have survived.

    In 2017 I saw the N-sister lifeform by chance at my local shops.
    I said hello. She looked like death warmed up, but as a victim-N, it’s part of her facade.
    I felt compassion for her.
    I texted a nice message.
    Silent treatment.
    Few days later her husband texts me “we have been advised to take out a restraining order against you…”.
    Just more BS
    More illogical unintelligent nonsense. Projection. Ridiculousness.
    No change.
    I shortly after started googling and found out about NPD, silent treatment, and narcissistic abuse.
    The penny resoundingly dropped and I’ve maintained no contact ever since.
    My dad is her lieutenant and he emotionally blackmails me with my dead mother’s jewellery to go back into the relationship with the N-sister lifeform. My dad has transferred his allegiance from one N (mum) to another (sister).
    I am an emotional orphan, but I’m free.
    I tell my story here to encourage and support others. You’re not going crazy, no matter what the abusers say to control you.
    God is near to the brokenhearted.
    I found that to be true.
    Peace and healing to all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *