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Posted by: MinnieTheMoocher ( )
Date: April 15, 2018 05:39PM

A couple of days ago, I decided that I was tired of letting my mom walk all over me and be a jerk over petty things. She's constantly controlling, emotionally/verbally abrasive, and just an overall frustrating, volatile person to deal with. So...I calmly told her that her behavior was offensive (after this one particular issue) and that I'd appreciate it if she stopped taking her anger out on me just because I wanted to maintain a relationship with an estranged family member who's "not making good life choices."

I really spoke my mind. Shockingly, she apologized right then and there (wearily). So, I thought we were good. But, she's been giving me the silent treatment since then and just acting like a total witch. I've tried to talk to her, but she just ignores me or gives me these curt non-answers.

I'm so tired of it. I'm starting to think that keeping in contact with family isn't worth it anymore. They're my family and I love them, but they're so pious and hurtful.

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Posted by: nevermojohn ( )
Date: April 15, 2018 07:46PM

The answer to the silent treatment (which is passive aggresssive) is to call it out and not put up with it.

Tell your mother that you don't appreciate or approve of her silent treatment of you and that you will not interact with her until she chooses to act like an adult. Then cut off all interactions.

This isn't actually the silent treatment in reverse. It isn't passive. It is active. It sets a boundary and enforces it. Good luck.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: April 15, 2018 08:44PM

let HER take the first step.

My mother was like that. She resented the hell out of it when I set a boundary, but in the end, her need for contact was greater than her need for dominance. She caved.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 15, 2018 07:51PM

IMO the best way to deal with the silent treatment is to ignore it and to act like it doesn't bother you in the slightest. Go about your business and let the other person initiate contact when they are ready.

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Posted by: Jaxson ( )
Date: April 15, 2018 10:11PM

IMO the best way to deal with the silent treatment, any other manipulation, or a toxic relationship is to leave them in your rear view mirror. Just because they are family does not give them a pass to be hurtful. You wouldn't accept that behavior from a stranger, don't accept it from family either.

Life is too short. Leave them on their "silent treatment island" all by themselves. If at some point they realize their mistake and come around, allow them back in on YOUR terms.

Just sayin'

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 02:15AM

It’s the old “you-have-to-beg-me-to-tell-you-why-I’m-mad-at-you” game.

Yes, and passive-aggressives wield a lot of power in their families. Best to ditch those monsters early on.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 08:48AM

Don't know why maddening, I was always grateful for intervals of the silent treatment. Usual noisy treatment was always worse.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2018 08:49AM by zenjamin.

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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 09:07AM

1. The Silent Treatment® is a tactic that manipulative controllers use to try to control or change your behavior. The idea is you're supposed to fall all over yourself fawning and bowing and scraping until the person you've offended deems you forgiven and then they will grace you with their conversation again.

2. There's a couple ways to deal with it. You could call it out. "I know you're just trying to give me the silent treatment, but that's not the most effective way to resolve conflict. Do you want to talk about it?" Or, you could simply ignore it, keep talking merrily, all chirpy, like you couldn't even be bothered to notice -- this tells the other person that their "punishment" of not talking to you does NOT cause you to suffer and you're not worried about it. You could also just walk away, "Let me know when you're ready to use your words like a grown up."

Whatever you choose, I think once you realize the other person is simply trying to manipulate you, it's easier to just not fall for it and stop giving any fucks about it.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 12:58PM

The person who cares the least wins. Your mother cares less about your relationship than you do. She wins--if you can call it that.

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience," or, so said Mark Twain.

Same thing with your mother. Substitute "controlling" for stupid and there you have it. The phrase "no win" situation was coined just for this. Don't play the game.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 01:18PM

I really don't know what to do about family. I talked to my father for the first time since i resigned to ask him about the time he got his gallbladder removed. No religion was even brought up, i thought he was going to rip me a new one. I tried to excommunicate myself when i was a teenager and holy sh*t he was pissed at me. Maybe old age and a divorce softened him.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 01:25PM

I do give people the silent treatment, but I think my situations are different.

I no longer speak to my sister because she is toxic and she's done some horrible things.

If someone says something to hurt me, rather than blow up like I tend to do, I just go quiet. I have a lot of people who take me for granted and who seem to think I can take any kind of anger or rudeness, so when they treat me poorly, I go silent. It seems to get the only response.

My boyfriend attacked my son one day. I've told him our children are off limits and I do not interfere in his relationships with his kids. He took his anger out on my son one day and I stood up to him and told him to leave. Then I went silent. He came back a few days later all apologetic and promised he would go to see my therapist if I required him to. I told him, "You ever do that again and it's over. PERIOD." There was nothing left for me to say when my boyfriend left that night and he knew it. He knew he was wrong.

Anyway, there are different ways to use it. She is throwing a tantrum. Don't react to her tantrum is what my therapist told me to do as my mother threw tantrums. He told me to ignore them, that they would get worse for a while and then she would stop doing it. It worked.

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Posted by: Jane Cannary ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 01:52PM

There's a difference between being silent to punish, and being silent to protect yourself.

When I go silent I'm not trying to manipulate them. I'm not trying to make them feel bad. At that point I've given up and moved on. I only do this when relationships are too toxic and too upsetting to tolerate without affecting my own health.

I'm in the same situation with my sister as you are with yours. I haven't spoken to her in 20 years. She is deliberately mean and spiteful. She gloats about the things she has said and done to me. I finally had enough and quit answering my phone (thank gawd for caller id).

I don't think the situation with your boyfriend was going silent at all. You told him what the problem was, then gave him space to decide what he was going to do. Going silent would be if you didn't tell him why you were angry in the first place and just ghosted him, IMHO.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: April 16, 2018 02:18PM

I always feel guilty at least at first when I go silent. Not always. I think mormonism made me this way. I'm always supposed to be the peace maker. I'm never supposed to be angry, etc.

I think the OP is like you and I, she needed to go silent on her mother a long time ago. Her mother is obviously abusing her.

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