Six Silent Soul Destroyers


The use of and imposition of silence are two of the most powerful weapons in our abusive arsenal. Silence is easy to deploy and horrendously effective in securing our aims of compliance, control and fuel.

1. My silence is always meaningful

You may sit quietly because you have no need to say anything. You may remain silent because you are listening to somebody else or just enjoying the silence.  We do not allow silence to be used in such a passive and redundant fashion. Our silence is used to convey contempt. It is used to draw concern and cause anguish in you. When we fall silent that pregnant pause is an indicator of the fury which will be unleashed against you. The longer silence is the imposition of our cold fury as you are banished to a sustained silent treatment. When we sit in silence we are not savouring the lack of noise, we are thinking, planning and plotting, calculating our next step. Our silences are weapons, they are our operations headquarters, our defence against your critical wounding of us. We use silence to hurt you, warn you, scold you and indicate you have overstepped the mark. Every silence has a meaning, it would be remiss of us to use it any other way.

2. Absence makes the silence longer

The deployment of an absent silent treatment where we remove ourselves from you, invariably with no warning or indication is a confirmation to you that this silent treatment will not be short-lived. The need to absent ourselves sends you a clear signal that we will be gone for some time. It is designed to have you come after us, try to contact us and beg and plead so that you fuel us. When we impose a period of absence by vanishing we are reinforcing how easily we are able to consider you gone from our lives. You may not even be able to contact us but we gather fuel from our knowledge that this sudden disappearance will cause you considerable consternation and worry. The absent silent treatment is also a key indicator that we are engaged in the seduction of a new prospect and providing this person with our false love and attention, which we have removed from you.

3. The silent gesture

Our silences are not just occasioned by us not talking to you or absenting ourselves for a period of time. We deploy silence through gestures. We may not turn up when we have agreed to a date with you, in order to reinforce how you mean so little to us and that we have any number of more pressing engagements to attend to than dine with you in a restaurant. Leaving you alone in bed, our side of the bed now empty and cold is also a hammer blow to your confidence and self esteem as we choose the spare room, the sofa or the bed of another in preference to being with you during the night. The silent telephone call from a withheld number, used when we are hoovering you, is designed to put you on edge. Is it us calling you this late? It must be mustn’t it, but you cannot be sure? The failure to buy you a gift on your birthday,  creating a gap which ought to have been filled stands out considerably and allows us to apply maximum hurt through such a silent gesture.

4. The silent presence

By giving you the cold shoulder when everyone else is met warmly and enthusiastically, we cause you to feel completely alone even when you are surrounded by others. You try to carry on as if nothing has happened but you know that people will be wondering why we are not speaking to you. You feel the flush of embarrassment as once again you try to speak to us and you receive only a glare and then we sweep away. You want to challenge us but as ever it is you that will be criticised for creating a scene. You want to upbraid us for our childish sulking but you have learned that the consequences of doing so are not worth suffering. We of course know all this and we know how powerful our freezing you out in the company of others really is.

5. Suffer in silence

You are never to speak of what goes on between you and I to anyone else. Should you ever do so you are committing an act of heinous betrayal and your punishment for such a transgression will be malicious and fierce. You are not to betray me and speak of what you are subjected to. You are to endure it so that you become a better person, one who is compliant and obedient. Do you understand? I also know that you fear the repercussions of speaking out and this enforces my curfew. I also know that you feel compelled to remain loyal because of the golden period and how you feel duty bound to remain and try to resolve matters, work this difficult period through and fix what has become somehow broken. Your indefatigable spirit teeters on the brink of misplaced pride at not telling tales and instead knuckling down, irrespective of what is thrown at you, in order to bring about a resolution to our problems. You cannot succeed but you do not know that yet. For now you must suffer in silence.

6. I speak, you stay silent

Never interrupt me, never talk over me, never steal my thunder. When I speak everybody listens because what I have to say is brilliant, great and of tremendous import. You would do well to listen to improve yourself, please me and avoid angering me. You are my sounding board, Horatio to my Hamlet, a listener and in my presence you only speak when it is required to honour my achievements and laud my greatness. You are to be seen but only heard when I deem it necessary. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway? You only get invited to events because of me. They are only friends with you because they are friends of mine. Nobody is interested in you. Nobody. So stay quiet and listen.

17 thoughts on “Six Silent Soul Destroyers

  1. michellegedwards says:

    The silent treatment is the meanest thing I’ve ever encountered. Thank God real love doesn’t treat you that way.

  2. Pati says:

    We had a dinner party, I hosted it ,he ignored me and talked to all the guests except me. I felt hurt and mad at the same time. I told him I am never hosting another party again. I ended up serving everyone and cleaned up everyone’s mess later on. To top it off he criticized the dress that I was wearing. I bended down to.pick up some food that was thrown on the floor,and he embarasses me by saying your ass is showing fix your dress in front of all his relatives I was so embarrassed! That’s the only thing he said to me the rest of the night What a disaster. I wanted to throw the pie we had for dessert in his face ,but I held back 😡 why I’d he so Dam cruel.

    1. K says:

      Fuel Pati, it’s all about the fuel.

      1. Pati says:

        Hi K ,they would do anything for Fuel you are right ! Hugs xoxo

        1. K says:

          Ha ha ha…indeed Pati! And hugs to you too!

    2. Cloudy says:

      I would have thrown him out with the pie

  3. partleelee says:

    This is all so confusing! Am I a narcissist because I stop talking to him after he berates me, physically gets in my face trying to get me to lash out at him? How many times can I be told everything is my fault and told I’m stupid before I just don’t want to engage him at all. Yes, it feels good to ignore him, it’s all I have to fight back with.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, you are not.

      The imposition of silence is part of no contact but ensure that it is a solid no contact, namely he cannot reach you as opposed to being able to reach you and you ignore him.

  4. kaydiva3 says:

    My MMRN used to get angry with me for being silent and often demanded to know what I was thinking. Did he think I was trying to give him a silent treatment?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Consciously, yes, unconsciously you were wounding him.

      1. Lorelei says:

        This is a good piece HG. If I were face to face with my ex and he tried to communicate and I used a third party to interpret his words (which I will before I talk to him) is that challenge fuel though? It would be as if I were deaf and need a sign language interpreter. It’s an obvious smart ass gesture, which isn’t my intent for the majority. The main intent is to never speak to a rude person. Period. No conversation ever.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is likely to be Challenge Fuel, it may not be as challenging (and will not be potent as if direct from you) through the third party.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Thank you. My intention isn’t to challenge by a third party communicator if ever stuck in a room with my ex. It’s simply no contact and no nothing. Yet, I guess some elements of this may be a challenge vs. wounding. A few months ago—I couldn’t accept the thought of impact by creating a challenge. Felt I had to make nice to keep peace. Not now. I will never speak to him because his behavior warrants such an approach. In fact, there are several other people upcoming who I won’t speak to unless it’s essential at that moment in my life (several women who are jealous and have split thinking in their treatment and behavior toward me in my professional life). He is deemed as not essential under any circumstance. I’m shutting these conduits of mistreatment down more and more. I’m not accepting bullshit and jealousy and abusive passive aggressive shenanigans any further. I adore you!!!

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Well done and you’re most welcome

          3. Lorelei says:

            I need to be ok being a bitch by means of silence. It’s not easy. Oh let’s coddle and accommodate.. Why is this my first instinct? Why am I such a dumbass sometimes that only gets the memo by torture?!

          4. NarcAngel says:

            You’re not a dumbass. It’s your first instinct because you are an empath and the first instinct is to tend to the needs of others. We learn that it has to be tempered with what our needs are.

          5. Lorelei says:

            It’s a ridiculous instinct to have!

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