Saying Nothing To Tell You Everything


The Silent Treatment. One of our most potent methods of manipulation. Whether it is a present silent treatment where we talk to everyone else around you but not you or whether it is an absent silent treatment where we disappear and cannot be found or contacted, we know that this is highly effective.

It does not matter if the silence lasts for ten minutes or ten days the impact on you is considerable and your reaction is always the same. That is, of course, the main reason that we do it. You will repeatedly ask us what is wrong as you fail to understand what it is that we are doing. You will hang around us, if that is possible, asking the same questions over and over again.

“What is wrong, please tell me?”

“What is the matter, I wish you would tell me?”

“What is it? Why aren’t you speaking to me?”

Your concern mutates into frustration and anxiety and even occasionally anger. All of these states suit us as we drink the fuel you are providing to us. If we absented ourselves then we will face a slew of text messages, e-mails and voicemail messages as you keep ringing every five minutes trying to establish contact with us.

After a time the nature of the questioning changes as you shift from asking us what is wrong to hauling yourself over the coals. It is all so predictable. You ask yourself what is it that you could have done which has caused us such offence that we are no longer speaking to you. You analyse everything you have said and done over the last hour, the last five hours, the last day.

Did you insult us in some way and not realise? Surely it was not that comment about our tie, that was a joke. Was that the catalyst for this silence? Did you fail to kiss us on our arrival home? You cannot remember but these days you often find that is the case since the days all seem to merge into one as you pad around trying not to tread on those eggshells. If only the tiredness would lift. You might be able to think straight then and be able to ascertain what is going on.

You keep providing us with different suggestions and scenarios as to what has happened. You grope around, utterly unsure as to what it was that proved to be the trigger. You issue apologies and it gets to the point that you do not even know what you are apologising for but that does not matter does it? All you want is for this horrible silence, the aching absence to end. It has happened before and then it ended as arbitrarily as it arrived.

You cling on to the hope that it will end as it did last time but then there is that gnawing doubt which keeps manifesting in your mind. What if it won’t end? What if this is it and we have gone for good? Surely not and for what reason? The doubt is horrible and you feel a rising sense of panic which causes you to redouble your efforts to find us and offer yourself up in sacrifice in order to get us to come back.

Time after time we do this to our victims but they do not realise what our silence really means. They are trapped by fear, paralysed by indecision and this is naturally how we like it. This confusion and inability to really see what is going on serves our purpose.

What is our silence really telling you? It is telling you how we enjoy to play fast and loose with your feelings. It is telling you that we do not care about you. You mean nothing to us other than the fuel you provide.

We are reminding you of how inferior you are to us. You are nothing more than an appliance which we can switch on and off, pick up and put down at our convenience. We are trumpeting our lack of respect for you and your identity. We are heralding our flagrant disregard for your well-being. We are telegraphing our disdain for our supposed responsibilities.

We are reinforcing that you do not matter. Instead, you seek to eradicate the silence, you plan and arrange to do anything which you hope will dispel the absence of communication. Too caught up in trying to remove the unpleasant sensations that wrap around you, you fail to see the clear message that we convey to you each time we behave in this manner.

We are behaving as we did when we were told we could not have another biscuit and we sat sulking until our worn-down parent gave in. Most people grow out of such conduct but not us. We saw the power it would wield over certain people (others of course would never countenance it and we knew never to show it to them or suffer the consequences) but everyone else would flock around us, flapping and attending to us and we realised just how we could wrap people around our little fingers so they gave us what we wanted.

It was not the extra lollipop or permission to play out for an extra hour.

It was attention and attention laced with emotion. Fuel.

We may not have realised it then but we took this childish response and turned it into a weapon which causes you fear and frustration every time we unleash it.

If only you could understand what we are really doing, then you would understand just how much we are truly telling you by saying absolutely nothing.

9 thoughts on “Saying Nothing To Tell You Everything

  1. PC says:

    I am going on 3 weeks silent treatment from my midrange husband of 20 years. He’s moved all to basement including food and clothes – he comes up only to shower. when I said I had bought food for quarantine he said he’d rather die than eat it. Says I don’t get it as he’s working and I get to work from home. He’s always abandoned and is trapped home now so maybe punishing me for that? I am ignoring the behavior and it’s not ending…he’s the master of silent treatment but this is the longest and most vicious ever, the worst form of abuse. I feel like I’m losing my mind as I’m trapped here too and can’t get relief from this. Feel like I’m losing my mind and can’t wait to get to court when it’s open to kick this POS devil out of my life. Can someone help me with tips to get through this for now? Honestly I’d rather be screamed at sick as that is – silent treatment is beyond agonizing for me.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello PC, yes I can certainly help you. I need more information from you in order to assist you fully and accurately. Use these

  2. dollyponduk says:

    I recently found this site when reading the interesting articles about Meghan Markle and her personality traits. However it has been very enlightening with respect to my own relationships, in particular with my Mother. I have always known she was quite different from other Mother’s and used many tactics including silent treatments regularly. Most of her worst and most cruel treatments of me were many years ago now but I am still grateful to finally understand what it was all about. I even dated a narcissist and found him almost easy to deal with – now realising it was just because I was used to jumping through hoops. Thank you for sharing, I will keep reading the articles. Any recommendations on improving my understand of fuel would be most welcome.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Welcome DPUK and I am pleased that the AVRN Series has allowed you to understand more about narcissism and your own relationships, that was part of the intention of the series.

      With regard to fuel

      1. Read the books, Fuel and Fury.
      2. Go to the Knowledge Vault and obtain
      a. Understanding the Fuel Matrix
      b. Understanding Changes to the Fuel Matrix
      c. The Three Interactions With the Narcissist
      d. Finally Understanding Wounding.

      1. dollyponduk says:

        Thank you very much for the recommendations. I just picked up an electronic copy of ‘Fuel’ from Amazon so will report back soon!

    2. MB says:

      Welcome Dolly! Come on in and stay awhile.

      1. dollyponduk says:

        Thank you very much. I look forward to finding out more and wish the penny had dropped with me a long time ago!

  3. JenShine says:

    This is everything.

    1. JenShine says:

      This was totally me; it describes to a T how I would initially react to the implementation of a silent treatment, and the first time I heard this post on YouTube it validated everything I felt/thought after the panic subsided about the meaning of the silent treatment and as such, was was totally life-changing and liberating.

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