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    • TranquilHaze2 months ago

      One study found that social rejection provoked a response in its victims similar to that of victims of physical abuse; the anterior cingulate cortex area of the brain—the area thought to interpret emotion and pain—was active in both instances. “Exclusion and rejection literally hurt,” John Bargh, a psychology professor at Yale, told me.

      But the silent treatment ultimately harms the person causing it, too. Humans are predisposed to reciprocate social cues, so ignoring someone goes against our nature, Williams said. The perpetrator is therefore forced to justify the behavior in order to keep doing it; they keep in mind all the reasons they’re choosing to ignore someone. “You end up living in a constant state of anger and negativity,” Williams said.

      when someone is using the silent treatment to exclude, punish, or control, the victim should tell the perpetrator that they wish to resolve the issue. To “voice the pain of being ignored” is a constructive way of expressing one’s feelings, and may elicit a change if the relationship is truly founded on care

      In the end, whether it lasts four hours or four decades, the silent treatment says more about the person doing it than it does about the person receiving it.