4 Types Of Silence That Are Bad For Your Relationship
Communication is something I personally think Millennials have gotten really bad at. We communicate through our devices and over social media more than we talk in person, so when we do talk in person we often struggle with grasping the feelings behind certain types of verbal and non-verbal communication. One of the most misinterpreted is silence. Most relationships have moments of silence, but silence isn't a bad thing. It happens. Sometimes, one or both partners are busy or tired or just don't feel like talking, and that's completely OK. It is often said that a healthy relationship will have plenty of comfortable silences.
Just because you are with your partner doesn't mean you need to be talking 24/7, and you can enjoy each other's company without even saying a word. Sometimes, it's nice to just sit there quietly and listen to music together or read or whatever you choose to do besides talk.
That being said, some types of silence can signal deeper issues. Below are four types of silence that most commonly have a negative impact on relationships. Just because you experience one of these quiet lulls doesn't mean the relationship is necessarily going to suffer — but it's worth opening up to your partner about what the silence really means.
1. You give each other the silent treatment.
You've fought and you're still mad so you're not talking. You think that by avoiding the other person and avoiding the situation, it will either blow over or it will make things better. It won't.
Dr. Patti Feuereisen, a psychotherapist specializing in sexual abuse and author of Invisible Girls: Speaking The Truth About Sexual Abuse, previously told Elite Daily that expressing yourself to your partner — especially when there's a conflict — is crucial. "Partners need to communicate," she said. "When something is wrong they need to discuss and not be afraid that the confrontation to the problem will end up in a blowout."
The silent treatment is never a good thing. This type of silence makes your partner wonder, causes confusion and stretches out a negative circumstance. You are not only punishing your partner by giving them the silent treatment, you are punishing yourself. Say what you need to say and if you have nothing else to say, at least say that much.
Don't make your partner beg you to speak to them and don't fuel the anxiety that already exists when a couple is at odds. Just speak. Hopefully, you and your partner will come to a common ground or they will at least have heard your feelings. The silent treatment never solves anything.
2. There is nothing left to say.
This type of silence likely can spell the end of your relationship. When you get home from work and you sit down for dinner and the two of you have nothing to say to one another, that can be a sign that you've lost your spark.
Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush Online Life Coaching, previously told Elite Daily that "communication is key to any relationship in order to ensure both partners are moving in the same direction in terms of commitment." Communication is so important in a relationship.
3. You're both shutting down.
There are times in a disagreement where nothing is getting accomplished, no common ground exists and you've reached the point where you're beating a dead horse. This is the point where you retreat. You shut down and close off. You start to agree with them, just to shut them up or just completely go cold all together.
This is the point where you are not at all open to continuing the conversation and that's OK, but you need to express that properly. Let your partner know that you need some time to consider what they've said. Tell them you need a moment to soak it all in. If they are reasonable, they will understand and allow you to have it.
Just don't shut down without saying something. Don't do so without letting the person know that you need to exit the situation. With that said, don't ever go to bed mad. You don't sleep well and you wake up in a really awkward situation the next morning. That isn't fun at all for either of you.
4. You're not responding to text messages for an extended amount of time.
It's normal if you're not able to keep bantering over text while you're at work, studying in the library, working out, or otherwise occupied. Ahead of those times, you might even shoot off a quick text that says, "Hey, I'll be unreachable for the next few hours, but I'll respond to your messages when I'm free." Easy.
But if you get an incoming text from your partner and simply have no desire to write back, your silence might speak volumes.
Silence is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted type of human interaction, but it's easy to understand and accept if we communicate ahead of time.
Additional reporting by Hannah Orenstein.
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