Getting the Cold Shoulder from Your Loved One?

 
In life there are always difficult interpersonal situations, which force us into soul searching because we want to change fast what is hurting us so deeply.

Are you kept by your loved one in hurtful, frustrating, and confusing isolation, and you don’t know why? Have you always been afraid of confronting someone you love, because he/she ignores you and gives you the silent treatment on purpose?

Are you getting the cold shoulder, and don't even know why? Is someone who's normally eager to speak to you now keeping your conversations to the bare minimum? And, as a result, are you unsure of how to respond in a way that gets you accepted back in important conversations, allowing you to feel included and respected?

Moreover, have you ever been afraid of interpersonal conflicts and their consequences? Unsure of how to respond in a way that promotes a normal, respectful interaction? Are you in a relationship where there is a lot of isolation and rejection on purpose, so you are put in a hurtful, frustrating, and confusing situation? Are you feeling hurt and lonely in an intimate relationship?

Here's how to confront the person who's ignoring you without making things worse.FIRST STEP: Learning to assert yourself

Probably nobody taught you in the past how to assert yourself, and in this way you did not had the skills necessary to face difficult interactions....ending in a place where you feel scared, controlled or abused.

Well, here is a way to build your self-esteem and know how to respond to the silent treatment and other exclusionary tactics in a way that respects what you do need, and also takes care of the relationship.

In the past, you could even have developed a way of denying conflicts in order to escape from all confrontations, and ended up forcing yourself to hide your deep frustrations, because you feared that escalating arguments would take the discussion into emotional abuse or any kind of violence? In this way, you explained away and denied the emotional abuse suffered by the cold shoulder you received. If it has happened to you, you know that this is the worst loneliness… the scars of mistrust and anger are still there, waiting to heal. You need to remember that negative emotions have a lingering impact in your overall physical and emotional health.

Now you can begin to see those scars as produced by a passive aggressive method of spousal abuse: rejection by silent treatment. This rejection is insidious because it's hard to punish someone for not making eye contact or ignoring another person. If the person is confronted by your asking, “Why are you not talking to me?,” the person can easily deny the accusation, explaining it away. You continue feeling isolated and left out, but now, you could even be seen as inventing things!

Well, now there is a better way to react than denial, so you can stop feeling scared or pushed into a little corner…, no more! Now you can learn how to turn around a situation and use it for better purposes. Then, you can learn how to use these easy methods in every aspect of your life: work, family, love.

Assertion is the art of saying what you need or believe in a way that other people can hear you clearly. This ability is essential for effective problem-solving. The alternatives to assertion are submission (letting other's needs come before yours, which will happen if you accept the cold shoulder treatment for longer time) and aggression - forcing your needs on another person without their agreement. Both are lose-lose options.

SECOND STEP: This is the way to assert yourself:

a) get a clear idea of what is irritating you. If he/she is not speaking to you in front of your friends, that is clearly a hostile behavior that needs addressing. What is the behavior that you want, instead of this? Acceptance, care, attention? Be clear on what you want.

Also, be clear and firm on your personal rights as a dignified person; and firmly believe that your rights, needs, and dignity are just as valid and important as anyone else's, regardless of age, power, role, or gender.

You need to define a change that you need from someone, and/or to set limits with someone who's behavior is unacceptable or hurtful to you.

b) Begin describing the negative behavior in clear words: 
"When you ignore me in front of my friends, as you did last night at Mike's party..."

then state the impact on you: "I feel ignored and rejected."

then declare that you want a change: "and I need you to (agree to make a specific behavior change: "remember that you are not alone in the party and behave as part of a couple with me)"

Your purpose is not to blame, but to deliver information about the impact of their behavior to the offending party. Messages centered on the "I" pro noun, delivered calmly, with steady, non-apologetic eye contact - have a better chance of being received as information, and not criticism.

The continued use of this response is necessary to provide the PA person with a steady feedback on the impact of their behaviors.....which should extinguish them, if there is a willingness to change.

To your happiness!

 

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

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