The Silent Treatment



The Silent Treatment

and there’s


and there is

the silent treatment

Each one has a different meaning and a different outcome. Which one do you use?


The Silent Treatment


Our first fight was one in which after trying to make a point and not feeling heard, I walked to the foyer, put my shoes on and prepared to take a walk. My then boyfriend looked at me and said incredulously,

“You’re actually leaving? You’re walking out?”

I replied, “If I stay, I will say something stupid. Yes, I’m coming back, but I need time to think and cool down.”

He responded, “Okay, anything can be fixed if we can discuss it.”

In that moment, I wanted to say, “Duh Einstein”, but I didn’t. I held my tongue and went for a walk to put together what I wanted to say and not what was swirling around in my mind to say. Once you say something, it can’t ever be taken back and it can cut so deeply. Better to take a moment.

This is considered a healthy time out and it’s not a punishment to the other person although I have to be honest and tell you that when it’s happening to you it feels like punishment because you have things to say and the person needs a time out. This silent treatment has a time limit. You aren’t talking days, you’re talking a few hours most often, and you’re not sending off all of these mad vibes, you’re just trying to come up with a solution. You aren’t unkind or completely silent, you explain. The person is assured you are coming back to the situation and that you are not dismissing the conversation, only that it’s become toxic to speak, it’s about the relationship and not about having your way.


This is the one that is just emotionally abusive. I’ve done it, it didn’t work in my relationship.  My husband didn’t notice I wasn’t talking, or he chose to ignore my attempt at manipulation, which is closer to the truth. In our home we discuss we don’t shut out. The silent treatment when used as punishment is nothing more than an attempt to control another person. It’s bullying at its best. The person who is being shut out becomes desperate to talk to the person giving the silent treatment and that person is punishing them determining when if ever the fight is over. The terms are strictly in their hand and they have power. This sort of behavior never works positively except for the bully who learns to get their way.

Then there’s

the silent treatment

This is the disconnect. This is when all attempts to have a mature discussion have failed. This is when another dinner to discuss the issues isn’t worth it. It’s the goodbye. You aren’t rude. You’re not mean. You just choose your life to be less dramatic. You don’t hate and in all honestly you don’t feel anything. You wish the person well, but you’re just not willing to play their games anymore. The cons outweigh the pros to this relationship. This is a sad place to be but sometimes it is what it is. You are polite, but you are no longer engaging. The person has become too much.



I Choose To Believe

Michael Moss
Michael Moss


“I choose to believe that people can handle the truth.” ~ Dr. Laura

Today Dr. Laura Schlessinger told a story that stuck with me. Here is how it goes.

A woman took her car to a mechanic because of a noise it was making. The mechanic popped the hood, adjusted something and closed the hood and said, “That will be $100.”

The woman was outraged and said, “$100?! All you did was adjust some little part.”

The mechanic looked at her and said, “I didn’t charge you anything for the adjustment. I’m charging you $100 for the knowledge.”

I loved that story. We’re always so busy tip-toeing around the truth because we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, but if they don’t know any better? What is that worth to them?

I loved the day when a beautiful friend, MaryLou Lerma, came up behind me at church and untucked some hair in the back of my head that was crunched under the headset microphone I was wearing and then adjusted my look. She’s a lioness. Lionesses will groom each other. She was making sure I didn’t embarrass the tribe. I love her for that. She didn’t worry about whether I’d be offended that I didn’t check myself before I got ready to go on the platform in front of a live audience and Internet. She did it for me, and for our team. This is her using her truth, her information, of a situation.

It’s quite a bit different from the woman who uses her truth to be mean. “That dress is hideous.” While it may be truth, it doesn’t need to be spoken. She is not a lioness as she is on the attack due to her jealousy and low self esteem. She uses her truth to wield a sword. Women such as these can dish it out but they can’t take it.

Now, could it be that there would be a time to give wardrobe advice? Of course! When you’ve developed a relationship and you don’t feel superior but know you can be at service and have the trust of the person you are speaking to. Quite a different scenario.

I choose to believe that people can handle the truth.

I choose to believe that not all truth needs to be spoken.

I choose to believe that one day as strong mature women, we’ll all figure out which is which and which is witch.

Rants Cause More Anger


Rant – verb- speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.

Rants seem so justified in the moment and that’s the problem with them. Afterwards, when you need to find a way back into fellowship with the person you just unleashed on, you have two choices; you can either pretend like nothing happened which is a lie, and more than likely not going to fly, or you can apologize, which is rather the grownup thing to do.

Rants are happening more and more with social media. It’s easy to hide behind a computer and spew, it’s quite another to go to the person you are angry with and have a conversation. It could be that the person has difficulty expressing anger. It happens, you get mad in a moment and you say something dumb. I’ve done it. You then have to go to the person and repent.

I’ve found that people who rant on a regular basis often have issues with their family and friends. Most of the time people say they rant to make them feel better but studies shows that rants don’t make you feel better, they make you feel worse. They make you dwell and they solve nothing. Sometimes they incite a reaction that is equal to the action making it worse. One  study I read from the University of Wisconsin said that ranting is linked to fighting and that the person ranting generally has two physical or verbal fights per month. I actually think it may be more than that.

So why rant on social media? I talked to an acquaintance of mine who says she does it so that the rant gets back to the person. Another acquaintance says she does it to gain people who are on her side, still another one said she does it because you don’t have to look the person in the eye. And there’s the problem because if you aren’t willing to say it face to face, then you shouldn’t post it on social media. The passive aggressive verbal jab is to no effect, especially when it doesn’t make you feel any better.

Words produce action. The action you get from the rant about the carpool line or the political state of the union is so much a different thing than the rant you make about the people in your life. If you are constantly ranting, it shows to everyone that no one is really safe with you. You will throw anyone under the bus at any time. Why not face the issues? It’s a lot easier to work things out, if that’s the motive. If it isn’t and you enjoy the high drama of a fight, rant on, and be prepared for the consequences.





The Blessings Of Friends

inslee haynes
inslee haynes


I was talking to a friend this week about an issue that were happening in our lives and I was left with a statement I made that made me think. I said, “You’re never going to have long term relationships outside of strong mature women.”

It made me realize how blessed I am to have my circle of friends. Do you ever just look around at those closest to you? I’m not talking about the 500 friends on Facebook, I’m talking about the five or maybe it’s one. The ones you call as soon as something great happens, and the ones you call as soon as something not so great happens. I recently called a friend after midnight:

“Did I wake you up?”

“You woke me and my whole house up. *$%&, hang on….. now the dog wants to go out.” (muffle, shuffle) “It’s okay, it’s Susan”, then she’s back  “Are you okay?”

“Yes! I read your dramatic FB post, are you okay?”

(chuckle) “Yes, just an employee issue.”

“What made you post it?”

“Well it was rant or  punch her. What do you think I should’ve done? Wait, never mind.”

“Are you sure? Why are you asleep at midnight?”

“I’m 52, sometimes, I get tired. What are you the sleep police?”

“And menopausal. Geez not looking forward to 52. Okay go back to sleep, I thought it was urgent. Next time don’t put your drama on FB, no one really cares.”

“Okay. HEY WAIT! Are you okay? Am I missing something in this sleep fog? Am I supposed to be hearing something in your voice?”

“I’m fine. Talk to you tomorrow. Don’t forget the dog is outside. love you bye.”

“love you bye”

Those friends? Those friends who you can say anything to and when there’s an offense you work it out privately? Those friends who love you even though they know why your hair is in ball cap?  Or know you drink Oolong tea?

My friends are made up of strong independent women. They don’t have the same politics as I do, well, actually, most people don’t as I am a Libertarian, but hey, I hear more of you are coming around to independent free thinking, so the discussions can get profound and heated and both at the same time. They aren’t all Christians and so we respect our beliefs and discuss the intersections. They aren’t all married, don’t all have children, don’t all have stepchildren, and don’t all love high heels.

Here is who they all are:

Women who are happy with themselves (okay, well we have those issues but we aren’t obsessed).

Involved in their community, either through political affiliation, civic organizations, charitable works, or the local sports mom.

Caring and compassionate, they will actually pay for the coffee of the person in the line at Starbucks behind them.

They can hold a well rounded conversation, whether it the latest Liane Moriarity book, or what, if anything, we need to be doing about the Ukraine, and who is favored to win the Super Bowl this year?

Positive and impacting although sometimes you have to wait for it because the NOT OKAY you get at the moment you’re committing the bonehead decision doesn’t seem so positive.

I am blessed. I have very little time in my life but I can pick up a phone at midnight and wake up a friend to tell her I care. How about you? Are you blessed with your friendships? Are you present in the moment with your friends? Do you sometimes just look around and realize you have people in your life with whom you can be real with and who don’t judge you for your faults but love you through them? I really hope you do. It’s such an important part of life. I am honored by the company I keep. I hope it’s that way for you.


Freedom Has A Price


I was raised by parents who came of age in the 60’s. It was the tune in and turn on era, this generation expected us to think for ourselves.

By the time I was 15, I was putting together budgets on how to get my own place and be free of the tyranny of the parents. I had the teenage angst early on.  I understood that if I were going to be really free, I would need a job of some sort, money filtering in, and a place to put my pillow at night. I was even looking in the local newspaper, yes before Craigslist or Internet, at the used furniture ads to see what it was going to cost me for a bed and a dresser. Oh, there were no expectations of taking my bedroom furniture with me. I don’t know why I didn’t think I could take the furniture. I don’t know how that was instilled, no one ever said it, I never felt like I was borrowing it, but I had this idea that one day I would leave for college and my room would remain as my parent’s shrine to me. I knew that they’d pay for college, but I also knew that I’d have to get a job for the extras.

There was nothing in my DNA that prepared me to live a life of slavery to a system not of my own choosing. I was free to be whatever I wanted to be as long as I could pay the price my style of freedom would offer. That was all before I realized about the cost of freedom.

We cry out for freedom but do we really understand the cost? The cost to true freedom isn’t free, it isn’t even cheap. The cost for freedom is high. Freedom requires self control. It is easier to be a slave than a free man. A free man is required to make decisions daily that each produce a consequence, some of them good and some of them bad.  A free man must walk those decisions out daily whether he feels like it or not. A slave only needs to be told what he must do.

To be truly free we can’t blame anyone for where we are. The responsibility falls squarely on our shoulder. We can’t hold anyone accountable for funding our freedom, and although we will need help to get to where we are going, that help will be reciprocal and not one sided. To be truly free, we must yoke up carefully with like-minded people who aren’t heading in a direction that takes us off course. In fact, we must be careful about this because we may hear what we want to hear and fail to see what we need to see. We must do our homework to know what we believe and what we don’t. We can’t afford to be swayed by what is false. Freedom requires that some things are done not because we like to do them but because we need to do them to get to the finish line.

Freedom isn’t getting to do what we want whenever we want at any cost. That’s lawlessness. Freedom is doing the work first that then affords us the ability to walk out our path and it never ensures smooth sailing but it ensures that we have what it takes to make it one way or another.


Cheating On Your Spouse


I was listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger this week when a caller called for advice on a dilemma he was having. It seems he’s been having an affair with a woman for three years. His wife had been battling breast cancer and now that things had stabilized it was time for him to make decisions about his future.

Dr. Laura asked him what the pros and cons were as he said he’d thought them through. He said that the pros would be he has more in common with the woman he was having an affair with. The cons would be that he had six kids with his wife, two were married and probably going to have kids soon, and he’d end up being the visiting grandpa. He went on to say that his wife had been kind to him, and a good wife. His other con was that how could he really trust this woman who had so willingly had an affair with a married man?  How could the woman really trust him either even though he’d been faithful for many years before an affair knowing he was willing to have an affair with her?

That is the crux of the problem isn’t it? Trust for all three of them will never the same. Because no matter what you tell yourself, as this man did, that he been faithful for many years before he cheated, he did cheat, he broke a promise, to himself, to his wife, and to his children. How do you stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye when you know you’ve not been a person of character? You’ve not been a person who can keep your word? And then how do the people involved trust you either? Yes, no one is perfect and we’ve all done incredibly stupid things, it’s true, but slippery slopes which rob you of your character, are pitfalls to be avoided at all costs.

Dr. Laura ended the call with a some very good advice. She said that of course he felt closer to the woman he was having an affair with. Marriage was different than dating and shacking up. It is. I’ve talked to so many people who got married to long term shack ups and ended up divorced because it is different. She also said that if he would put the effort into treating his wife the way he did his mistress he might discover his marriage was good. She also told him he would risk more than being the visiting grandpa. He’d risk the total relationship with his children. She said they would always side with their mother and they may not want the mistress at weddings and such. It also meant that he would put immense pressure on the mistress to fulfill all that he had lost and that it wasn’t possible for her to do so. She in turn would put pressure on him to choose her when the family didn’t want her around.

There was a lot said in this call. One worth sharing. Maybe someone reading this post today saves themselves a lot of heartache by honoring their vows and staying true to themselves and their family.