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But is it abuse?

If the widespread belief that silent treatment is emotional abuse is to be accepted, then we must also consider the form of abuse that its counter behaviour imposes.

Silent treatment is not an assault on the senses and it doesn’t demand a response. The impact on the recipient of silent treatment is therefore dependent on what the recipient needs to feel validated or visible in that relationship.

It also means that the reason for the dysfunctional communication has to be considered beyond just the withholding of communication from one of the parties.

However, with nagging, it is an assault on the senses and has an inherent demand for a response.

Nagging is based on the assumption of insensitivity or unwillingness on the part of our partner, rather than trying to understand why the first or second request for something was not or could not have been agreed to, or why they see no point in repeatedly acknowledging the same point.

The important point is therefore not about whether it is or is not abuse, but rather why the communication has broken down to the point of such behaviours being the only means to express dissatisfaction with our partners.

Claims of abuse are counter-productive unless either party is physically prevented from walking away from such forms of ‘abuse’ .

The focus should therefore be on creating understanding about why communication has broken down, rather than supporting one partner against the other.

No one nags or remains silent if they believe that their reasonable voice will be appreciated.

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #lifecoaching #zaidismail #marriagecounselling #relationshipgoals #communication #empathy #ownyourlife #narcissiticabuse #narcissism

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