Differences In The Silent Treatment & No Contact

In spite of what many people seem to think, there are very significant differences between no contact & the silent treatment.

The silent treatment is a frequently used punishment for either a real or more commonly perceived wrong.  No contact has a long list of grievances that have happened over a long period of time.  It isn’t done because someone did one little thing wrong, unlike the silent treatment.  It also is never used as a punishment.

The silent treatment will end when the person who initiated it feels their victim has been sufficiently punished for their sins.  Once it is done, the one who implemented the silent treatment often contacts the victim & acts as if nothing happened.  No contact is meant to be permanent, & nothing will make the person who initiated it talk to the abuser.

There is absolutely no honor in the silent treatment.  It is simply a passive/aggressive way to punish someone.  No contact is honorable.  There is also no honor in enabling bad & even abusive behavior.

The silent treatment is immature.  Young children use it to get their way but most of them grow out of it eventually.  Not everyone does, unfortunately, so they use this childish behavior to get what they want.  No contact is mature, well considered & a very viable option in toxic relationships.

Virtually no thought goes into the silent treatment.  Narcissists will use the silent treatment for any reason at any time, without forethought.  No contact is much different in this area as well.  By the time a person has gone no contact with an abuser, a great deal of time, consideration & prayer have gone into the action.

The silent treatment creates conflict.  Other people are involved, & picking sides.  They tell the person on the receiving end of the silent treatment to fix the relationship, or apologize to the person who initiated the silent treatment.  No contact is an attempt to minimize conflict.  People who initiate it don’t try to get other people involved or force the abusive person to apologize.

The silent treatment is a power trip.  If a victim is unaware of what the person giving the silent treatment is up to, they will do their best to make the abuser talk to them again & to please this person.  They will apologize & sometimes even beg the abuser to forgive them.  No contact is not a power trip.  People who implement it aren’t interested in anything their abuser does or says.  They are simply done with the relationship at that point.

The silent treatment is disrespectful.  A person won’t treat someone they respect in such a way.  Instead they will try to work out their problems.  Someone who uses no contact has tried many times to work out the problems, & gotten nowhere.  This person eventually realizes there is no other solution, & they end the relationship.  They respect themselves enough to walk away from a toxic relationship.

The silent treatment isn’t Godly.  It’s so many bad things like I mentioned previously.  No contact, however, is very Godly.  You are removing this person’s opportunity to sin by abusing you.  You are giving this person consequences for bad behavior, which opens the door for them to change.  Whether or not they do is up to them of course, but you give them that opportunity.

Sadly, some relationships are simply beyond repair.  It takes two to make a relationship work, & when one isn’t willing to do any work, that relationship is doomed.  Sometimes the best thing a person can do is to walk away in order to protect their own peace & mental health.  It’s an extremely difficult & painful decision to make, but there are times it must be done.


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

8 responses to “Differences In The Silent Treatment & No Contact

  1. annealcroft

    “Someone who uses no contact has tried many times to work out the problems, & gotten nowhere. This person eventually realizes there is no other solution, & they end the relationship. They respect themselves enough to walk away from a toxic relationship.”

    Cynthia, what you say here is so very true. It is said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again expecting a different result when the same thing happens every time. When it comes to the point that we realize we are like a dog chasing it’s tail trying to reason with a narcissist, that’s when we call it quits, no matter the cost.

    The Bible teaches us to let the dead bury their dead, to leave such people behind, and to follow Christ in order to find our way home to Heaven. Though sometimes it seems prayers aren’t answered because some aspect of our life is not aligned with God’s Will for us, such as right relationship with family, friends, or acquaintances, it is true what you say that when we go no contact and remove ourselves from the association with the narcissist in our life, we also act according to God’s Will by removing the near occasion of sin — that is, allowing ourselves to be victimized and abused by people with evil and Satanic incliniations if not possession.

    Thanks for a great post and all the healing you bring here for those of us fighting our way through this maze of insanity with the narcissists(s) in our life!

    God bless you, dear Cynthia!!


    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe exactly the same things. It’s a pity others see tolerating abuse as a good thing or even something that makes you a real Christian when nothing could be further from the truth!

      God bless you too my friend! ❤


  2. Great post! Unfortunately, I have kids with the narcissist in my past. It has been 8 years since we parted ways….there is no co-parenting.at.all. I still have to let him know about doctor appointments and things. He only sees the kids a maximum of 4 hours a month- all supervised. Going “low/no contact” saved my sanity. He still tries to take me to court and postures- I get the “silent treatment” unless he is fishing for information for his attorney. It is really sad for the kids, but their relationship is close if not already broken beyond repair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think co parenting with a narcissist is impossible, sadly. It’s good you have measures in place to protect the kids (limited contact, supervised visits). If their relationship with him isn’t broken beyond repair yet, no doubt that’s coming soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It has been 12 years. The narcissist can’t change. No kindness can change them. I just give up now. It is just sad that I have a child, a marriage, a home. I was only obsessed with the idea of family, marriage and future. All fake. I just cannot regret everything when I look at my son who did nothing wrong.


    • As horrible as narcissistic abuse is, it’s amazing anything good ever can come from it, isn’t it? Thank God you have your son. He certainly is a huge blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • annealcroft

      To “give up” is a good thing because it is a way to forgive. And it is also how to “let go and let God.” We are brought to this point for a reason.

      It is very difficult and at times seems impossible to find ways to forgive the narcissist for their relentless abuse. It is true when you say “no kindness can change them.” They thrive on hurting and abusing others and the clinical truth is that the abuser never stops.

      As Cynthia so beautifully says, your son is your blessing, and the trial you endure now brings you ever closer to the heart of God. That is the blessing we find as time heals our wounds and we slowly are able to give up and forgive the heartache these people cause us, and all they rob us of. We build strength and character in the process and our suffering becomes the way for us to build our character and a life of authentic meaning.

      Marriage, family, and future is what creates the fabric of our society. Today our world suffers as the institution of family is systematically dismantled because government is trying to displace God.

      Our world is in need of profound healing as a result of this evil that has spread like wildfire. Nothing is more sacred than the institution of marriage yet our culture has made a mockery of it. Why? Because we have become hyper-sexualized and confuse love with sex.

      Things are not always as they seem. Gratitude for your son and the gift of motherhood will bring blessings to your life greater than you can now imagine. Your determination to persevere through this adversity is what will continue to bring you healing and all the happiness you hope for your son and yourself.

      God bless you on this difficult, but rewarding journey.


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