How to use The Silent Treatment effectively:
When you’re 6 years old: Be silent. Start playing. Forget about the silent treatment.
When you’re a 12 year old girl: Any way you want. Trying to tell a tween girl how to behave is crazy talk.
When you’re 16: Yell. A lot. Then head to your room. Slam the door (in lieu of talking) to communicate the extent of your irritation. Stay there for a long time. Emerge when you decide you have punished the world sufficiently (or when you’re hungry).
When you’re in college: Glare with superiority. Heave a Great Sigh of Suffering and then explain How Things Are or Should Be in absolute terms.
When you’re an adult: The only adult way to use “the silent treatment” is to say, “Wow. What you just said has surprised/offended/shocked/confused/angered me so much that I don’t quite know what to say. Please give me some time to think about this before I say anything we’ll both regret.” Then go think. And come back to the person and talk.
If you find yourself really giving someone the silent treatment, you are probably acting younger than your driver’s license thinks you should.
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