No, you don’t get to pout and punish him with mysterious silence. Aside from the obvious of your behavior being totally unattractive, he actually doesn’t know something’s bothering you. Until you speak up he will continue bumping around in the dark, and in his eyes you're just a moody brat at the moment.
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Whether you're single, dating, engaged, or married you will experience the above dilemma at some point. If it hasn’t happened yet, keep reading because this is for you. I wish someone would have explained this “art” of manipulation females are all too guilty of using. I needed guidance in how to express my frustration in relationships that would strengthen our communication, not paint me as a self-centered manipulative brat. Looking back at my youth, I am reminded that this “tactic” was adopted at a very young age:
Imagine back to grade school when that cute boy in class got all the girls declaring love in their secret journals. Where they methodically wrote “Riley Smith” on repeat down the page. At school you would do anything to sit next to him, just so you could compliment his new disc jockey. Now one day a new girl arrives, and it’s all about “Clare”, she has the new Lisa Frank unicorn binder and apparently is a master at Super Mario. At recess you watch as Riley shows Clare his disc jockey and helps adjust the ear phones over her perfect ponytail. Anger boils, and that night you hurl as many insults as you can into your journal, cross out his name, and vow to never speak to him again. Unless he apologizes of course. At school you ignore him and make a point to shoot deathly glares in his direction, but to your amazement, he doesn't notice. He continues on his way, smiling as Clare sits down next to him.
Let’s not focus on the nasty of admitting you might have been this girl at some point. Dig down deeper and ask if you still practice this as an adult. It takes on a different look, and camouflages itself as a “helper”. Our grade school selves believe that by practicing punishing silence or disrespect we can motivate our men into realizing they have made a mistake, and quickly make it right. The dangerous part about this popular “strategy” is that women full heartedly believe it works. I’m going to rip off the bandaid for you in one swipe….
*You are not the teacher in the relationship, and who are you to discipline him through punishing behavior?*
Turn that disciplinary finger around and point it right back at yourself, because in every fight there’s growing room for you also. In some cases there are reasons to speak up and express concern but it’s never a good idea to express these angers through silence or disrespect. Here are three healthy ways to bring up your concerns. Disclaimer: This involves vulnerability.
1. TALK: The next time you see each other, start out by saying “I need to share something with you, can you please listen to everything I have to share before asking me any questions”?
2. CALL: Call and leave a voicemail. If you’re long distance this works great especially if it’s during the work day. In your message ask if you can talk tonight and give a brief summary of what you need to discuss. Note: this is a tempting place to throw in scare tactics. Just don’t. Don’t freak him out, that only shows your insecurities.
3. WRITE: Write a short letter. This is my thriving place. Pour it out with loving gentleness and stay away from blunt accusations.
Some thoughts on texting?….. ditch it.
When you attempt to use one of the three tactics you might find yourself confused because you don’t know why you’re actually upset. Is it really because Riley let Clare use his disc jockey? Or, is there an underlying reason that’s been buried under your silence and death glares. Perhaps you feel a tad bit neglected and ignored, and Clare was the ultimate boiling point. Or maybe it’s steaming from a deep rooted childhood insecurity that you’ve never faced? Either way, you need to rattle. And if you don’t know how to rattle, go read the this.
Darling, it’s never going to magically make sense to him, he’s not the master at piecing together your thoughts. If you don't have your own thoughts collected how do you expect him to understand them? Don’t start him out on a clear disadvantage. Give him the tools he needs to better understand you and not become fearful of your punishing hammer. Be specific, tell him “this is how you can make it easier for me.” Tell him how he can make it better for you and pull yourself out of these mind games that only lead to disappointment.
Your silence is choking your relationship, start talking.
An occasional moody brat,
“ The anger of a fool becomes readily apparent, but the prudent person overlooks an insult”
- Proverbs 12:16