Throughout my years of living on this planet and dealing with some of the most unbearable people I have ever met, I very quickly found that the silent treatment is a very valuable weapon to have in your holster.

It’s a quick way to make someone realise that they are in the wrong, or simply just to ignore that couple on the bus that just HAD to chose this exact moment to have an argument.

Ignorant and difficult people are everywhere; they are impossible to avoid, and when someone gets on your nerves, irritates you, or says something stupid, sometimes the silent treatment is the easiest way to deal with it.

However, there are some that say it doesn’t work. Many say that fighting fire with fire only gets people burned. Well, new studies have shown that it does actually work, and it’s a lot better for you!

The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships published a study from Baruch College, which actually showed that ignoring someone who is particularly insufferable can be much better and healthier for you than spending your time and energy engaging in whatever the drama of the day is.

Engaging with someone who is obnoxious and irritating can be stressful, and very mentally draining, so it makes sense that ignoring them removes a lot of the stress. If you aren’t giving them the attention that they want, then you aren’t wasting your energy, which could go on other, more important things.

Baruch College took two case study groups, 120 people in total, and asked half of them to either engage and half to ignore the people they would meet. These people were then told to be intolerable or pleasant, but the test subjects did not know which they would encounter when they entered the room.

After several minutes, the test subjects were then taken into a different room and asked to concentrate on a thought-based exercise. Results from these exercises showed that those who ignored the ignorant people performed much higher in the thought-based exercise than those who had to suffer them.

So, in short, there is really a positive effect on you when you use the silent treatment against those who irritate you. You will have a much more positive experience if you simply ignore them and go about your own business. Also, you get the added bonus of irritating them right back by giving them no attention!

Although it can be difficult to ignore people, and many feel as though irritating the irritation never works, and can just make things worse.

In actual fact, though, there is now evidence to prove that you will perform much better if you simply get on with your own things and ignore them. After all, we all have much more important things to do with our days than listen to someone complain for half an hour, don’t we?

If you want to read more information on this study, just click on the direct link below:


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the power of misfits

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. kellly

    You can act on ignoring someone who’s being obnoxious but if they are talking very loudly, playing their music at blast volume or in some other way providing an ongoing source of irritation, not interacting can be seen as ignoring them, but choosing not to engage with them over their ongoing intrusion into your space is not going to leave you free from the stress of their intrusive behavior. If you don’t have noise-cancelling headphones or stink-cancelling nose plugs, and don’t keep your eyes closed, you are still left with the stress of the intrusion, whether you choose to interact with it or not. Yes, the guy in the picture with the headphones looks happy and at peace because he can’t hear or see the woman screaming at him. Not all situations enjoy that luxury.

  2. Antonio Farfan-Fiorani

    Dear author,
    Please, elaborate.
    You are putting a literal Lethal Weapon in the hands of very sick (narcissistic) persons if they read your article.
    I am a Nuclear Medicine physician, just in case. And believe me, I do know.

  3. SS

    I totally agree, yet sometimes this kind of strategy can also make one feel so bottled up within, that it can lead to real stress. Also, the fact, that some fools who are hell-bent on behaving in this atrocious manner, with the silent treatment, feel like no ones saying much or retaliating,& they continue to get on one’s nerves even more! They just dont GET IT!

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