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The Silent Treatment

The silent treatment as we know means to withdraw from someone, ignore that person, or keep our love away. Perhaps at some point in our lives we’ve given someone the silent treatment or have been the recipient of it. The individual who sends out the silent treatment is probably trying to punish someone because of a wrongdoing or a perceived one. However, I feel that it is a punishment for both parties; it causes stress to the heart and as I stated in last week’s post, we all need to strive toward heart healthy habits. This week’s writing challenge asked bloggers to make “silence” a presence in their posts.

Credit: Bing images

Credit: Bing images

In giving silence a presence in my post today, I will share about the silent “treatment” I give myself. I withdraw from speaking to others, not as a punishment, but as an act of love for myself and for the work I do.

About 15 years ago, my voice developed a hoarseness that was hard to shake. It bothered me because I always sounded tired and at times it had the quality of someone who had a terrible hangover. To ease my mind, I went to see an ENT specialist.

That doctor’s evaluation showed that I had vocal cord nodules and to get rid of them I needed to rest my voice. Rest my voice? How can I do that? I gave myself the silent “treatment” whenever possible. I carried around a yellow notepad which I used to communicate with my family. They tried their best to make me talk, but I was resistant to their charms. I recall now with a smile the weekend my husband took the children on a trip and I rested my voice for 36 hours!

The silent “treatment”, this withdrawal from speaking continues to work for me whenever my voice takes on that husky quality and when it is tired and fatigued.

Have you ever given yourself this kind of silent treatment? What do you do to take care of your voice? I’d love to hear from you!


22 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment

  1. Pingback: Letters from the Silence – 20th February, 2014 | Wired With Words

  2. Years ago, I had the pleasure of being in the audience of The Oprah Show. She was asked what she liked to do in her spare time. Her reply, “Be silent!”.

  3. Hi Elaine. Keeping quiet for most of the time of the day is no problem for me. Giving oneself a silent treatment once in a while is an excellent idea. Another excellent idea is to have coffee with you and Jill in Barnes and Noble and sit quietly for a while. Great post my friend.

    • Oh Samina, I’d love to have coffee with you and Jill 🙂
      I’m glad being quiet is no trouble for you. I plan on giving myself the silent treatment for a couple of hours this evening.

  4. Pingback: Silence is golden. | Love.Books.Coffee.

  5. Pingback: kind in heart | Free advice from a clinical psychologist

    • Vocal cords are fine now. Thanks. I do know how the little ones can get you to talk 🙂
      Many days I ask, “when can I get some peace”, and my daughter will reply, “sorry, you gave that up 26 years ago”!

  6. Pingback: The Awkward Love Song of Abigail Archer [BOOK REVIEW] | Ramisa the Authoress

  7. Pingback: The Sound of Silence | Alexia Jones

  8. Great job tackling the weekly challenge, Elaine! I hope everything is okay now with your vocal chords. I love to be quiet. Sometimes I drive to work in the morning, in complete silence.
    Over the years, I’ve learned to listen more and speak less. Some people talk only to hear themselves. I try to speak when I have something to say, not just because I feel like talking or forcing an opinion on someone.
    Wonderful post, Elaine! If we lived in the same town, we would be great friends. We could sit over coffee in silence, and it would be fine. 🙂

    • Thanks, Jill! We could go to Barnes and Noble and enjoy our coffee 🙂 I am a very chatty person so we may not be able to sit in silence for too long! The vocal cord nodules went away, but I continue to try to take care of voice. For example, I try very hard not to clear my throat – when you do this, you slap your vocal cords together unnecessarily. Humming is also good exercise, but I don’t do it enough.
      I think that as I get older, my listening skills have improved. It’s an age thing, I suppose:-). Have a great week, my friend!

  9. My mum had her thyroids removed (due to a tumor) over a decade a ago. In the process she they accidentally scraped her vocal cords and she could speak for about a year! She was very tired of “resting” her vocal cords. She does speak now but her vocal cords get tired easily.

  10. Pauline, thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful response- you just gave me a nice boost. 🙂 Thanks for sharing about the presence of silence in your life. It is good that you love and enjoy the silence in your life. I can picture you intently focused on your art…quiet, creative and confident and when the piece is finished, you burst into song!

    From your blog posts and your comments, I can see that the decision you made a decade ago is adding so much value to your life.

    Oh, I enjoy when you chat with me on my blog! 🙂

  11. Elaine, I just love your posts! They are always well thought out and relevant and filled with positivity! Also you step forth as a good role model on so many levels. Realising that you must nurture silence to ensure the health of your vocal cords, you act on it and thereby teach your family to respect your needs and the needs of their own health too – I hope that makes sense to you …..

    These days I live much of my life in silence. I am winding down my life guidance business and have just a few sporadic clients now. My art is mostly done in silence, except when I start singing 🙂 Sometimes I chat to my cat, or visitors pop in, or I am chatting virtually on my blog or the blogs of others [like now], but I would say that most days half of my awake time is silent. I love it. It is meditative, positive, life affirming and happy. I keep the voice in my head silent as much as possible too – achieving that makes for golden silence!

    I have noticed that on days when I am not silent I get tired quite quickly and need a break from the noise.

    After a long time in the headlights of a demanding career, I chose this life style almost ten years ago and began to arrange my life so I could achieve it. I have never regretted it.

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