All posts tagged: lot of young adults

Whatever You Do, Don’t Do the Silent Treatment

Whatever You Do, Don’t Do the Silent Treatment

Want to stay current with Arthur’s writing? Sign up to get an email every time a new column comes out. Life for a 19th-century sailor was hard: Months at sea were accompanied by constant danger and deprivation. To make matters worse, mariners saw the same few people all day, every day, in a radically confined space where they were expected to get along and look after one another. On a long voyage, one obnoxious person could make life utterly miserable for everyone. So sailors used a tried technique to deal with an offender: the silent treatment. They would ignore him completely for weeks on end. That might sound like an innocuous action to you, but in truth, it was far from it. The silent treatment was, according to the writer Otis Ferguson in 1944, “a process so effective in the monotony of ship’s life as to make strong men weep.” Of course, the silent treatment is a technique used not only by sailors. It can be encountered anytime, anywhere, from home to work. You have …