When you’re fighting with a guy, one move that a guy might make is the silent treatment.
The silent treatment is something usually associated with girls, but guys are just as likely to use it as girls.
Since it’s something usually associated with girls, you may wonder why guys choose to use it, too.
From stopping the conversation to just feeling tired, here are a few reasons guys give the silent treatment.
Why Do Guys Give The Silent Treatment? (10 Reasons)
1. To Put An End To The Conversation
One of the main reasons guys will give the silent treatment to their partners is that they want to end the conversation.
There are several reasons a guy might want to end a conversation.
He may feel that the way that they’re both talking isn’t solving the problem.
Both parties may need to step back and take a breath before trying again.
If their partner isn’t getting the hint, then they might choose to give them the silent treatment instead.
This forces them to step back and sit with their thoughts and feelings for a few moments.
Of course, taking this action can often blow up in their face.
Their partner might grow even angrier with them.
By allowing them to sit and stew with their feelings, those feelings might become even more potent.
It may lead to an even more troubling argument later.
Some guys might find that the conversation just isn’t worth it.
If they don’t care about the outcome or the actual issue that they’re discussing, then they might just choose not to participate anymore.
The silent treatment essentially ends the conversation.
Their partner will eventually have to stop the conversation since they’re not getting anything from them.
Some guys give the silent treatment to their partners or friends because they’re trying to end the conversation.
2. To End Someone’s Behavior
Another reason some guys will give the silent treatment to others is that they’re trying to end the other person’s behavior.
For example, if the conversation is turning heated and their partner starts hitting them to get their point across, then the guy might just back out of the conversation.
They’re giving their partner the silent treatment until they calm down enough to have a rational conversation.
It’s also possible that the guy doesn’t like the way the other person is talking.
If they’re being racist or swearing a lot, then they might want to stop that behavior.
As such, they might choose not to engage with them in conversation until they stop that behavior.
It’s a way to punish the person for using that sort of behavior.
The hope is that the individual will eventually stop engaging in that behavior altogether.
When their partner or friend engages in some sort of behavior that they don’t approve of or feel comfortable around, then some guys will use the silent treatment.
It’s a way to either punish the individual and keep them from using that behavior, or it helps the guy feel safe.
3. To Cause Pain
There’s no question that some guys also use the silent treatment to hurt the other person.
When their partner is trying to tell them something important, some guys might choose to minimize their feelings in order to cause them pain.
Feeling ignored is extremely painful.
There are several reasons feeling ignored hurts so much.
For one, it fills the individual with self-doubt.
They start to wonder if they’re right on a particular issue.
It completely undermines the confidence they had in themselves.
This can be problematic, especially if they were right in the argument.
For example, if they have suspicions that their partner is cheating, then they might bring up their suspicions in conversation.
The guy might choose to give them the silent treatment because he wants to hurt them for suggesting it.
This then makes the partner doubt their suspicions.
Even if their suspicions about cheating are correct, the silent treatment makes them doubt their reasoning.
Feeling ignored also hurts because it makes an individual feel as though they’re not worthy of attention.
If someone already struggles with self-esteem issues, then that sort of feeling can really mess with them.
It can tear apart their self-esteem even more.
They may even feel the need to do more for their partner to make themselves worthy of their attention again.
This situation can quickly become abusive.
Finally, feeling ignored can make you feel as though you’re out of control of the situation.
When a guy gives you the silent treatment, he’s basically taking away your ability to talk about that particular topic.
He’s shutting you down.
He has the power.
Feeling as though you’re no longer in control of the situation hurts.
It can also feel quite scary.
Some guys give the silent treatment because they’re actively trying to hurt their partners.
4. Hurt Feelings
The opposite of the situation might also be true.
Some guys may not be looking to hurt their partners by giving them the silent treatment.
They may instead be looking to protect their own feelings.
If the conversation hurts them emotionally, some people’s reaction is to pull away from it.
They don’t want to experience the pain any longer.
It’s like putting your hand on a hot stove.
Your body instinctively pulls your hand away to keep it from experiencing more pain.
When you experience emotional pain, your brain may try to make you pull away, too.
It comes down to whether you lean towards fight or flight during such a situation.
Those who lean towards fight might dig into the conversation and continue to argue their viewpoint.
Those who lean towards flight might choose to end the conversation early to protect themselves.
Some guys might also give their partner the silent treatment because they need time away to nurse their hurt feelings.
Girls, in particular, may think that their partner is tough and unfeeling.
At the very least, they might think that their partner doesn’t feel emotions as keenly as she does.
That isn’t the case.
Guys feel emotions just as strongly as girls.
They just sometimes do everything they can to reduce how strong those emotions are.
Others may simply ignore them.
The fact of the matter is, however, they exist.
Because these emotions exist, guys can get hurt emotionally.
When a guy isn’t used to that, he may be unsure of what to do or how to react in that situation.
Therefore, he becomes unable to do anything but retract into himself.
He gives his partner the silent treatment because he is unsure of how to handle his hurt feelings.
Some guys give their partners the silent treatment because they’re dealing with hurt feelings.
5. Inability To Talk About Feelings
Another major reason guys give the silent treatment is that they find it difficult to talk about their feelings.
This usually comes down to the specific guy, but in many cases, some guys may be unsure of how to talk about what they’re feeling at that moment.
A large part of that is down to toxic masculinity.
Toxic masculinity, or the idea that guys aren’t real men unless they follow some sort of code, makes it difficult for men to get in touch with their feelings.
During a conversation or an argument, their partner may be looking for them to open up.
They may want to know what their partner is feeling about a certain problem.
If a guy isn’t sure how he feels, then he may shut down instead and give them the silent treatment.
They simply don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings because they’re not in touch with them or don’t know how to talk about them.
The good thing about this particular problem is that it’s something they can work on over time.
When given a safe place and plenty of opportunity to talk, a guy can start to lean into his feelings and talk about them openly.
He’ll feel less panicked and won’t give his partner the silent treatment quite as much.
Otherwise, because they don’t know what to say, many guys will say nothing at all.
6. To Cool Down
Some guys also give the silent treatment because they need a few moments to cool down.
When a conversation turns heated and angry, it’s rarely a good time to continue the conversation.
Nothing productive comes out of an argument when both people are angry.
In the case of an argument between a man and a woman, men are typically larger and stronger than women.
If that man were to lose his cool, then he might act instinctively rather than rationally.
He might hit her or be physical with her.
He may not even mean to hurt her, but he could be so angry that he isn’t able to think rationally.
Some guys who are aware that they might become physical with their partners may choose to give them the silent treatment instead.
When the conversation or argument gets too heated, they may drop off from it.
They’ll then take a moment to cool off and let the emotions run their course.
When they have a cooler head, they can end the silent treatment and speak about the problem with a more rational head.
In truth, this is a better way to handle arguments than just having both parties shout at each other until one wears the other down.
It’s better if both partners give each other the silent treatment until they’ve both cooled down and can revisit the problem together with a rational mindset.
To ensure they don’t do anything rash, some guys will give their partner the silent treatment.
7. To Minimize The Other Person’s Feelings Or Words
Another major reason why some guys give their partner the silent treatment is that they’re trying to minimize them.
If their partner comes to them feeling neglected, for example, then a guy might choose to give them the silent treatment.
Their goal is to make their partner feel as though their feelings aren’t valid.
By minimizing the issue by silencing the conversation about it, the guy tries to give the idea that their feelings are so ridiculous that it isn’t even worth having a conversation over.
This can make their partner feel even worse since they also feel small.
In the matter of feeling neglected, it can make the partner feel even more neglected.
They might feel as though their partner isn’t taking their feelings seriously.
Other guys might use the silent treatment to minimize what their partner is saying.
If their partner is talking about their suspicions about them cheating, then a guy might give them the silent treatment.
Again, the idea is that the thought of cheating is so ridiculous that it isn’t even worth the conversation.
However, all it does is just make their partner feel unseen and unheard.
It may even make them all the more suspicious.
Some guys use the silent treatment to minimize their partner’s feelings or words.
8. Trying To Get Attention
Some guys also use the silent treatment as a way to force their partner to pay attention to them.
If they feel as though their partner is neglecting them, then they might choose to withhold their own attention.
It may be the only way that they feel they can finally attract their partner’s attention.
Their partner might finally contact them to see if they’re okay.
Since this gives the guy some attention, using the silent treatment is worth it.
It also means that they don’t have to actively state that they’re seeking attention.
This goes back to the idea of toxic masculinity.
If a guy tells his partner that he’s lonely or is missing her attention, then he might think that others will see him as weak or clingy.
Toxic masculinity would tell him that he’s less of a man for feeling that way.
To avoid that, he might use the silent treatment, so he doesn’t have to look “weak.”
It’s a way of getting what he wants without emotional vulnerability.
Some guys will use the silent treatment as a way to force their partners to pay attention to them.
9. Wants To Control The Situation
Additionally, some guys give the silent treatment to control the situation.
The best way to control the conversation or situation is to end the conversation.
There’s nothing the other person can do to keep it going.
Because you’re refusing to engage with them, they’re just talking to a wall.
That isn’t a satisfying conversation.
Controlling people might use the silent treatment as a way to control their partners.
If they don’t like how their partner is talking to them or what they’re saying, then they won’t engage their partner in conversation.
This then makes their partner feel as though they’re at fault.
They might apologize even if they did nothing wrong.
This sort of use of the silent treatment can quickly become abusive.
Some guys use the silent treatment to control their partners.
10. Tired Or Busy
A final reason some guys give the silent treatment is that they’re too tired or busy to handle the conversation at that point.
Their partner may be ready to rumble, but if they had an exhausting day, then they might not have the energy to get into it.
As such, they’ll ignore their partner until the next day or so.
They need to get the energy to have that conversation.
Other guys may simply be busy.
They might be at work or performing other errands.
It may seem like they’re giving the silent treatment, but in reality, they’re just not looking at their phone.
Depending on the situation, some guys might accidentally or unintentionally give the silent treatment because they’re tired or busy.
The silent treatment is something that guys can use for good or evil purposes.
Whether it’s to take a moment to cool off, to hurt their partners, or deal with their own emotions, the reasons above are why some guys give the silent treatment.