Withdrawing your conversation from someone that in your view is boorish or a jerk may seem like a two-year-old's tactic, and often is. But for adults it can work to keep you sane and with energy for other people and endevours, new research claims.
The research was published this week in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships - yes, there is such a journal - and conducted by the psychology department of Baruch College at City University of New York. The lead researcher is an associate professor at the college, Kirstin Sommer and the research paper is titled: When silence is golden: Ostracism as resource conservation during aversive interactions.
Study: Silence may be golden
Sommer and her colleagues drew on previous studies to make conclusions, the most notable of which is that you are sucking up good energy you could use elsewhere by talking to someone you don't like, or don't like the attitude and conversation of. They maintain in the study that "silence can be golden" when it comes to dealing with a jerk.
“It’s depleting to force yourself to have difficult conversations when all you want to do is ignore the person,” the Vancouver Sun quoted Sommer as telling them. “Ostracism can serve the regulatory goal of allowing people to conserve resources.”
That may almost seem like Sommer and her colleagues have a firm grasp of the obvious but with other conclusions they arguably don't sound as wise. When it comes to loved ones, Sommer suggested to the Sun's Misty Harris, the silent treatment isn't so good a tactic.
Many of us in relationships might quibble with that.