Have you ever been ghosted by a person who means something to you? The feeling of being ignored is a painful one. When ignored, people feel inadequate and lose themselves in doubt, sadness, and a plummeting sense of self-worth. The act of ignoring is seldom discussed as a psychological weapon, though it is a mighty powerful one. It is powerful because it requires minimal action from the perpetrator and uses the mind of their victim to attack itself in Kamikaze fashion.
Intrinsic Needs of Others
Have you even seen a little child become obsessed with pressing buttons and pulling levers of any kind? This childhood need stems from making an impact on the world around us. It is an intrinsic human need to make a mark on your environment and those around you. When we ask people questions and converse, we are influencing their social behavior in order to interact with us.
We feel validated when people answer our questions, respond to our text messages, and reach out when we are down. The act of being acknowledged by others is akin to a child hearing a satisfying ‘ding’ when they press the next stop button on a bus. We feel like we belong in a world where we have the power to make our mark. We feel real, and we feel part of another person’s life.
These intrinsic needs of human beings make silence a golden weapon in times of ideological warfare. When in the midst of mental warfare, the act of ghosting/ignoring the people you are at war with will act nullify their impact on you. Ignoring the people who are attacking you reduces the measurable damage of their attacks to zero. It gives a sense of you winning the bout as silence conveys perfect confidence in all you’ve said prior to their response. You have nothing more to say and feel that what you’ve said up to the point of silence is enough to force a victory for your side.
You will cause doubt in the person who you were battling with. The more they try to stab at you in this electronic world we live in, the more they will be ignored. They will begin to feel that their stabs are not making any impact, and these unanswered stabs begin to look bad on their part. The things they write, say, and do to affect you negatively begin to shine that same negative light on themselves as there is no recipient to their comments. Imagine a person stabbing and slashing air with a knife in the middle of the street. Without any context, you will automatically think this person is out of their mind.
The same effect occurs when you are silent in response to the attacks of others through non-violent means. You will make them seem upset, angry, and a little crazy. They will begin to doubt the effect that their words have on you and the effect their actions have on the world. Be careful, as silence is a powerful contributor to their behavior becoming increasingly violent. People will go out of their way to see an effect of the actions that they commit.
Silence should be used when you know you are not in any physical danger from the other party.
Silence has a perk which not many psychological or physical weapons provide. This perk is the lack of incrimination. You cannot be held accountable for anything when you keep silent. There has never been a person who got in trouble for ignoring the attacks of others. There have been however, cases when people reacted to others’ jabs and incriminated themselves in the process.
Silence is a perfect tool when you use it well. It will drive your opponent into a dark psychological space in which the feel inadequate to you. You will rise above without incriminating yourself, and move on with your life. You will win that interaction without letting your emotions and ego drive the battle that you’re in.
You can choose when to win a psychological battle at will. Utilize other mental warfare tools and then use the tool of staying silent. Drown your opponent in the icy waters of self-doubt and take away any impact this person has on you as well as the world around them.