May I speak freely?
I'm not even going to try be modest now: I love how I love. Sue me. I am expressive, I do not leave you in doubt, or asking questions, or wondering; and it is how I love to be loved too; I'll take your crazy on the side. Talk to me. Tell me how I make/have made you feel, write me a damn essay; recite me a whole frigging spoken prose, do whatever, just let me know where your head's at, let me know how you're feeling: it is how I know how (not) to handle you next time. The toxic side effect of this, as with many people who can't just not say what's on their mind, is that we don't know how to leave shit unaddressed: we just gotta deal with it, verbally, and now. I use 'toxic' very loosely, by the way, because I am hoping that we're all gradually attaining the honest maturity to admit that that word has now managed to be even more bastardized than feminist, and that we all have traits that just make it a little difficult for the other person to relax around us at certain times. These traits could even be coping mechanisms that we have crafted or over time adopted by our own self for our own mind's peace. The fact that it is how we achieve or maintain our own peace however doesn't mean it doesn't it the same fell swoop rob the other person of their own peace.
For example, I could blow up fast and quick. I could do a 10,000 decorated words angry email or even handwritten letter because I just can't hold it in or just not let you know the feelings you have provoked or are provoking inside of me right now. I am learning better expressions and channeling, though...but still, you have to know. And you will. Oh honey, how you will. The flip-side of that, however, is that once I've put it all into words, I'm empty. Flushed. Void. Like...whoosh: all gone. On the same side of that flip is that I can't stay mad long after I've given verbal expression to my feelings. I could even manage to forget.
Hell, I was hanging out on a question thread the other day and when I got to the question, "the most unkind thing your partner ever said," I came up blank. Like, I literally stayed on that tweet for like two full minutes, if not more, and I just had...nothing. I ended up skipping that question. Because whatever unkind situation I ever got in, I addressed it there and then and my mind just files it as resolved. No residue. It is crazy but I love it, and this one is not even about the partner I love to be, it's basically the human that I make a point of being, whatever your doubts or guilt. Get your freedom back or not, that's on you; change your ways or not, that's on your honor. But you will not be my mind's prisoner, I'd much rather be gone from you. But I digress.
The implication of being a talker in a love relationship is that if I want it, if I'm thinking it, if I'm expecting it, if I think I deserve it; then you better bet your pene that I am telling you--that I'll be asking you, because it's you that I'm with, so I'm not storing up all the ways I'm not getting pleased and carrying on like it don't bother me when it's in fact shredding my insides: I will ask you, I will tell you, I will demand it; because it's you I want it from, because that's the content I signed up for. But maybe this here is not as much a perk of being outspoken as it is being an intentional lover: I chose you, I'm with you, it's you I want doing these things for/with me, it's you I want to be having this experience with, it's you I want making me feel these things. So who would I be storing up all that discontent waiting to unload on? Ugh! Being (with) an expressive person means that hit or miss, you will hear it, as every other expressive person (and their partners) that I've heard/read has testified. You will hear it if you blow it; and if you don't like to hear it, well then we already know what made it to your 'toxic' list, no?
Communication, however hard it is for you, will always be the way to go in any relationship. Because nobody comes in perfect, and they certainly didn't come in with a handbook on how to love you, even if you have a whole frigging blog/book dedicated to detailing your cools and crazies, lmao; nobody comes in knowing you. And even beyond that, nobody ever gets to a point where they can say they have their partner all figured out, however long they've shared a life; we only get better at understanding each other. And this is the magic of relationships: that we are constantly learning each other, unboxing each other, discovering each other. And this only happens through communication--mostly of the remedial kind too. Because nothing tells me what (not) to do next time like what you (open your mouth to) tell me you feel about what I did last time. It is that simple, it's just crazy how many relationships fall apart because we keep quiet when we should be speaking up, and then start lashing out because we for so long failed to speak out.
Enter Silent Treatment. I will never get this approach. And being me, it of course goes without saying that I find it toxic as hell, forget the fact that it's all shades of narcissistic. Because...pfft, I can't be here always spilling my guts both when I am pleased and not, and you're there with a list of unresolved issues that even I don't realize exist. All this too in your head: there in between us during every hug and every kiss and every lovemaking, wedging a space I'm not aware of--a space I'd rather didn't exist.
I should probably chip it in here too that if you fail to talk to me about what I did that you're having a hard time living down, then you are robbing me of the chance to make it better--and by extension be better, maybe. And that might as well translate to it being all the same to you whether this sails or sinks. Because even the Bible says that it is the child whom the father loves that he bothers to rebuke, which means that if you're interested in making it better, then you would call check-in. Kind of like how folks say that you only leave stuff unfixed when you have other options; but if you don't have an option and this is all the hill you got to die on, then you would fix what breaks, before it's altogether destroyed.
I saw a twitter thread on this topic the other day and it was no surprise that the people who used this treatment on their partners do it "because I don't like drama, I just plug in my earphone, when you tire you go shut up," and "I value my peace of mind and I don't like explaining myself too much," and whatever else, all centering on avoidance. What also didn't come as any surprise was the fact that the people who have suffered this and find it toxic are those who "can't even stay angry for one hour," and "can't even not say what's bothering me or if I'm mad or offended, I will just blow up inside."
What I loved seeing on that thread is the fact that the people who use silence as a weapon are often reluctant apologizers too--if they ever, because of course they "said nothing;" it was you who got crazy. And God, I couldn't relate enough with how maddening that can be: losing the fight simply by virtue of speaking on it. Damn. Because at the end of the day, with a seasoned 'Silent Treater', silent treatment can be a manipulative tool, intended or nah: it is how the offended becomes the offender, because now you're the only one with all these things you have said up in the air, occupying all that annoying silent space...and guess who comes to apologize first? Heh. And although apologizing first ain't a thing for me in a situation where I know I am loved and respected, it took a whole load off of me to know that I'm not crazy for preferring to air shit out now rather than leave it in to fester into a werewolf bite on a vampire, because the effect is the same on the sufferer of silent treatment in a relationship: the injury decays, runs the subject mad, before eventually killing them.
I mean, isn't that what not knowing the mind of your partner does to you: run you mad with wondering/speculations?
And isn't that what unresolved issues does to a relationship: pile up and become the rock that squashes it?
So yes, I vote expression over silence any day. Like...just use your words, baby; in your respectful voice too. :)