Ever heard the saying “silence speaks louder than words?” I find this particularly resonates with women in relationships who, for one reason or another, feel like they don’t have a voice.
It’s a tricky situation.
Often, women resort to certain actions to communicate their feelings indirectly, when they feel unheard or undervalued.
In this article, we’ll explore 7 such behaviors. But keep in mind – they’re not mind games or manipulative tactics. Instead, they are desperate attempts at expression.
Let’s dive into the matter and shed some light on these often misconstrued behaviors.
1) They retreat into silence
Silence, they say, is golden.
But in a relationship, it can also be a telltale sign of discontentment.
When women feel like they don’t have a voice, they often retreat into a shell of silence. It’s not the comfortable silence you share with a loved one. Rather, it’s a loud, piercing silence that screams “I’m not okay.”
Why is this?
Because sometimes, silence becomes the only tool to express discontentment when words go unnoticed. It becomes their way of making their presence felt, ironically, by their absence in conversation.
2) They overcompensate through actions
Now this one hits close to home for me.
There was a time when I felt unheard in my relationship. It was like being stuck in the middle of a lake with no oars, shouting for help but no one could hear me.
So, what did I do?
I started overcompensating through my actions. I would go out of my way to do things that I hoped would make my partner appreciate and listen to me. It was as if I was trying to scream, “Look at me, value me, hear me,” through every chore completed or every meal cooked.
In hindsight, it wasn’t the healthiest coping mechanism. It only bred resentment and exhaustion.
If you notice your partner going out of their way to do things for you, it might not just be out of love. It might be their way of crying out for attention and validation.
3) They become overly agreeable
Here’s another one I can personally relate to.
When I found my words falling on deaf ears, I decided to take another route. I became the ‘yes’ woman. Agreeing to everything, even when it went against my own interests or comfort.
Why did I do that?
I was trying to avoid conflict, hoping that my compliance would somehow make my partner realize that something was off. I thought if I agreed with everything and dropped all resistance, he would notice the shift in dynamics and finally ask me, “What’s wrong?”
But here is the thing.
This approach didn’t work either. Instead of triggering a conversation, it made me feel more invisible. It felt like I was erasing my identity bit by bit.
4) They start seeking external validation
When a woman consistently feels unheard in a relationship, she might start looking for validation elsewhere.
Let’s break this down.
Being unheard often equates to feeling undervalued. This can lead to a serious dent in self-esteem. So, to fill this void, she might turn to friends, family, or even social media for appreciation and validation.
This isn’t about seeking attention or approval from others. It’s about trying to regain the lost sense of self-worth.
It’s essential to address this issue and reassure them that their voice matters.
5) They start to change their appearance
Did you know that our appearance can often be a reflection of our internal state?
When women feel voiceless in relationships, they might start altering their appearance drastically. This could be anything from a dramatic haircut to a sudden change in wardrobe.
But why would they do this?
Well, it’s like a silent announcement of their inner turmoil. A visual cue that something is not right. By transforming their exterior, they might be hoping to spark a conversation about their feelings or signal their need for change.
Don’t ignore sudden shifts in your partner’s appearance. It might be more than just a style experiment. It could be their way of expressing a cry for help.
6) They start to disconnect emotionally
Disconnecting emotionally is a defense mechanism that I’ve employed when I felt unheard in a relationship.
In the face of constant dismissal, it felt safer to build walls around my heart. I would remain present physically but withdraw emotionally, hoping that this emotional distance would serve as a wake-up call.
Though it seems like an easy way out, it’s not. The emotional disconnect only led to a wider gap between my partner and me, making the situation even more complicated.
Starting an open, empathetic conversation could help bridge this disconnect.
7) They may consider ending the relationship
This is the hardest part.
When all attempts to be heard fail, some women might contemplate ending the relationship. It’s not a decision taken lightly, but rather a desperate measure taken when they feel there’s no other way to reclaim their voice.
It’s a heartbreaking scenario, but it underlines the importance of communication and validation in a relationship.
If you sense your partner is drifting away, don’t wait until it’s too late. Initiate a conversation. Validate their feelings. Show them that their voice matters to you, and that they are an equal partner in the relationship.
Awareness is the first step towards change. Once you identify these behaviors, you can start to address the underlying feelings of being unheard and undervalued.
It’s essential to establish open lines of communication in your relationship. Expressing your feelings and needs might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a crucial part of building a healthy, balanced partnership.
Remember, your voice matters. Your feelings are valid. And you deserve to be heard in your relationship.
Take small steps towards asserting your voice. Start with open conversations about your feelings. Practice active listening with your partner and encourage them to do the same.
So as you navigate through this journey, be gentle with yourself. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and remember it’s okay to ask for help when needed.