Have you ever had somebody get upset or angry with you and stop speaking to you? I notice that it happens frequently, with my patients reporting how painful it is to be on the receiving end of the Big Chill. It can happen with not only children, but with full grown and educated adults.
Putting loved ones in the chill box and shutting down and not responding to them is highly unskilled and emotionally primitive behavior. It doesn't look good on a small child, but this poor coping strategy looks even worse on adults.
If you recognize this pattern in yourself, it's time to do some self-reflection. Where and when did you learn this passive aggressive pattern of behavior? It can actually feel worse to your loved one than punching them. Your behavior is actively making the relationship less safe for the other person. It's a power grab of sorts, in an unfair and childlike delivery.
Is this how you watched the adults in your family solve differences or work through competing needs?
Who did you go to when you were upset as a young person growing up? Was there anyone safe who would listen compassionately, or did you learn to stuff your upset feelings inside and get your retaliation by refusing to speak to others?
Perhaps now is the time to update your skill level if you notice that you have this tendency to punish others by not speaking. Emotionally mature people use words to express if they feel angry, hurt, or mad and need a little time out to cool themselves down before talking things through.
It's perfectly okay to be upset, hurt, or angry. In relationships with another person, you won't always get your needs met. You are not always more important than the other person. You won't always get your own way. Dealing with disappointment and frustration are two things we all need to get good at. It's part of our human experience.
The next time you have the urge to pout, sulk, or freeze your loved one out by not speaking to them, think again. Choose a better, more grown up path. Your relationship can only be as close and secure as you and the other person cab build it. Don't dismantle what you are building because you are reverting back to childish tactics. You deserve better, and so does the other person in the relationship with you. Develop some new strategies. The deep freeze may be a good place for ice cream, but it's a bad place to put your most valuable relationships.