If you don’t say something, you are saying a lot.
“Silence is a window into a fundamental misunderstanding in semiotics, the study of signs. “http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy/201110/the-silent-treatment-when-people-leave-you-guessing
Research indicates that children would rather be yelled at than ignored. When prisoners are being punished, they are put in isolation, because being isolated is one of the harshest punishments there is — other than physical abuse. Likewise, the silent treatmentis a form of punishment, a way of attempting to control your partner or others into doing what you want them to do. It is a withdrawal of approval, and can cause much fear in people who are vulnerable to this.
You are giving people the silent treatment when you shut down to them, closing your heart and refusing to interact with them or acknowledge their presence. You act as if they are invisible, not responding to them at all or giving them a very minimal and withheld response. Your hope in treating them this way is that they will get the message that they have displeased you. They have done something wrong in your eyes and deserve to be punished, deserve to have your “love” taken away. Ref
When you ignore people and they know you are ignoring them, you hurt them.