What do you think is the core for sustaining a healthy relationship? If the answer is something other than communication, it calls for a discussion. Now imagine something hitting the very core of your relationship? It needs to be checked. This brings us to the question this blog is going to revolve around, “what is stonewalling.”
We tried summing up everything you need to know in this blog.
What is Stonewalling in a Relationship?
Definition: “Stonewalling is when one person is cognitively or emotionally inaccessible to another person. In relationships, this means one partner blocks out the other in a figurative or literal sense.”
In Simpler Words: During disagreements in a relationship, when partners start to discontinue dialogues, shut down, or create a wall in between to deny access to the other person, it’s called Stonewalling.
Examples of Stonewalling
Here are a few examples of stonewalling for a better understanding.
- Silent treatment
- Walking away in the middle of an argument
- Aggressive body language
- Avoiding the issue and eye-contact
- Playing blame games
- Simply saying words like I am fine or Okay
- Busy all the time
- Obsessive behavior
- Shutting down other conversations too
Why Do People Engage in Stonewalling?
Stonewalling can be a reflex action when a partner is trying to stop a fight or trying to get out of an argument. On the extreme side, it could be a partner’s way to manipulate a situation, take control or a way of punishing their partner.
Whatever the reason is, it’s an alarming trait that needs to be checked.
How Stonewalling Negatively Impacts A Relationship?
It’s downright toxic to build a wall around you when in an argument with your partner. This habit can ruin your relationship in no time. Here’s what you must know.
1. Unresolved Issues
Once the access is denied, all the issues that popped up remain unclosed. Sure the partner doesn’t want to continue all the uncomfortable conversation, its byproduct is those issues piling up leading to other sets of problems. One is disrespect.
Imagine someone shutting you out. Isn’t there a sense of disrespect that flares up? It’s hurtful too. In a healthy relationship, respect also holds a prime spot. If couples behave a certain way where respect feels targeted, there’s trouble.
In a conversation with different couples, many have accepted that they were in the same room close to each other and still felt lonely as an after consequences of stonewalling. The situation where partners shut each other down can feel isolating. Even if it’s chronic stonewalling, it could lead to chronic isolation that’s equally unhealthy.
4. Anger & Resentment
Emotional withdrawal could badly trigger some people, while others tend to deal with it smoothly. Ignorance can often lead to triggering deep wounds that invite conflicts for no reason.
How to Deal With Stonewalling?
To deal with stonewalling in relationships, we have some expert-backed approaches to help you out.
1. Analyze the Problem
In order to treat a disease, trace its root. The same applies here. Understand why stonewalling is happening in the first place. It’s because it makes the other person feel an anger rush, they are feeling hopeless, unsafe, or it could be anything. Once you figure out what to pinpoint and work on, the solution part becomes easy.
2. Be Clear & Direct
Getting your tone right helps mitigate the situation because there’s always a calm and direct approach you can follow. Therefore, healthy adult communication is needed.
3. Deal With Gentle Kindness
There’s nothing wrong in taking the front seat and righteously putting your point forth. But sometimes, the situation might demand otherwise. Your aggressive approach will only amplify the situation when slowness and quietness are what your partner is seeking. Show them that you respect their sense of kindness while also communicating your dialogue.
4. Relationship Therapist
It’s okay to have blind spots in relationships and it’s totally okay if you can’t figure out what’s next now. You can’t always be the master of your own situation. Therefore, a relationship therapist is what we would advise.
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How To Control If You Are The One Who’s Stonewalling?
With learning what to do when someone is stonewalling you, you must check your behavior too. Here’s how you can control yourself from stonewalling your partner.
1. Understand & Act
Understand your discomfort’s threshold, listen to it & act accordingly. You must be self-aware when it’s time to stop. A little self-analysis would go a long way.
2. Act To Get Back To The Baseline
You will be surprised to know that your body just needs 20 minutes to get back to a state of normalcy & you can actually control it. How? Involve in some self-soothing activity like:
- Music is a great escape
- A long walk
- Hot bath to calm you down
- Some yoga poses maybe
- Take deep breaths
Once you are calm and relaxed, try to work things out with your partner again. Re-engage and make plans mutually.
Simply understanding what is stonewalling won’t lead anywhere unless you understand it from each angle. Stonewalling, if left unchecked, can negatively contribute to a relationship or its end. It weakens the love thread and could end up being destructive.
We hope your navigation through the blog benefits you if you are suffering from the same situation.