Why Stonewalling is a Powerful Relationship Killer
What's Stonewalling? Are You Doing It?
Stonewalling is an unhealthy response to conflict. Lots of people who don't know how to resolve conflict in a healthy way, advocate for themselves, or manage their emotions do it to stay safe from overwhelming emotions.
They take on the posture of a stone wall. They are immovable. Perhaps they stop talking, zone out, physically leave, ignore the other person, pretend they are fine, or say that they will talk about the issue, then never do.
It's incredibly frustrating to the person who isn't heard and leaves relationship issues unresolved. The stonewalling may calm things down, but it creates long term damage that is often hard to overcome.
What To Do Instead
Here are some suggestions for how to handle stonewalling.
People engage in stonewalling to protect themselves from emotional harm.
Taking a break when stonewalling happens is a way to set a boundary that says, "I will not speak with you until we can do so calmly." This works far better to create safety and solve an issue than stonewalling.
So, why not give it a try?
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