The Silent Storm of Stonewalling in Relationships

October 4, 2023by Liz Uimbia0

The Mystery of Stonewalling in Relationships

In the complex world of communication, there’s a term that often flies under the radar – stonewalling, am sure you might have experienced this crazy art of communication nkt! nkt! It’s not the kind of wall you build to keep your nosy neighbour’s dog out of your garden or intruders into your home; instead, it’s the invisible barrier that some people construct in conversations to dismiss your concerns, invalidate your ideas, and evade problem-solving like a ninja. Let’s dive into this fascinating art of conversation disruption to know what exactly is it, and how can you recognize it when it rears its ugly head?

Dismissing Your Concerns

Imagine this; you’re sitting across from someone you care about, eager to discuss an issue that’s been weighing on your mind. You take a deep breath and start sharing your concerns, but they wave you off with a casual, “It’s not a big deal. You’re overreacting.” Bam! That’s stonewalling right there. They’ve just brushed aside your feelings, making you feel like your concerns don’t matter. You could also be to confiding in your partner about a problem at work, and they respond with, “Why are you making such a big deal out of this? It’s not that important.” Oouch!

Dismissing Your Ideas and Perspectives

When stonewalling takes over, it’s like your ideas and perspectives are tossed into a mental trash can. Your partner might make you feel as if your thoughts are worthless or boring, and that can be incredibly hurtful. Imagine you excitedly share an idea for a weekend getaway, and your partner scoffs, saying, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Avoiding Discussion or Problem-Solving

Stonewallers are masters of evasion. They’ll do anything to avoid engaging in meaningful conversations or working through problems. It’s like trying to have a serious talk with a ghost. It could be you attempt to address a recurring issue in your relationship, and your partner suddenly becomes engrossed in their phone, faking ignorance.

Busying Themselves While You’re Trying to Talk

Picture this: You’re pouring your heart out, and your partner decides it’s the perfect moment to become a cleaning tornado or binge-watch their favorite show. It’s the ultimate dismissive move. It’s crazy when you bring up an important matter, and your partner starts washing dishes as if you’re discussing the weather. You would want to punch them on their nose.

Avoiding Eye Contact and Ignoring You

Eye contact is crucial in communication. Stonewallers often refuse to meet your gaze, making you feel invisible. They may roll their eyes or look everywhere but at you. For example, you try to express your feelings, but your partner stares blankly at the TV screen, completely ignoring your presence. Imagine you’re trying to discuss a pressing issue with someone, and they suddenly remember they need to alphabetize their sock drawer right that very moment (to do the most useless thing in the world). That is stonewalling in action! They’re avoiding the conversation and any chance of resolving the problem.

Acts as If You’re Unimportant

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of stonewalling is the message it sends: “You don’t matter.” Stonewallers act as if your thoughts, emotions, and words are inconsequential. You open up about something deeply personal, and your partner responds with a dismissive shrug, as if your words hold no weight. It’s the feeling like you’re the least important person in the room. They act as if your words hold no weight, leaving you feeling insignificant. So painful!

Ignoring You When You Speak

You’re pouring your heart out, sharing your deepest thoughts, and your conversation partner? They just tune you out. It’s like you’re speaking a different language, one they don’t care to understand. In the world of stonewalling, your words are mere background noise. This happens especially when you try to address a relationship issue, and your partner simply walks away without a word.

The Legendary Eye Rolling

Ah, the classic eye roll. It’s the universal sign of contempt, a non-verbal way to say, “You’re annoying me.” Or “I can’t believe I have to listen to this nonsense.” It’s dismissive body language at its finest. When stonewalling is at play, eye rolling becomes a frequent guest in your interactions. A good example is when your teenager rolls their eyes when you try to set some reasonable boundaries, as if your parental wisdom is utterly absurd. Also, you express your opinion, and your partner responds with an exaggerated eye roll, making it clear they have no patience for your perspective.

In conclusion, stonewalling is a communication pattern that can erode trust and intimacy in relationships. Recognizing it is the first step to addressing and resolving the underlying issues. Remember, healthy communication is the foundation of any strong relationship, and stonewalling has no place in it.

Read on – Psychological and Emotional Effects of Stonewalling

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