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Stonewalling

Has Someone Stopped Talking to You?

Young married couple quarrels in bed-room. Depressed man sitting on the edge of the bed. Focus on man

Stonewalling

Mind Game OR Emotion Overwhelm?

Stonewalling is the term for when a person decides to deliberately stop communicating or cooperating to frustrate or punish the other party.

Stonewalling is an aggressive act and a form of ‘mind games’ or mental abuse.

While Stonewalling is aggressive if done deliberately, it is important to remember that when faced with criticism or conflict, it is very human for us to reach a point where we freeze up and are no longer able to communicate.

If the person you are talking to is not answering, before you decide they are Stonewalling you, it is important to understand that they may be overwhelmed emotionally.

Men are especially prone to emotional overwhelm.

Are you trying to get your partner to help you feel better when perhaps they don’t even know how to deal with their own feelings of anger and hurt?

Silence in a fight may mean the person you are with may need time to process and find their emotional balance again. Don’t become hurtful at the worst possible moment by perhaps mistakenly thinking your partner is deliberately ignoring you or trying to hurt you.

Don’t say: “Stop ignoring me!” Do say: “I need some time to cool off and you probably do too. I am going to take some time out. We can talk about this later when we have both calmed down.”

Stonewalling as Mental Abuse

At other times silence may be a way that a person avoids talking about something that makes them uncomfortable. Refusing to answer may be a way to reject a person or put them down. This may be because the person feels hurt and wants to hurt you back or it may be a form of crazy making.

Crazy Making:  Crazy Making is when a person tries to drive you crazy – so that then they can blame their bad behaviour on you.

A lot of men who have affairs do this when they blame their affairs on their wives being crazy. So if you think about it, no matter the reason a person stops talking – getting angry is usually not going to be helpful. Stop and put yourself in the person’s shoes for a moment and see if you can imagine what they are feeling. Even if their silence is designed to hurt you, it will be better if you do your best to avoid a fight and instead try and figure out how to best end the cycle of abuse.

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