Have you ever had a disagreement with your partner, and as you’re confronting them about it, they completely ignore you? No matter how you try to communicate with them, they just won’t respond to you – making an already complicated situation more complicated. That, my friend, is called stonewalling – or in layman’s terms, the silent treatment.
Stonewalling is when a person completely shuts down and is unresponsive to attempts by another party to settle a conflict. This makes the other person feel frustrated, because they are basically talking to a wall. If you happen to have a partner who does this, there are a few ways to respond to them to make sure that your relationship remains sound. Because there’s nothing that helps a relationship blossom more than communication.
So, ahead are four ways you can respond to your partner when they stonewall you.
Walk In Their Shoes
Okay, not literally. But try to see things from their perspective. It’s probably that they’re feeling overwhelmed by the situation and don’t know how to express their thoughts properly – hence, they become completely silent. Try to show that you support them, and remind them that you value the relationship and want to fix the situation. Don’t bombard them with more chaos, because that will get you nowhere.
Give Them Some Space
Once you’ve let them know that you care and wish to settle the conflict, let them be with their thoughts. Giving them space is the only way to alleviate the tension, and don’t crush them to the point they feel overwhelmed. Allow them to make the next step on how they want to navigate the situation, so that both of you are ready to talk about the conflict. Because I’m pretty sure that the first thing you want to do is let bygones be bygones.
Address The Behaviour
This could be tricky to bring up, but not impossible. You need to navigate the conversation towards their stonewalling, without blaming or attacking them. Mention how stonewalling doesn’t fix anything and would only be detrimental to the relationship. Also, bring up the fact that communication is truly key to a successful relationship. Find solutions instead of ignoring the problems.
Re-evaluate The Relationship
If you find yourself in this predicament constantly, it’s best to re-asses your relationship. It’s honestly not healthy to be in a relationship where your voice doesn’t matter, and all you want to do is settle the conflict. If your partner tries to fix their behaviour for the betterment of the relationship, then that’s obviously good. But if they don’t, then I wouldn’t waste my time on them.
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