Stonewalling communication relationship skills

how to remedy stonewalling

stonewalling communication relationship skills

Communication can be very difficult when surviving infidelity. a healthy relationship and practicing good communication skills earlier on in our marriage. It is the refusal to solve problems by non-communication or other strategies. In relationships, stonewalling is the emotional equivalent to cutting off someone's A husband's ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than. In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman identifies criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling as.

A mutually agreed-upon signal for the use of time-out. It is best to have both a verbal and nonverbal hand signal way of communicating the need to take a time-out. The person who takes the time-out is the one who leaves the room. If you cannot reasonably follow your agreement, then you are out of your own control. If one person calls for a proper time-out and the partner does not respect it, then that partner is out of control.

Both people wearing a pulse watch, with the alarm set at beats a minute, is another way to signal the need for a time-out. Both parties have to agree to disengage after a time-out is called.

Stonewalling - Wikipedia

There is to be no following the partner who called the time-out. Admittedly this is difficult. For some, the only way they self-soothe is by withdrawing and processing the information in order to discuss the topic.

Others need to keep talking to get resolution to reduce their stress. The conversation ends when the time-out is called. Never try to get in the last word.


When calling a time-out, the following needs to be communicated: That you agree to follow the time-out protocol.

That you agree to begin again in thirty minutes. What to do during the thirty minutes: Try to find something else to focus on such as reading a book, taking a walk or simply getting fresh air. Upon returning to the discussion: Begin by stating two things you appreciate about your mate. Each person presents his or her solution to the problem, and the other person listens without interrupting or belittling. Together, choose parts of both solutions that will make both parties satisfied.

stonewalling communication relationship skills

Be flexible and look to compromise. Listen to see if you can understand how your mate is feeling and communicate your understanding.

stonewalling communication relationship skills

Here are three, critical observations about the toxicity of stonewalling and why it becomes our go to response in these areas: This means that person at the receiving end is also likely to react in a certain way.

The very obvious way, and a very detrimental way, in which the victim deals with stonewalling is by getting aggressive to make a point. After all, as the numerous attempts to communicate with the partner seem all in vain, it only adds to the vexation. This creates a helplessness, which leads to using every means possible to get through to the partner. Oftentimes, it results in screaming, threatening, gathering an audience, and so on. However, at this point, the purpose is no longer communication, but more so, an ego that wants to prove itself.

On the other hand, if you intend to deal with stonewalling in your relationship, you need to understand the effect it has on you. Many a time, stonewalling puts the victim in self-doubt, making him wonder what went wrong, making him question his actions, and thus pushing in a venomous blame-game within themselves. The frustration it causes, the guilt it creates, and the helplessness it makes the victim feel, becomes so overwhelming that the victim is left with no choice but to act with certain haste to set things right.

stonewalling communication relationship skills

This haste becomes the birth of desperate aggressive attempts to mend things. However, all this while, as the perpetrator keeps cool and remains confined to certain quietness, it makes the victim's behavior seem aggressive.

Obviously, in comparison, the victim is only being aggressive out of a desperate need to get the partner's attention. Thus, stonewalling changes the victim's behavior, and the problems worsens, making the wall between the two seem even greater and stronger. After all, what the victim could not have changed, changed the victim instead.

As it is fair to only accept the truth to live more honestly, understand that you have changed in a way that will not solve your issue. The problem of stonewalling has to be approached in a different way for a solution. Causes of Stress Here comes the most important part in dealing with stonewalling in a relationship. Identifying the causes of stress in your individual lives, which naturally percolates into your relationship, is like disentangling wool, to begin knitting afresh.

Careers, finances, kids, social pressures, and the list can go on and on that denotes stress triggers in a relationship. In a stereotypical situation, amidst the insecurity of jobs and rising cost of living, a man finds himself reeling under the pressure of carving his niche and providing for his family. As the pressure increases, he creates a tunnel vision, shutting everyone out to purely focus on his career.

His inability and his disinterest in the domestic affairs draws criticism from his partner, leading the man to build a stonewall. Initially, the conversation attempts made by the partner are met with crossed arms, rolling eyes, a stone face, snide remarks, and every other way in which a body can project disinterest through its own language.

As this continues, that problem aggravates. Instead of criticizing your partner, try to be more patient. Tune into your partner's fears, insecurities, anger, hurt, and confusion. So overwhelming are these emotions that they cannot be dealt with alone, and so gripping are they, that they suppress the person's ability to express them also.

If you truly understand your partner, keep aside your own anger and ego to let him know that you are on his side.

Build don't break relationships with communication - connect the dots - Amy Scott - TEDxQueenstown

To build a healthy relationship is to build a healthy ego. However, at the same time, it is to develop a part that forever remains a stranger to that ego. Only when this is learned, the art of forgiving can be inculcated and causes of stonewalling be eliminated.

stonewalling communication relationship skills

Seek Re-connections When you first fell in love, what were you doing? How did you meet? How did you come so far? The answers to all these questions are your solutions to prevent this relationship from falling apart. Take a walk down memory lane, look at old photographs, revisit the places you used to go to in happier times, make a conscious effort to focus on the positive aspects of your relationships, and seek re-connections with each other.

In a relationship which has a miasma of anger and doubt looming over it, it is difficult to see the love that once existed. But then again, all the great love stories have one thing in common; you have to fight the odds to make it happen. Allow the anger to dissipate so that the void can be filled in with new feelings towards each other. Letting go of the past is never a sign of weakness. There is power in letting go too, both in bidding the last goodbye and making an effort to move on for a better tomorrow with each other.

When the undercurrent of a relationship is still love and respect, no wall can make two individuals stand apart. For What It's Worth Every equation bears witness to hopes raised and dashed.

It goes through its own attempts at saving and sharing. Each individual in a relationship seeks companionship, togetherness, a profound sense of fulfillment, and most importantly, an honest and a non-judgmental friendship.

Communication Killers: How to Remedy Stonewalling

But if your arduous attempts at saving your marriage are met with equally arduous attempts at stonewalling, you need to reassess your investment. If you partner is taking away everything from the relationship by being an apparent victim, you need to decide what it's truly worth. Stonewalling, for some people, becomes a matter of habit, rather than an isolated method of defense.