Learning how to deal with stonewalling and what to do when a man shuts down emotionally is super important for your romantic life & relationships! Dealing with dismissive behavior in relationships and emotional disengagement can be tough, but knowing the keys to stonewalling psychology and stonewalling abuse can open up the door to a happy, OPEN communication with your partner. In this training, you will learn how to navigate feeling unimportant in a relationship when they shut down and also how to stop stonewalling emotional abuse and negative communication styles in relationship. Enjoy!
Would you like to learn the top five secrets on how to communicate with someone who shuts down? Hi! I’m Antia Boyd, founder and creator of the “Magnetize Your Man” Method. I know it’s not easy when someone shuts down, so here are five secrets on how to handle that.
1. Give Them Loving Space!
Secret number one is give them some space. Yes, that’s right. Now, what do we so often do when someone shuts down? Well, it also depends on your attachment style, of course, but for the most part we’re running after them, we’re concerned, and we think we may lose them. Why? Because that fear of abandonment is coming up, and so we want to reconnect with them and we want them to reassure us that everything is okay. But that is way too much to ask of someone in that moment.
Here is why: When someone shuts down it is really a survival mechanism. In that moment, this person does not feel safe. They don’t feel protected. Something inside of them feels threatened and feels like they need to separate for a moment to just come back to themselves. So, if someone wants space, or when somebody shuts down, they need space to assemble all the parts inside of themselves. They’re basically recalibrating; They’re reorganizing all those parts that are really confusing and overwhelming in their system. Then they can approach the situation, the argument, the conversation, whatever it may be, with a much clearer head. That’s why you want to give them loving space.
2. Focus On Yourself
Secret number two is focus on yourself. What happens so often when someone shuts down is you actually focus on them, because you’re wondering, “Is he okay? Is he changing his mind? Is he upset with me?” By the way, that’s how a baby thinks. A baby always makes everything about itself. Why? Because it needs to have this illusion of control. So it’s going to think, “Mom’s not in a good mood today. It must be because I did something wrong” or “Dad’s not available. Must be because I’m not understanding something right.” So, they always make it about themselves.
What you want to do instead is focus on yourself, because when you focus on them, then you become almost codependent; You make it your fault. But if you focus on yourself, then you might notice that maybe you’re feeling scared right now. Maybe you need to go on a walk right now. Maybe you need to journal, and maybe you need to organize your own thoughts and your own feelings inside of yourself.
It’s really about focusing on yourself. And I know this can be really hard, particularly if you’re more focused on being “other” focused. If you fall more into that codependent category, it’s not easy to do that. But yet, it’s so helpful, because in that moment, unfortunately, you need to learn to soothe yourself. The other person just doesn’t have the resources to soothe you in that moment, to reassure you in that moment. So, the only answer for you is focusing on yourself.
3. Improve Yourself & Your Own Self Worth
Secret number three is raise your own self worth. Now, what happens when someone shuts down is you’re really doubting yourself, questioning yourself, and it could really hurt your self-confidence and sense of worthiness in yourself. So, it’s really important to take a piece of paper and write down why you are worthy.
Look, I know what happens when somebody shuts down; it re-traumatizes your childhood experience. If you didn’t get the attention after you asked for it, or after you expressed your needs and they were not met, or if your Mom and Dad consistently missed the mark, then you learned when someone shuts down to think, “I’m not worthy. I’m not valuable. I’m not worth it to put the extra effort in.” Try to not take it personally, but do work on your self-worth, on your confidence, and just, again, call a friend, or write down why you are worthy in that moment. Really lean into that, and also remember that you have several different parts inside of yourself.
The part that feels unworthy is the little girl, and then you have other parts inside of you; for example, the queen that can actually take care of that little girl part. So, you can cry. You can be sad. You can feel like you were abandoned or you have separation anxiety. And at the same time, feel as if another part is holding you, is taking care of you, but also saying, “Yes. Absolutely. You have all the right to feel this way. How else are you feeling?” This can usually be beautifully done through journaling, because we can more easily facilitate our thought processes through writing. But it can also be done with another friend. Or of course, just thinking about it as well, just really imagining you have this gorgeous blanket of your favorite color wrapped all around that little girl inside of yourself; really make her feel safe and warm, and know that he will be back.
4. Claim Your Needs & Be Willing To Move On
Secret number four – and now we’re really escalating – is really claiming your own needs and being willing to walk away. This happens more on a regular basis if this person simply cannot be present with you and cannot sit through an argument. They always have to run; they always have to separate, and there’s just so much rupture happening all the time that it’s tearing on your confidence. It’s tearing on your trust towards the other person as well.
It’s really about claiming, “This is what I need. Every time when you walk away, what I need is you telling me that you’ll be back in five minutes. Or what I need is you to stay here. What I need you to do is maybe take a timeout for 5-10 minutes, and then come back and join the conversation again. I need you to be present. I need you to be present to my emotions, versus shutting down.” Oftentimes, men shut down because they feel completely overwhelmed, and he simply can’t hold space with that gorgeous feminine complexity of emotions, that rainbow of emotions that we all of course have.
In a moment when everything is sudden – but not in a heated moment – just explain to him what you really need when you get angry, when things get heated, when you get sad, when you feel great, whatever the case may be when you notice that he’s normally shutting down. Then also, just really see what you can provide for him so he can give that to you. So, have a conversation about it. If that doesn’t happen and he’s consistently shutting down, and he’s just not present, and he’s just not holding space, and you feel like you always have to hold your own space, or you have to walk on eggshells the whole time, then it may also be the time to simply move on.
5. Stay Available
Lastly, secret number 5: continue to be available. What so often happens when the other person shuts down is that you become sort of passive aggressive towards the other person. What you do is, “Okay. I gave all my power away. I just went through my fear of abandonment and my fear of separation, and I don’t know if I can completely trust you.” And so you’re not completely available anymore.
You’re actually backing off. You’re actually closing off yourself. He wasn’t fair; he didn’t trust; he wasn’t connected, and now you’re greeting him in the same way. That of course is going to be really hard as well, because it’s going to be disorienting for him. It’s also going to send mixed signals to him. Instead, do what you can so you can continue to stay available. And when he comes back, be non-judgmental; let him move through his emotions and then allow yourself to move through your emotions as well. Of course, within reason. As I said in secret four, if this happens all the time, it may be time to have a more in-depth conversation about that.
Now if you want to discover how to attract an emotionally available, highly fulfilling long-term relationship where you can feel fully supported, loved & CHERISHED, then I HIGHLY recommend taking my FREE “Magnetize Your Man” Quiz, and getting your Free customized strategy based on your answers which you can get now using the button now below!