STONEWALLING PSYCHOLOGY & STONEWALLING ABUSE – WHAT IS STONEWALLING? ? Knowing how to communicate with someone who shuts down can be a big key to stop feeling unimportant in a relationship. Contempt in relationships can also lead to stonewalling emotional abuse and is part of the negative communication styles. If you find yourself or your partner shutting down emotionally and are experiencing stonewalling in a relationship and feeling emotionally down because of it, then this training will really help. Enjoy! ?
Would you like to learn about stonewalling psychology and stonewalling abuse? And what is stonewalling, anyways? Hi! I'm Antia Boyd, founder and creator of the “Magnetize Your Man” Method. Stonewalling is so challenging; It is when the other person is withdrawing. There is a breakdown in communication after the other partner was expressing something that may have been really important to them, which may have been emotionally charged. This, on the other hand, may have led to an overwhelming of the system of the owner who is then withdrawing and building a wall around themselves, hence stonewalling. So, we're going to talk about five main causes of stonewalling.
1. Using Silence As a Form of Punishment
Cause number one is using stonewalling as a silent treatment as punishment. This is a more manipulative way to use stonewalling, because it is meant to punish and inflict a sort of emotional pain on the other person. What it really draws on is that need for approval, that need for connection that we all innately have inside of ourselves. Attachment systems teach us that we have to connect to our primary caregiver, and then later on the primary caregiver becomes our romantic partner. Not that he's going to be our caregiver, but we're going to have the same emotional intimacy with our romantic partner that we have with our primary caregiver. And hence, we will then mirror the existing relationship we have around that attachment.
So, what needs to happen here is really understanding that you could have a conversation with the other person, but they intentionally use that to make you be who they want you to be, to be like, “I'm teaching you a lesson.” It's a more passive aggressive type of communication and I absolutely don't recommend it. As a matter of fact, it's going to lead to much bigger problems in the relationship. So, watch out for that for sure.
2. Emotional Lack Of Maturity
Cause number two is a lack of emotional maturity. Now, in my “Magnetize Your Man” group coaching program, we talk a lot about the six masculine and the six feminine archetypes. What happens here is that your partner – this could be a man or woman, it doesn't matter – doesn't have the capacity to handle the emotional impact on the nervous system or also on yourself. So, let's say you are really angry and their system can't hold that anger, can't hold space for that anger, because they are archetypes that are not really developed, meaning maybe the little boy part developed.
Maybe he can be really playful and really joyful, but when it comes to “the wild man” or “the wild woman”, who would be able to handle more intense emotions, that is just not given. There’s a lack of emotional maturity; they don't know how to handle it. Think about how a baby and how a toddler would handle a very intense situation? They would probably withdraw; they would probably get away from it. Compare that to saying, “hey, hold on a second. Let's talk about it. What is going on for you? Tell me more about it. How can you express it more? How can we create a safe container for you to feel safe enough to express it, and then ultimately come to an agreement that works for both of us?” That takes emotional maturity, which of course is more connected to “the wild man”. It’s more connected to “the king”, as well.
I call it King-Tegrity. Or for the men, if you’re a man reading this, maybe for your girlfriend or your wife it’s the Queen-Tegrity. That king or queen has a vision; they see the big picture; they don’t get lost in all those details and every single word, but actually sees, wow, this person is just furious right now. This person feels like they need an emotional release, and even more so if you’re more emotionally mature. This person ultimately needs to feel safe right now, they need to feel hurt right now. When you get to that level of relationship and relating to each other, you really can break through those causes of stonewalling.
3. Shame & Judgement Of Themselves
Cause number three is interesting enough; it’s the fear of shame of yourself, or towards yourself. If you feel like, “well, I should not express my emotions, or I don't have the right to be here in this world.” Well, we’re now talking about the psychological stages of development.
Sometimes we feel like we don’t even have the right to take up space. We feel so much shame around it. So, what we do instead is nothing. We're just stonewalling it. We’re just withdrawing. We’re just afraid that if I actually lean in and say, “hey, I don't think that's okay. What you just said or did really hurt my feelings.” If we can do that, that’s great, because we’re actually afraid to express our own opinion. But, that can oftentimes also lead to stonewalling.
This of course comes from minimizing your own opinions, your own words, your own truth, because you think, well, my truth is not that relevant here. I need to better understand the other person in this equation. This also comes from feeling you’re more focused on the other. If you’re more other-focused, you have nothing else. What about you? Are you focusing on yourself? And if you don't do that, then the system starts to be overwhelmed and eventually shuts down. This also happens due to conflicts inside of yourself, which we’ll talk a little bit about in cause number four.
4. Feeling A Lack Of Control
Cause number four is that fear of lack of control. Here's what we're really talking about, we’re really understanding the different parts inside of ourselves, like the Protector, or the Manager. If we know how we’re supposed to walk around in the world, then that world and that life works for us, and we survive. Now, if we’re hitting this wall (literally no pun intended) of losing control then the system shuts down, because what happens is that a conflict occurs. If a plus and a minus meet, they attract, but they can also cancel each other out. What's important to know here is if you send the yes, but your body wants to say no, then you’re canceling out the entire signal. That's what I was talking about.
If you have conflicting energy, if you have tension, then that can become unbearable inside of your system. And so the system goes “oh my gosh, I don't want to lose control. I'm already losing control. I'm starting to feel lost.” That again comes from old childhood warnings and patterns of feeling lost, of maybe not having the control that you had with your mom around, when you were getting nourished and nursed when you really needed it, getting timely attention and potentially also approval from your primary caregivers. Then in response, this can trigger that fear of loss or control, and then what happens is the trigger becomes so strong that the whole system shuts down.
5. Fear of Confrontation/Insecurity
Finally, cause number five is ultimately the fear of confrontation, and this is really important if you have an experience from your own childhood where confrontation was absolutely not safe. Maybe you grew up in an abusive household where your dad or your mom were raging alcoholics, maybe they were bipolar, they had swinging moods, maybe there was unpredictability, then there's a huge fear of confrontation, because there was a negative association. It's not just a negative association, it was actually dangerous, because the thought that you would have confronted your parents back then maybe would have been the difference between life or death.
On the other hand, the other kind of household where you develop this fear of confrontation is when nobody speaks the truth, when everything is being brushed under the carpet, and they’re like, no don't share this, and no this is a family secret, and we're not going to do this. There are these overly private families where everything is so wonderful on the outside, where they have two kids and a dog and the white picket fence, but on the inside there's actually a lot of tumult and maybe a lot of passive aggression going on, because they can't express on the outside what they really feel. Those people have a tremendous fear of confrontation.
Of course, that fear of confrontation is also rooted in fearing the sphere of abandonment, really fearing that if I rock the boat, the other person will leave me or I will be excluded from my tribe. Maybe your family would say you are the black sheep, because they all know how to dress, they all know how to behave. You notice these perfectionistic families on Instagram, these picture perfect families where everybody just does what they're supposed to do. I call that functioning over feeling.
That also leads to a fear of conflict, which can then lead to thinking, “okay then, how else can I respond? Okay, I can stonewall.” What we think in that moment when we stonewall is also de-escalating the situation, of taking the tension away and smoothing things out. The problem is that your truth, your opinion, your authentic alignment and expression also suffer tremendously.
This is the end of those five causes of stonewalling psychology and also stonewalling abuse. I'd love to hear from you. The question of the day is: which of those stonewalling causes are you mostly confronted with, either within yourself because you are the stonewaller (which by the way, I have totally done that before), or the stonewallee, meaning you’re receiving the stonewalling all the time. So, which one makes the biggest difference for you that we share today?
And if you would like to continue on and learn how to increase your emotional maturity, how to better understand your archetypes, how to show more congruently in your truth and really face any situation, and to have a harmonious and authentically trusting relationship, then I HIGHLY recommend taking my FREE “Magnetize Your Man” Quiz to get your free GIFTS based on your answers to help you to attract the right loving, long-term and supportive relationship for you using the button below!