Stonewalling: What It Is and Why Do Some People Do it?


Stonewalling is a way of shutting down communication by refusing to engage in discussion or listen to what the other person has to say. This can be done by giving silent treatment, dismissing the other person’s concerns, or pretending everything is fine when it clearly isn’t. Stonewalling is a way of preventing productive communication and can be damaging to relationships.

Stonewalling: What It Is and Why Do Some People Do it?

Stonewalling is a defensive behaviour that people use to protect themselves from emotional pain. When someone is feeling overwhelmed, they may shut down and withdraw from the situation. This can be a way to avoid conflict or to avoid feeling emotions that are too difficult to deal with.

Stonewalling can also be a way to control the situation. When someone is stonewalling, they are not engaging in the conversation. This can make the other person feel like they are not being heard or like their opinions do not matter.

Stonewalling can be harmful to relationships because it can create distance between the people involved. When one person is stonewalling, the other person may feel like they are not being respected or valued. This can lead to resentment and conflict.

If you are in a relationship with someone who stonewalls, it is important to communicate your needs and expectations. Let them know that you are open to discussion and that you value their input. If they continue to stonewall, you may need to seek counselling or therapy to help address the issue.

What Impact Does Stonewalling Have on the Other Person?

Stonewalling can have a negative impact on the other person, as it can make them feel shut out and unimportant. It can also lead to feelings of resentment and frustration. If stonewalling is a frequent occurrence, it can damage the relationship and lead to feelings of bitterness and anger.

How to Respond to Stonewalling

If you are on the receiving end of stonewalling, it can be difficult to know how to respond.

Try to stay calm and avoid getting defensive. It can be helpful to take a step back and try to understand why the other person is stonewalling.

It may be helpful to talk to the other person about how their stonewalling makes you feel. Try to avoid attacking them or putting them on the defensive.

It can also be helpful to try to find a compromise. For example, you could agree to take a break from the conversation if things are getting too heated.

If stonewalling is a frequent occurrence in your relationship, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can help you to understand the reasons behind the stonewalling and can help you to find ways to improve communication.


Stonewalling can be damaging to a relationship because it leads to a lack of communication. It can also make the person who is being stonewalled feel devalued and unimportant.

If you think you’re being stonewalled, it’s important to communicate with your partner. Try to find out why they’re stonewalling and see if there’s a way to improve communication. If stonewalling is a frequent occurrence, it may be helpful to seek professional help.

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