The Mating Grounds

The Silent Killer: How Stonewalling Damages Relationships and Your Emotional Wellbeing

Stonewalling: The Silent Killer of Relationships

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like youre talking to a brick wall? Where youre pouring your heart out, but the other person just goes quiet and refuses to engage with you?

This is called stonewalling, and it can be incredibly damaging to relationships. In this article, well be exploring the definition and effects of stonewalling, as well as its use as a manipulative tactic within relationships.

Part 1: Definition and Effects of Stonewalling

Stonewalling is a behaviour where one person withdraws from a conversation or interaction, refusing to engage or respond. This can take many forms, from the silent treatment to simply ignoring a person.

While stonewalling can be used by anyone, it is a particularly common behaviour among those with narcissistic personality disorder. The effects of stonewalling on the recipient can be severe.

It can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and emotional damage. Many people report physical pain, such as headaches or stomachaches, as a result of being stonewalled.

This is because it can trigger the fight or flight response in the body, leading to a rush of stress hormones that can cause physical symptoms. Part 2: Stonewalling in Relationships

Stonewalling often occurs in relationships, where one partner uses it as a means of controlling or punishing the other.

It can be a very effective tactic for those seeking power over their partner, as it leaves them feeling isolated and vulnerable. This is because stonewalling denies them the opportunity to be heard and validated, which is a cornerstone of healthy communication.

Those who use stonewalling as a tactic within relationships often have a narcissistic personality, seeking to feed their own need for control and validation. They may use the silent treatment as a means of gaining narcissistic supply, or they may be emotionally neglectful and use stonewalling as an extension of that behaviour.

Whatever the reason, stonewalling is a form of emotional abuse that can leave the recipient with significant trauma. If youre on the receiving end of stonewalling, its important to recognize it as a manipulative tactic, rather than simply a reaction to an argument or disagreement.

Ask yourself if this behaviour is a pattern, or if it only occurs during specific situations. If it is a pattern, it may be time to seek outside help to address the underlying issues in the relationship.

Part 3: Narcissistic Reactions to Stonewalling

When confronted with stonewalling, those with narcissistic personalities often react with blaming and attacking behaviours. They may accuse their partner of being overly emotional or irrational, or they may try to shift the blame onto them.

They may also distance themselves from the other person, refusing to engage with them at all. This reaction is common among narcissists, as they are unable to take responsibility for their own behaviour.

They see themselves as perfect and infallible, and any criticism or confrontation is seen as a threat to their fragile ego. If youre dealing with a narcissist who is stonewalling you, its important to recognize that their actions are not a reflection of you, but rather a reflection of their own insecurities.


Stonewalling is a toxic behaviour that can be damaging to relationships. It is often used as a manipulative tactic by those seeking power and control over others.

The effects of stonewalling can be severe, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and emotional damage. If youre dealing with stonewalling in your relationship, its important to recognize it as a form of emotional abuse and seek outside help if necessary.

By understanding the motivations behind stonewalling, we can take steps towards creating healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Part 3: Dealing with Stonewalling

Dealing with stonewalling can be challenging, especially when it comes to relationships with a narcissistic partner.

However, there are ways to manage this behaviour and protect your emotional wellbeing. In this section, well be exploring self-reflection and healing, as well as going no-contact with a narcissist.

Self-Reflection and Healing

When dealing with stonewalling, taking a step back and focusing on self-reflection can be incredibly helpful. This involves detaching from the situation and examining your own thoughts and emotions.

Ask yourself why this behaviour is triggering you, and how you can address those feelings in a healthy way. One helpful technique is to practice self-care, which involves consciously taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

This can include things like exercise, meditation, therapy, or simply spending time in nature. By prioritising your own needs, you can build resilience and reduce the impact that stonewalling has on you.

Another strategy is to focus on self-improvement, by examining your own communication style and identifying areas where you can grow. This can help to build your own confidence and reduce the power that stonewalling has over you.

By taking responsibility for your own growth, you can shift the dynamic in the relationship and reduce the likelihood of stonewalling occurring in the future.

Going No Contact with a Narcissist

In some cases, stonewalling may be a sign of a more severe problem, such as narcissistic personality disorder. If that is the case, going no-contact may be necessary to protect your emotional wellbeing.

This involves cutting off all communication with the narcissistic person, including calls, texts, emails, and social media. Going no-contact can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you have been in a long-term relationship with the narcissist.

It requires courage and strength, as well as a willingness to confront the tactics that the narcissist may employ to try and draw you back in (known as hoovering). Hoovering tactics can include things like love-bombing, guilt-tripping, or even gaslighting.

Its important to recognise these tactics for what they are, and to stay firm in your decision to go no-contact. You may need support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you navigate this process.


Dealing with stonewalling can be a complex task, especially when it comes to narcissistic relationships. However, by focusing on self-reflection, healing, and self-improvement, you can build resilience and reduce the impact that stonewalling has on you.

And if going no-contact becomes necessary, remember that it takes courage and strength to make that decision, but the end result is often a healthier and more fulfilling life. In conclusion, stonewalling is a toxic behaviour that can have severe effects on relationships and the emotional wellbeing of those involved.

Whether it occurs in a personal or professional setting, stonewalling can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and emotional damage. However, by recognizing it as a manipulative tactic and focusing on techniques like self-reflection, healing, and self-improvement, we can reduce the impact that stonewalling has on us.

And if going no-contact becomes necessary, it takes courage and strength to make that decision, but the end result is often a healthier and more fulfilling life. Its important to remember that we deserve to be heard, seen, and validated in our relationships, and that stonewalling is not an acceptable means of communication.

By prioritizing our own emotional wellbeing and setting healthy boundaries, we can create healthier and more fulfilling relationships in our lives.

Popular Posts