Why Is A Narcissist Stonewalling You So Agonising?  - (2023)

A narcissist stonewalling you is wholeheartedly rejecting to engage with you. That meanszerocommunication andzeroemotional interaction with you.

It’s agonising to be on the receiving end, particularly when your partner treats you that way. So when a narcissist goes quiet on you, they’re undoubtedly trying to hurt you.

It’s the silent treatment in its basic form because both acts involve no connection. However, stonewalling can manifest itself through multiple avenues.

What is narcissistic stonewalling?

A narcissist stonewalling you will immediately begin when you confront them with a discussion they don’t want to have. They will actively avoid responding to you and shut down the conversation before it’s even had a chance to start. As its name suggests, it’s like talking to a brick wall: you get nothing back.

It undoubtedly goes hand in hand with the silent treatment because the outcome is the same: ignoring you.The silent treatment by a narcissistcan sometimes occur without warning. Whereas a narcissist stonewalling you will happen directly after an interaction they want to stay away from.

When narcissists face accountability, they will ignore the subject you want to address, no matter your approach. They won’t answer your concerns, and instead, they will do everything in their power to discontinue the conversation.

Examples of a narcissist stonewalling:

  • Not replying to text messages
  • Avoiding your phone calls
  • Walking away from you
  • Dismissing your concerns
  • Ignoring your questions
  • Abandoning you
  • Changing the topic of conversation
  • Actively ignoring you, like texting during a discussion
  • Refusing to talk about the topic
Why Is A Narcissist Stonewalling You So Agonising? - (1)

Is narcissistic stonewalling manipulation?

A narcissist will stonewall because they don’t want to deal with taking responsibility. It’s a form of manipulation as it helps them regain control of the situation. It’s predominantly experienced during the devalue stage of thenarcissistic abuse cycle.

Stonewalling and gaslighting

In the same manner asgaslighting, stonewalling is a preventative technique for narcissists to escape their current circumstances. It’s comparable to gaslighting because they are manipulative and help shift the blame from them. Additionally, you question whether you’re at fault for them inducing that behaviour onto you.

Stonewalling and gaslighting behave similarly by dismissing your concerns and making you feel invalidated. So they lead to the same outcome: you feel hurt, powerless and pushed away. In time, they contribute to your ability to think clearly.

Stonewalling andgaslightingare punishments for putting the perpetrator on the spot. They don’t like being in the firing line and will evade it at every cost. Remember that narcissists react out of defence because they don’t like feeling threatened.

So when you want them to take accountability for an issue, they will prey on your insecurities rather than responding. In turn, this makes them feel powerful. The manipulating tactics of stonewalling and gaslighting provoke a reaction from you, thus removing the limelight from them.

The effect of a narcissist stonewalling you is that they no longer have to discuss the problem with you. Shutting you out from attempting to have a healthy conversation is not normal behaviour. Furthermore, it can be mentally exhausting to experience such extreme efforts to avoid engaging with you.

Why do narcissists stonewall you?

An overt narcissist is likely to be more evident with their rage. On the other hand, a covert narcissist tends to discipline you with silence. Their weapon of choice is usually stonewalling.

(Video) Why Narcissists Stonewall You

Stonewalling is unacceptable behaviour and an immature response to handling difficult conversations. But unfortunately, it’s a common technique for narcissists to lash out with. So how do you take a narcissist stonewalling you?

Understand the narcissist’s stonewalling motive

Once you understand the motive behind stonewalling, you can learn how to respond to it and deal with it.

When a narcissist stonewalls you, they’re essentially looking for a reaction out of you. So when they end the conversation, they don’t want to discuss it. But they’re also using it as ammunition – they want to get a rise out of you.

Their punishing dismissal ignites many fears and worries in you. Your automatic reaction is to fight back and demand answers to your questions. But they’re not going to give that away.

Instead, the narcissist will either walk away from you, abruptly finish the conversation or start giving you the silent treatment. However, their silence is communicating control over you. It implies they want something from you.

3 reasons why a narcissist stonewalls you:

1. To control the conversation

Firstly they want to win back control of the conversation. They do this by generating uncertainty over how long their broken communication will last. It leaves you scrambling and worried because they deny you the answers you need for closure. Hence, their lack of input drives you to talk more to relieve the discomfort of their silence.

The ball is in their court because you can’t move on without a response. So their mind games encourage your participation to persuade them to open up to you. Your efforts morph the discussion to new levels as you struggle to find topics to entice their involvement with you.

Suddenly the conversation has evolved to no longer speaking about the original subject matter. Thus, it absolves the stonewaller from any responsibility because they’ve manipulated the situation in favour of themselves.

2. To prevent you from addressing the same subject again

Secondly, their stern reaction acknowledges that you’ve hurt them somehow. So they put up a wall as a defence mechanism that harms you. The stonewaller’s pain is communicating that they don’t want you to address that subject again.

They’re teaching you that there’ll be consequences for your actions. This means that should you bring up the same discussion in future – they’ll return to ignoring you again. So, you learn to associate abandonment with matters that are out of bounds for them.

3. Shift the blame onto you

Lastly, stonewalling helps narcissists shift blame onto you and remove them from the focus. Naturally, when someone mistreats you, you can’t help but think you might’ve done something wrong.

This causes self-reflection as you rewind the moments before they ignored you. You’re analysing your actions for what led to their maltreatment of you. Self-blame is a common outcome and is in line with the stonewaller’s goal of making you feel at fault.

If they can manipulate you enough to feel in the wrong, you’ll apologise to them. As a result, the narcissist has successfully deflected accountability onto you – they’re no longer the problem.

(Video) Narcissists and the Silent Treatment

How to handle a stonewalling narcissist

Why Is A Narcissist Stonewalling You So Agonising? - (2)

The emotional effects of narcissistic stonewalling

Stonewalling is precisely psychologically controlling another person’s way of acting. It’s a way for narcissists to push your buttons and test your boundaries. It makes you retreat inwards and evaluate your emotions.

An initial thought is that you’re the root of the problem. You feel like you’re why they behave that way towards you. Understandably though, it’s hard not to take being ignored personally.

A partner cutting you off from trying to open up a dialogue with them is a brutal response. It ignites the sense that you’re undeserving of their attention and invalidates your feelings. This suggests you’re not of importance to them.

It’s common for anger and panic to set in as you struggle to recoup their affection again. It makes you feel unloved and like you’re invisible to them.

But, of course, that’s the result they’re hoping for. When a narcissist is stonewalling you, it gives you insight into what life without them may look like. They expect to instil the fear of not having them around anymore.

That fear becomes your motivation to stop them from treating you this way again. Thus, you strive to prevent their stonewalling methods — avoiding the same topic of conversation that led you there last time.

This undoubtedly evokes an unnatural pandering behaviour from you. You should be able to be your complete self with someone and not be punished for your honesty.

How do you respond to a stonewalling and silent treatment?

Stonewalling motivates the recipient to take action. So the best reaction you can give a stonewaller is no reaction.

Don’t allow them an insight into how you’re feeling. They feed off your response to them. So they can’t control you if you don’t give them access to your emotions.

You need to fake it until you make it and pretend that you’re ok. It’s not easy to do as you fight against your natural impulses. But it would help if you refrained from indulging in their underlying desires.

Pushing back with questions only results in further abuse from them. It allows them to continue ignoring you because it shows signs that you’re not letting the matter go. The more anger and panic you offer, the more power they have over you.

If you want the stonewalling to end, don’t enable it because that is how they continually get away with it. Instead, remain unresponsive and applythe grey rock methodto your interactions.

How to deal with a narcissist stonewalling you

Displace your efforts into yourself rather than chase a narcissist when they stonewall you.

(Video) Sometimes you fight the silent treatment or Stone walling from a narcissist with distance and peace

When they ignore you, it gives you space from them. Use that time to heal the parts of you that they trigger.

Stonewalling can spark thefear of abandonment— mainly because you don’t know when it’ll end or if they’ll return. However, the unsafety that feeling brings can also highlight some unhealed wounds in you that may need attention.

People who fear abandonment typically hold on to unhealthy and abusive relationships. Their anxiety about being alone is more dominant than their need to leave their partner. The fear is also likely to develop from prolonged exposure to emotional abuse.

Use the time apart from them to work on fixing yourself and what you need. Invest in therapy if you can afford to; it helped my development massively.

Self-care is just as important. Unfortunately, we often neglect it when constantly pouring our energy into someone else. When you’re an empath, your needs tend to be forgotten and tossed aside. Narcissists prey on empaths because they’re more attentive to others than themselves.

Talking to women who had similar experiences to mine also helped me. When I connected to relatable stories, it comforted me. It helped me feel less alone in my recovery.

Of course, many resources are available to help people in their recovery. However, I felt like I craved connection with others who could validate my experiences. They helped me feel ‘normal’ again. I wanted to hear success stories from women who recovered and thrived again. I wanted to hope that things would eventually improve.

What is an example of a narcissist stonewalling?

Stonewalling is a means of inflicting severe mental pain on someone’s psyche. It imbalances your well-being in many ways.

Not knowing why someone is ignoring you or how long it could last drives you insane. The worry and stress it sparks can make you lose sleep, your appetite and your motivation to do anything. You might even revolve your whole day waiting around for a response from them.

In most cases, a narcissist stonewalling you derives from the feeling of discomfort. They’re incapable of expressing their emotions. So when they sense pressure or feel they might look bad, they attack you by shutting down. Their defensive reaction stems from a place of vulnerability, but they cannot communicate that to you.

If I ever brought up the topic of sex with my ex, he would immediately recoil. He worked away a lot, and naturally, I looked forward to reconnecting with him when he came home. But then, I noticed how infrequently he wanted to have sex with me. Yet every time I raised the issue, it would never go anywhere. If anything, I regretted bringing it up.

Understandably, I began looking inwards as to why he didn’t want to. Maybe I wasn’t attractive to him, or he didn’t love me anymore. I asked him if he had lost interest in me. Perhaps it was because there was someone else.

The conversation never left me with answers, just further doubt. It always ended the same way: feeling like he was punishing me for raising a legitimate issue.

(Video) Why Narcissists Stonewall You (And What to Do)

Understanding narcissist stonewalling

Hindsight has helped me recognise and process the feelings I went through. But I’m not a psychologist, so I’m only speaking from my experiences and learning.

However, reading about narcissism and stonewalling has been relatable in comprehending that toxic relationship. In addition, it has helped me fill in many unanswered questions.

I assumed my ex disliked me confronting him about our lack of sex. Because if I ever dared to bring the subject up, he would avoid it and immediately stonewall me. He would shut the conversation down before it even started.

I now guess that was because he didn’t want my suspicions raised. He didn’t want me to uncover his serial cheating. Of course, if I had found out, that wouldn’t have painted him in a good light. And as I mentioned earlier, narcissists don’t like looking bad.

So his stonewalling reaction kind of makes sense to me now. It doesn’t excuse his behaviour, but it helped me get closure on our relationship. It also helped me understand the manipulative behaviours that he regularly subjected me to.

I only found out about his string of infidelity post break up. As well as the emotional abuse I’d been through. The narcissistic cycle of abuse ends in a discard, so it’s pretty standard for the ending to be abrupt.

I had no closure, and the break-up completely blindsided me. I, therefore, had a lot to figure out afterwards. I’ll never know for sure what really went on behind my back. But I didn’t need my ex to validate my feelings; after all, I lived it.

But I finally had a name for what I went through, which gave me clarity. My perspective was no longer clouded, and my confusing relationship was slowly beginning to make more sense.

Relate your stonewalling experiences

Ideally, I would like to make education on stonewalling and narcissism more understandable. I aspire to do that by blogging my story.

Hopefully people will learn and relate from my experiences and others. I don’t want people to see this type of abuse as normal and trivialised. Having lived it, I know how detrimental this abuse is to one’s well-being. I don’t want others to feel like I did.

Please don’t hesitate to connect with us if you need support. We know what you’re going through. We would love to help somehow, even if it’s just a listening ear.

Do you think you have experienced a narcissist stonewalling you? Comment below or get in touch via email at: info@salltsisters.com


Why Is A Narcissist Stonewalling You So Agonising?  -? ›

In most cases, a narcissist stonewalling you derives from the feeling of discomfort. They're incapable of expressing their emotions. So when they sense pressure or feel they might look bad, they attack you by shutting down.

Why does a narcissist want to destroy you? ›

They want to see how much they can destroy you

Narcissists thrive on chaos, so they do not act out of jealousy, as that would imply they want your relationships, career, wealth, or health for themselves. Rather, they just don't want to see other people happy.

What does it mean when a narcissist stonewalls you? ›

Narcissist Stonewalling

Stonewalling is the refusal to communicate with someone. This means that your spouse refuses to listen to you and your concerns. Stonewalling is one of the most prevalent narcissistic abuse techniques.

How do you deal with a narcissist stonewalling? ›

Step away from the interaction and display no interest in the silent treatment you are receiving. This will allow you to gain the upper hand and be in control because the control has been switched from the narcissist to you. This will be hard because you want to restore the communication with your partner.

Why do narcissists keep hurting you? ›

Narcissists can't independently feel good about themselves and require you to feel bad about yourselves for them to prove they are the grandiose person they present to the world. In short, narcissists hurt you to feel better about themselves.

What is the purpose of narcissistic rage? ›

Narcissistic rage can be explosive or scheming, but the aim is always to restore their dominance and repair the damage they perceive has been done to their ego. Explosive rage can include screaming, threats, physical aggression, breaking or throwing things, and other furious outbursts.

Why does being discarded by a narcissist hurt so much? ›

Being in a relationship—either romantic, professional, or otherwise—with someone who has narcissistic tendencies can cause you to subvert your reality and your needs. Being discarded by them can be traumatic because you've lost the person who defines your identity and self-worth.

Why do narcissists completely block you? ›

They block you because they want you to feel unstable and crazy. They want you to reflect on what you did to make the blocking happen, even if you had nothing to do with the decision. This is part of the devaluation stage of narcissistic abuse. The narcissist wants to make you feel less of a person.

What type of person is stonewalls? ›

People who stonewall may do so to avoid escalating a fight or to avoid discussing an uncomfortable topic. They also might be afraid of their partner's reaction. Intentional stonewalling: In extreme cases, stonewalling is used to manipulate a situation, maintain control in the relationship, or inflict punishment.

What are the long term effects of stonewalling? ›

The effects of stonewalling are disastrous for not only the receiver but also the partner who's stonewalling. For the person being stonewalled, it can leave them feeling confused, hurt and angry. It can wear down on their self-esteem, leading them to feel worthless or hopeless.

How do you break a narcissist's silence? ›

If you have the energy, acknowledge the narcissist's feelings and let them know what they're feeling has significance. Encourage them to talk about how they're feeling and work toward having a conversation about how the silent treatment affects you and better ways to get your feelings across than the silent treatment.

What does your silence do to a narcissist? ›

Essentially, the point of the silent treatment is to make the victim feel confused, stressed, guilty, ashamed, not good enough, or unstable enough so that they would do what the manipulator wants.

How stonewalling turns victims into abusers? ›

The abuser is acting on what they feel & experience personally and immediately. They retreat & get to feel good in the short term by forcibly enacting procrastination that they control by stonewalling the other party in order to prioritize their basic needs.

Does a narcissist hurt you on purpose? ›

Sometimes, the narcissist doesn't mean to hurt you. Being sensitive to everything is just how their brains work. And if they are — by their own logic — being attacked, they will bite back even harder. However, by their nature, they may also want to hurt you too, because it makes them feel superior.

What would hurt a narcissist the most? ›

The most effective weapon to fend off narcissists is self-love. When you love yourself, it is more difficult for the narcissist to manipulate you and get under your skin. It will hurt them to know that you do not need them, that you are better off without them, and that you love yourself exactly as you are.

What is the best response to narcissistic rage? ›

Dealing with any form of narcissist can be difficult, but when you see that the narcissist is enraged, do not continue engaging with them. Physically distance yourself from them as much as you can. Ignore them and avoid any interaction with them. Set your boundaries, remembering that they will try to manipulate you.

How do you calm a narcissistic rage? ›

Tips for Dealing With Narcissistic Rage
  1. Become familiar with NPD.
  2. Seek therapy for yourself.
  3. Avoid triggering a reaction.
  4. Call 911 if the person is a threat.
  5. Know you aren't to blame for their behavior.
  6. Stay calm and set personal boundaries.
Nov 21, 2022

What is the final discard of a narcissist? ›

Discard/Rejection: When the narcissist gets bored or decides the person is no longer useful enough to them, they'll often end the relationship and 'discard' the person. Sometimes, this ending is final. Other times, a narcissist will use hoovering to lure the person back into the relationship and repeat the cycle.

Do narcissists ever discard people permanently? ›

Though typical narcissists do not discard people because they crave attention, covert narcissists may go to extreme measures to permanently discard you.

What eventually happens to narcissists? ›

According to Julie L. Hall, author of “The Narcissist in Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning to Break Free,” narcissists become more extreme versions of their worst selves as they age, which includes becoming more desperate, deluded, paranoid, angry, abusive, and isolated.

How do narcissists devalue you? ›

The devaluation stage, also known as the depreciation stage, comes next. It often starts slowly. The narcissist will start dropping subtle hints that you've done something wrong, that you've forgotten something important, or that you've hurt their feelings. You'll start to feel insecure.

What is the devaluation stage of narcissistic abuse? ›

Stage 2: Devaluation

However, the next phase of the narcissistic abuse cycle is devaluation in which the narcissist removes their partner from the pedestal. Now, the partner will feel worthless as the narcissist begins to put them down, possibly by using verbal or physical abuse and physical intimacy as a weapon.

What hurts a narcissist more being blocked or ignored? ›

It hurts to be ignored. And, that's one of the reasons why a narcissist ignores you. And, it can be especially difficult for people who have attachment or self-esteem issues. Sadly, a narcissist knows this and seeks out people who are most vulnerable to being controlled by their tactics.

How do you break a Stonewaller? ›

Here are six ways to help you manage a stonewaller:
  1. Focus on Yourself. Being stonewalled creates a lot of emotional responses. ...
  2. Try to Avoid Using the Other Horsemen. ...
  3. Request a Break. ...
  4. Utilize Self-Soothing Techniques. ...
  5. Don't Disengage Completely. ...
  6. Seek Out Professional Help.
Jul 28, 2022

What is the root of stonewalling? ›

Stonewalling Maybe Rooted In Trauma

People stonewall to avoid conflict, and to calm themselves. In some cases, stonewalling is a trauma response. Those who experienced trauma, perhaps as a child or in previous relationship, will sometimes develop stonewalling as a coping mechanisism.

How do you respond to being stonewalled? ›

How to Respond to Stonewalling
  1. Discuss topics in a safe space. If your partner bristles at conversations in public, try only bringing them up in a safe space where they will be comfortable.
  2. Give an ultimatum. ...
  3. Offer help. ...
  4. Prioritize self-care. ...
  5. Take a breather. ...
  6. Tell your partner how you feel.
Nov 29, 2022

Can a stonewaller change? ›

Acknowledge that the only way a stonewaller's patterns will change is if they are willing to change them. If you're the only one willing to work on the relationship, reconsider it. Aggressive stonewallers sometimes act like victims to protect themselves.

How long should stonewalling last? ›

A break is usually short while stonewalling can last hours, days, or even longer. Stonewalling is considered a type of psychologically abusive behavior of the passive-aggressive kind. It involves entirely shutting the other person out and ignoring them, which causes them to feel like they are worthless and unimportant.

Can stonewalling cause PTSD? ›

Relationship events that can trigger PTSD include;

Controlling, stonewalling, criticizing, defending, taking your autonomy away.

How do you not let a narcissist scare you? ›

Most importantly, be consistent and keep reinforcing each of these until the exploiter wishes they never met you.
  1. Don't give them your attention. ...
  2. Starve them of empathy. ...
  3. Show strength and confidence. ...
  4. Ignore them. ...
  5. Set and enforce boundaries. ...
  6. Challenge them. ...
  7. Implement consequences. ...
  8. Expose their narcissism.
Jul 13, 2022

Does the silent treatment hurt a narcissist? ›

The silent treatment is an abusive method of control, punishment, avoidance, or disempowerment (sometimes these four typesoverlap, sometimes not) that is a favorite tactic of narcissists, and especially thosewho have a hard time with impulse control, that is, those with more infantile tendencies.

How do you react to Narc silent treatment? ›

Tell the person how the silent treatment hurts and leaves you feeling frustrated and alone. That's not what you want or need in a relationship. Explain that you can't resolve issues this way, then be specific about those issues. If this sort of behavior is a relationship deal-breaker for you, state it plainly.

What medication do you give a narcissist? ›

Medicines. There are no medicines specifically used to treat narcissistic personality disorder. But if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other conditions, medicines such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines may be helpful.

What personality type do narcissists hate? ›

Type As can also be dangerous to narcissists

Although they can be targeted, type A people can also become a narcissist's worst nightmare. One of the most important defenses against dark personalities is having strong boundaries yourself, and type A people are usually aware they have the right to build them.

When a narcissist punishes you with the silent treatment? ›

Narcissists may use the silent treatment to communicate they are unhappy with you, to control you, or as a form of punishment. If the narcissist uses the silent treatment to deflect responsibility for something they have done wrong, it can also be a form of narcissistic gaslighting.

Is stonewalling fight or flight? ›

Often, those who stonewall feel overwhelmed by conflict and they either shut down or remove themselves from it in order to escape feeling overwhelmed. The stonewaller may feel that they are going into fight or flight mode. Stonewalling is emotional flight. It is typically done in an attempt to avoid conflict.

Is stonewalling manipulative? ›

Stonewalling can also be a manipulative or controlling strategy. When stonewalling is deliberate, the partner who refuses to communicate is often drawing the situation out and preventing the other partner from seeking out other options to address the conflict or even end the relationship.

Is stonewalling passive aggressive? ›

Stonewalling, which happens when someone stops communication altogether, is one of the most toxic forms of passive-aggressive behaviors, says Manly. It's also a leading predictor of divorce.

Does a narcissist know how much they hurt you? ›

Narcissists don't know they're hurting you. It doesn't even enter their minds. And, if you try to tell them how you feel, they get defensive and make you feel you're wrong again. In fact, they'll even rather “innocently” tell you: “I'm only trying to help you.”

Does the narcissist ever suffer? ›

Narcissistic Vulnerability

Despite having seemingly strong personalities, narcissists are actually very vulnerable. Psychotherapists consider them to be “fragile.” They suffer from profound alienation, emptiness, powerlessness, and lack of meaning.

What weakens a narcissist? ›

A monumental weakness in the narcissist is the failure to look internally and flesh out what needs to be worked on. Then, of course, the next step is to spend time improving. The narcissist sabotages any possibility of looking deep within.

What is the sad side of narcissism? ›

People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they're not given the special favors or admiration that they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships troubled and unfulfilling, and other people may not enjoy being around them.

Why are narcissists so nasty? ›

“This happens when, again, there's such an inflated view of the self that you're not able to process and respect the needs, wants, and feelings of others,” says Dr. Hoffman. This lack of empathy in narcissists is what makes their behaviors so inherently hurtful, whether they're “trying” to be hurtful or not.

Who does the narcissist fear the most? ›

Although narcissists act superior, entitled and boastful, underneath their larger-than-life facade lies their greatest fear: That they are ordinary. For narcissists, attention is like oxygen. Narcissists believe only special people get attention.

What are narcissists so angry about? ›

Deep-Seated Fear of Rejection / Being Unimportant – This is the core of narcissistic rage. Many narcissists are constantly hounded by the insecurity that people may not see them as the privileged, powerful, popular, or “special” individuals they make themselves to be, and react intensely when their fears are confirmed.

How long does narcissist stonewalling last? ›

A narcissist's silent treatment can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. Our survey among 500 people who have experienced narcissistic abuse revealed that on average, a narcissist's silent treatment lasts four-and-a-half days and usually ends when the narcissist needs more narcissistic supply.

How do you respond when someone Stonewalls you? ›

How to Respond to Stonewalling
  1. Discuss topics in a safe space. If your partner bristles at conversations in public, try only bringing them up in a safe space where they will be comfortable.
  2. Give an ultimatum. ...
  3. Offer help. ...
  4. Prioritize self-care. ...
  5. Take a breather. ...
  6. Tell your partner how you feel.
Nov 29, 2022

What to do when he stonewalls you? ›

How to Deal With Stonewalling From a Partner
  1. Focus on Yourself. Being stonewalled creates a lot of emotional responses. ...
  2. Try to Avoid Using the Other Horsemen. ...
  3. Request a Break. ...
  4. Utilize Self-Soothing Techniques. ...
  5. Don't Disengage Completely. ...
  6. Seek Out Professional Help.
Jul 28, 2022

How do you respond to someone who Stonewalls? ›

How to respond to stonewalling
  1. Use 'I' statements in conversations. Because stonewalling is often a defensive mechanism, the moment you realize it could be happening, try to make a shift. ...
  2. Ask for a break. ...
  3. Address stonewalling outside of the conflict. ...
  4. Take care of yourself. ...
  5. Check for triggers. ...
  6. Seek solo or couples therapy.
Oct 6, 2022

What to do when a narcissist breaks the silent treatment? ›

Ignore them.

If they give you the silent treatment, don't respond. Don't answer their calls or texts, don't check on them or care for them when they are sick and don't offer them any kind of support. –Walk away from the relationship.

How do you argue with a Stonewaller? ›

Dealing with stonewalling is straightforward and direct. Both need to call a "time-out" stop the interaction and separate for 20 minutes. The stonewaller can say, "I'm feeling flooded and I need to calm down. I'll be back." If the partner becomes aware of their partner's flooding, they can also call a time-out.

How do Stonewallers feel? ›

People who are stonewalled by others may feel hopeless and experience a loss of control or self-esteem. Stonewalling is often a way to gain power over a partner while seemingly doing nothing, though it is often used in combination with threats and isolation.

Should I reach out to a stonewaller? ›

You only need to give them space to calm down and process their emotions. Once they do, they'll resume communication with you as if nothing happened. Once communication is on again, you can complain about their stonewalling behavior assertively. Let them know how it makes you feel and why it's unacceptable.

How long does stonewalling last? ›

A break is usually short while stonewalling can last hours, days, or even longer. Stonewalling is considered a type of psychologically abusive behavior of the passive-aggressive kind. It involves entirely shutting the other person out and ignoring them, which causes them to feel like they are worthless and unimportant.

Is stonewalling passive-aggressive? ›

Stonewalling, which happens when someone stops communication altogether, is one of the most toxic forms of passive-aggressive behaviors, says Manly. It's also a leading predictor of divorce.


1. Stonewalling and the Narcissist
(Lise Colucci, Toxic Relationship Recovery )
2. Why narcissists use the silent treatment and how to respond
(Deal With Narcissist)
3. Stonewalling is not the same as the silent treatment
4. 4 Communication Tactics Narcissists Use
5. Narcissists want you to know that they are ignoring you on purpose when using the silent treatment
(Mental Healness)
6. Stonewalling in Relationships (The PROVEN WAYS to Deal With it)
(Geoffrey Setiawan)


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