Every relationship can rock bottom at some point, and in such a situation, you’ll experience visible changes in the behavior or attitude of your partner. When such shifts occur, one should be willing and able to identify the changes and communicate the reason to the other half. But in reality, many times one completely shuts down during an argument, walks away, or avoids their partner for an extended period, unwilling or unable to give any explanation. Experts call this attitude stonewalling, a particular behavior where the other partner feels like constantly talking to a stone wall, unable to break through.
Effects of Stonewalling
When your partner is stonewalling you, sometimes no amount of prodding works. In such a case you might find yourself spiraling internally, questioning your own moves, and ending up with a million made-up reasons behind your partner’s changing behavior, instead of knowing the real ones. That’s how this leads to a great deal of confusion and eventual frustration, which can be really detrimental to a relationship.
Reasons Behind It
Stonewalling is a lack of communication between two romantic partners during any relational problem. This can be purely intentional or due to some inability. When intentional, it can include a lot of hate and spite on both sides. A person can start stonewalling their partner by giving them a silent treatment, which can be intentionally disrespectful and extremely manipulative. On the other hand, it can also be a response to feeling emotionally and psychologically flooded, when the person acting this way might not be actually able to be in the state of rational thinking or discussing.
Dealing With Stonewalling
Stonewalling can take several different forms, depending on the issue or the person’s communicative habit. Whatever the cause, it’s always frustrating and hurtful to the person on the receiving end. But while you can’t control your partner from icing you out, you can control your own response to it. Being spiteful in return is a big no-no. Instead, experts suggest taking a healthy break and spending an hour on your own before coming back to the conversation.
Solutions of Stonewalling
The negative communication pattern of stonewalling can quickly turn into a habit, where a person always prefers to handle a conflict by going silent about it. But if both partners are willing, stonewalling doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal-breaker. Professional help from a therapist or a healthy intervention from family members can work here. You just need to be patient with your partner but don’t completely undermine your own emotional needs in the process.
Top Strategies to Navigate School Functions for Introverted Parents
Being invested in your children, and especially in their early educational experience, is the rite of passage to parenthood. But it’s not easy to be involved in your kid’s school community if you’re socially awkward, introverted and easily overwhelmed by social demands. Here we’ve rounded up a few strategies from experienced parents to help you out in such situations.
Avoidance is indeed the path of least resistance. But, when it comes to your child, that’s not always an option. No matter how introverted you are, it’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about all the happy memories your kids will have if you attend that evening meeting or volunteer at the school event.
Always remember that getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t entail biting more than you can chew. Know yourself and don’t pressure yourself to go to extremes at first. There’s no need to run for the executive board of the parent-teacher association immediately. Focus on doing as much or as little as you can.
Fake it Till You Make It
Constantly fighting the urge of staying hidden and not being noticed takes a huge amount of willpower, and yes, acting skills. You may feel like you’re acting while attending social events at your kid’s school because that’s what you’re doing! So, keep pretending. Make yourself look comfortable, start a conversation, and gradually you’ll learn the rest.
Inviting Others Into the Circle
When you’re at a parent gathering at school and notice someone who might feel introverted just like you, don’t hesitate to reach out. Introduce yourself, invite that person to join your table, and make conversation. This gesture will help that person as much as it’ll help you, if not more. It’s a baby step toward broadening yourself.
Being Honest About Your Feeling
Don’t hold yourself back from sharing your feelings of discomfort and awkwardness with others. You’ll be surprised to learn how many people actually feel the same way, even the seemingly put-together parents. Also, sharing your feelings with your children will help them understand you and the reasons behind your actions.
Taking Time to Recover Afterwards
It’s normal for any introverted person to feel physically and emotionally drained after an episode of not-so-willing socializing. In such a case, you need time to recharge before tackling the next challenge. Spend some time with yourself, alone, or in a comfortable setting, doing only those activities you enjoy. It’s helpful to make you ready for the next one.