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Stonewalling

Unmet Needs in Relationships

 

Relationship Help

According to John Gottman, Ph.D.,  There are four behaviors that, if they occur regularly, are very good predictors of either a failed or an unhappy relationship. Criticism vs. Complaint, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

Having Difficulties with your Relatonships?
How Stonewalling Can Damage your Relationships. Bad Habits in Relationships and Fighting. C. Travis. What is Stonewalling? Stonewalling is exactly what it sounds like- putting up a stone wall between you and your loved one. Stonewallers te to get silent in the middle of a fight and refuse to share their feelings or engage in constructive dialogue. Some stonewallers leave and only come back when they're ready to stop fighting. The problem, of course, is that because they have avoided conversation, the actual problem never gets discussed, which means it just keeps coming up again and again. Why Do People Do It? Like many bad relationship habits, stonewalling usually occurs because someone is afraid of conflict. Stonewalling is also a behavior that is frequently modeled to children by their parents. If children never see their parents resolve a conflict, it may never occur to them that it's possible, which increases the likelihood that they will grow up to be stonewallers. Why Is It Bad? Stonewalling is a damaging to a relationship habit because it destroys communication. A key component of a happy relationship is the ability to work through and move past conflict. Stonewallers refuse to even allow the possibility of doing this because they just won't talk at all. This makes it more likely that the same fight will keep coming up over and over again. Stonewalling is additionally bad for the stonewaller because they are forced to bottle their feelings up, and this practice harms the non-stonewaller because they are never permitted to be heard by their partner. Perhaps most importantly, stonewalling, tears apart honesty in a relationship and prevents couples from communicating with one another. How To Stop Stonewalling Because many stonewallers actually advocate and take pride in the practice of stonewalling, the first step in ending stonewalling is simply realizing its damaging impact. If you find yourself stonewalling without wanting to, however, stopping the practice of stonewalling can still be a challenge. It can be helpful, however, to treat arguments like normal conversation. You wouldn't just not respond or walk away in a normal conversation, so take this same approach when things get tense. Getting help from your partner can also be a vital step in ending this damaging practice. When you feel yourself beginning to stonewall, tell them, "I'm having trouble communicating right now. Can you help me?" Most importantly, resist the impulse to walk away from a fight. The desire to do so can be strong, but this is one of the most damaging stonewalling behaviors. You should never leave in the middle of a fight unless you are afraid it might become violent. Otherwise, you leave your partner thinking they are not important. Resist this impulse alone and you will have made a powerful step in resolving the problem of stonewalling. How do you handle conflict? Could it be affecting your relationships? Schedule an Appointment Today!

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  

Eleanor  Roosevelt

 

Having difficulties in your relationships? 

 

Leslie Capehart

 

Unmet needs are inevitable as we are products of an imperfect world.  Healthy families deal with the hurt of unmet needs as they go along; Dysfunctional families may deny the hurts, ignore the needs and/or blame the child for having needs. 

 

Children don't comprehend their needs.  It is important that parents understand and validate the needs of a child.  Unmet childhood needs follow us into relationships.  We often unconsciously enter a relationship hopeful that now we'll receive the acceptance we missed or the affection we long for or the attention we desire....

 

Hurt is experienced in relationships when these same unmet childhood needs go unmet in relationships or even worse, when we receive the opposite ... We receive rejection when we longed for acceptance, coldness when we needed affection; neglect when we needed attention.  We often look to our partners to fill our void and blame them when they can't.  Frustrated and disappointed, we continue in our search for happiness only to  find ourselves repeating the same patterns. 

 

Unmet needs contribute to a lack of identity and self-worth; self-defeating attitudes or behaviors may develop.  When childhood needs go unmet and unidentified, we tend to repeat the patterns.  Those unidentified and unmet needs become distorted and cause us to form faulty beliefs, shaping the way we view ourselves and the world.  We begin to subconsciously look for or create situations that reinforce our beliefs about ourselves.   We become our own worst enemy. 

Unmet Childhood Needs follow us into relationships...

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