Source link If you’ve recently been told that you’re stonewalling in a difficult conversation, it can be hard to know where to start. Stonewalling is a defensive stance that many of us adopt in interpersonal conflicts; it’s a way of avoiding the issue, creating distance, and shutting down emotionally.
Fortunately, help is available to move beyond the stonewalling and hit the reset button. Here are some tips to address and prevent stonewalling:
1. Take a few deep breaths before responding. We often stonewall when we feel overwhelmed and lack the processing time to respond rationally. Slow down and notice your bodily responses so that you can respond in a healthy and productive manner.
2. Ask questions. When someone tells you that you’re stonewalling, genuinely invite their point of view. Be curious about their thoughts and feelings. This can lower the heat and create a more collaborative atmosphere.
3. Talk about your feelings. Stonewalling is often a response to a negative emotion like fear or discomfort. Acknowledge these feelings and talk about why they might be happening.
4. Agree to disagree. Not every conversation will have a definitive conclusion. You may need to agree to disagree, while still showing respect for the other person.
5. Stay in the moment. Don’t allow yourself to get hung up on past issues or future possibilities. This can derail productive conversations and increase stonewalling.
Above all else, remember that stonewalling doesn’t have to define your interactions. With a little effort and commitment to self-reflection, you can transform challenging conversations into productive ones.