Stonewalling consists of:
- Refusal to negotiate a conflict in good faith
- Refusal to discuss honestly one’s motivations
- Refusal to listen to another point of view with openness
- Refusal to compromise
- Refusal to collaborate
- Refusal to support the other person’s plans
- Refusal to accept influence
Stonewalling is a widely-used strategy in most unsatisfying relationships. It may become a fundamental tactic, because it is a way to apply pressure that seemingly can’t be confronted, because it is exactly “not doing anything.”
Part of the deliberate intention of stonewalling is to keep the survivor ‘on the hook’ and not really able to pursue alternatives because the issue is still ‘open’ in some technical sense.
However, in an abusive relationship, isolation and threats are usually present, and the survivor has no safe options to pursue needs except through the primary aggressor.
Stonewalling is a complete pattern of non-communication and non-cooperation that only works from a position of power.