Sometimes it is quite difficult to distinguish between the stone and the silent treatment. However, one thing stands out between the two, and that is the fact that both the silent treatment and the silent treatment hurt a lot.

While the stonewalling treatment appears to be an intentional approach to conflict, the silent treatment may not be so malignant.

In this article, with examples, we will show you the difference between stone treatment and silence, and how to face or what to do if your partner uses one of these.

Stone coating

It is important to mention that stonewalling is often an intentional approach to conflict.

Anyone who wallows in a partner usually does so on purpose, and this is often seen among people with narcissistic disorders.

Think about putting a wall in someone's face when this person is talking to you. That's stonewalling.

Two couples are fighting and one of them decides it's a good idea to address the issue. The one who addresses the problem tries to talk to the other.

Instead of listening, the other says I don't want to hear anything you say. Or something like please leave me alone.

Stonewallers tend to play a lot of victimhood. You already know that victimhood is a very effective manipulation tactic. They do this all the time. They will make you feel like trying to talk is so unhealthy.

But the truth is that we all have the right to speak and talk about things that offend us.

So the key difference between stonewalling and silent treatments lies in intent.

Sometimes the silent treatment is just a way to avoid conflict because of one's reaction during conflict. As I will show you in the following paragraphs, not everyone is great at handling conflict.

Some people walk away from conflicts not because they are not looking for a solution to the problem at hand, but because they fear that they might add to the problems.

You'll typically feel these five things if you're stuck:

1. You will feel that you are very troublesome:

This is exactly what the manipulator aims to achieve.

He or she wants you to think that you are very troublesome and that they have no influence on the conflict you are having as a couple.

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If you ever think that all relationship problems come from your end and that your partner is the saint who does nothing wrong, then you may be stuck.

I'll give it an eight out of ten chance.

Read: Signs You're in a Toxic Friendship

2. You feel the need to shut up and not talk about your problems:

That's exactly what your manipulative partner wants. He wants you to know and have no reason to talk about your problems, no matter how much pressure you put on yourself.

You should always feel free to talk about your problems in any relationship. This is how you know the relationship is healthy when something goes wrong.

3. You feel like you should leave, but you mostly can't:

The stone is very painful.

Many partners often take the gamble and decide that it is best if they leave the relationship.

However, walking away is not as easy as it sounds, especially in relationships where you are denied any form of closure.

As we know, closure comes from talking about your fears and your problems. However, with a partner who is very effective at manipulation, closing becomes something of an impossibility.

If you want to leave or feel this intense pull or push to stay against your will, you are likely to be stoned.

4. Alienate yourself from your friends:

Do you know the interesting thing about the stone wall?

Not only do they dismiss you and not listen to anything you have to say, but they also have a way of cutting you off from your friends or anyone who has the potential to give you good advice.

They don't want anyone advising you to leave.

If you talk to someone about the relationship, your partner may be very upset.

5. You feel overwhelmed:

Being stuck and unable to talk about what you feel is going to produce some feelings of frustration in you.

You feel overwhelmed, as if everything is against you.

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This is the result of repressed emotions. It's not quite healthy, and I advise that if your partner continues to stonewall you, it may be time to consider leaving the relationship.

Read: How to deal with a divorce

Silent treatment

The silent treatment, unlike the stonewalling treatment, can be thought of as a random and malicious way to approach conflict.

The partner who makes the silent deal does so innocently, unlike the partner who stones the other.

They may be using the silent treatment because they lack the ability to resolve or manage conflict at a given time.

The silent treatment is often picked up in childhood and extends to relationships and has the potential to destroy them.

Often, the treatment can be just as toxic and harmful as its equivalent, the stone treatment.

But then again, it's something that doesn't really have roots in mental illness like narcissism.

What are the characteristics of silent treatment that we don't see in stone treatment?

Well, there are five of them.

1. Can we talk about this later?:

Usually when one gives the silent treatment it can be as a result of fear or a bruised ego.

But one thing always stands out in the silent treatment, especially if the partner really loves you: there will always be room to talk about it at another time.

They might say something like: Can we talk about it another time when we're both comfortable?

This is something that will not appear during the stone treatment. It is very likely that the partner who blames you for what happened will be waiting for you to come and apologize.

That's how damaging the stone wall treatment is.

Maybe all you have to do is give your partner the space they need, and down the line, they'll come and talk to you about it.

2. They are also emotionally affected:

The problem with this silent treatment is that it tends to hurt both sides of the relationship. Unlike stonewalling treatment, where only one partner is usually hurt.

This is because the partner who gets angry has no interest in the relationship or in talking about the things that caused the tooth.

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The one who gives the silent treatment is obviously in love.

He may be really attached to his partner, but to be honest, it will be very uncomfortable for him to talk about the problem at hand.

That means the silent treatment is going to hurt him too.

We see this a lot in relationships between younger couples, where they ignore each other, but at the same time, the person doing the ignoring feels hurt on both sides.

3. They apologize:

Another thing about the silent treatment is that often, the partner doing the silent treatment may want to reach out first.

As I explained before, those who do the silent deal are in love.

They will likely apologize and convince you that they didn't mean to make you feel bad.

At the end of the day, you'll both hit the ground running and maybe you can talk about the issue at hand.

4. They try to:

The partner doing the silent treatment will try to solve the problem in contrast to the partner taking charge.

They will try harder and harder to preserve the relationship.

Unfortunately, fixing things isn't as easy as it seems. Both of you may need to settle for therapy and talk about your issues, especially the childhood issues that made them the adults they are today.

Read: How to Fix a Sexless Marriage

5. They are like children:

The one who gives the silent treatment usually has many childish traits and one of these characteristics includes being very clingy, being unable to bear separation and lying.

If your partner has childlike characteristics, the silent treatment may also be one of those childlike characteristics.


The stonewalling treatment and the silent treatment are quite common. They are also very painful and difficult for couples to treat. The signs are always there. In the next article, I will be showing you how to deal with the silent treatment and the stone.

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