When something happens to you that triggers emotions in a big way, you might throw a fit, yell, cry….or instead you might shut down. Shutdown is an automatic defense mechanism – your body is saying “This is too much – I can’t take it.” It feels like a good solution for a while, but soon it gets depressing because you aren’t feeling much of anything.
Think about someone you are close to who shuts down when they get upset with you. How does it make you feel? At first you might be relieved not to have to deal with that person’s emotions, or the conflict between the two of you, but then you probably feel a cold distance that is not welcome at all.
If you or your friend or partner has the tendency to shut down, it’s best to call it out, identify it for what it is, and decide to talk. It takes a lot more self-awareness and courage to talk about feelings calmly than to overreact or to shut-down, but it is worth it.
Find out more in my book, Someone To Talk To; What Really Happens in Therapy and How It Can Work for You. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1627875956/