What to do when a woman shuts down emotionally? (+5 Reasons for shutdowns)

This article will be explaining what you can do when a woman shuts down emotionally. We will also be discussing the various reasons why a woman may shut down emotionally. Finally, we will be checking out what you can do instead of shutting down emotionally.

What to do when a woman shuts down emotionally?

When a woman shuts down emotionally, you can do the following,

  • Stay calm
  • Assume the best
  • Change the environment
  • Don’t retaliate with a tantrum
  • Show your vulnerable side
  • Vent your feelings healthily
  • Get someone else’s help
  • Create agreements beforehand
  • Create a safe space
  • Ask the right questions
  • Be patient with them 

Stay calm

The worst thing that you can do when a woman shuts down emotionally is getting angry and upset with her. Instead, it is important that you stay calm so that they are also encouraged to mimic your mood and be relaxed as well.

Assume the best

If a woman shuts down emotionally, it can be pretty easy to easily assume the worst, especially if the woman is your partner. However, by assuming the best and being positive, you will be able to maneuver through their shut down at a better pace.

Change the environment

You can also change the environment by simply walking to another room or getting a breath of fresh air by taking a short walk. If you are doing this, you need to communicate with the person that you are going to be gone for a while but you will return shortly.

Don’t retaliate with a tantrum

It can seem pretty easy to throw a tantrum in retaliation in response to an emotional shutdown from a woman. But this can only lead to more hurt and anger from the other side which can extend the emotional shutdown even more.

Show your vulnerable side

If you are in the presence of a woman who has shut down emotionally, you can try showing your own vulnerable side. When you explain how her emotional shut down is making you feel, it can help them see your point of view and eventually open up.

Vent your feelings healthily

Witnessing a woman, especially if it is your partner, shutting down emotionally, can bring up a lot of emotions in you as well. But holding these in can make the situation even worse for you. When your partner shuts down, try to vent your feelings in a healthy manner elsewhere.

Get someone else’s help

You can also take the help of a third party when a woman shuts down emotionally in front of you. You can reach out to mutual friends who can act as a support system, or even to a mental health professional who is experienced enough to guide you through the process.

Create agreements beforehand

Before such a shutdown happens, you can try creating an agreement with the person. This agreement can only come up if you and the person share a respectful relationship. In this agreement, you will both decide the various factors of the shutdown.

For instance, you both might decide the average length or duration of the emotional shutdown. Apart from this, you might also decide what the short-term responses to the situation might be to both of you.

Create a safe space

Often, the main reason why an emotional shutdown happens in anyone is because they want to escape to a safe space inside their head. Just as their mental space, you can also create a safe space for the person who is shutting down.

Safe spaces can vary from person to person depending on their likes and dislikes. For example, if the woman who is shutting down emotionally likes Disney cartoons, you can play one on the TV, or simply offer a hot beverage which can calm them down further.

Ask the right questions

Being silent around a woman who shuts down emotionally can seem like a safe thing to do, but in many cases it can only anger the person even more. Try asking open-ended questions in a kind and empathetic manner like, “What are you feeling right now?”

Be patient with them

Above everything else, it is important that you practice being patient with someone who is going through an emotional shut-down. Giving them the time and space to heal themselves and come out of their shutdown helps the person come out of their shutdown in their own way.

Reasons why a woman shuts down emotionally

There are numerous reasons as to why a woman shuts down emotionally, and some of these are:

  • The most common reason why a woman shuts down emotionally is to simply avoid facing the conflict or escalating the conflict that they are dealing them
  • The woman may also feel that they don’t know much about the current topic and thus may shut down as a way to avoid embarrassing themselves. This can also come by as a by-product of constant gas-lighting and grooming behaviors by those close to them.
  • In the event that they genuinely are neutral on the topic, people may shut down emotionally as a way of expressing how they feel.
  • Emotional shut downs may also be a way of manipulating the situation for their own good. This is often a learnt behavior if their partner or the other person has been known to respond in their favor in past conflicts.
  • Shutting down emotionally can also be an attempt to further escalate the conflict, with the end-game of ending the relationship altogether. This is done in order to coax the other person to get tired and bring up the topic of breaking up.

What can a woman do instead of shutting down emotionally?

If you are a woman or a person who has developed a pattern of shutting down emotionally for some reason or the other, you might find it hard to navigate relationships. In this section of the post, we have given a few alternative strategies that you can use instead.

  • Suggest couples counseling: If you are in a relationship and you keep shutting down emotionally, this is a problem that you and your partner need to address together. Couples counseling can help you and your partner communicate better and more positively.
  • You also need to first and foremost understand that shutting down emotionally puts you in a bad light as you can seem uncooperative and immature. The other person may also feel that you don’t care about them or don’t want to work on the relationship.
  • Apart from couples counseling, you can also seek individual therapy in order to improve your self-esteem and your assertiveness since a lack of these characteristics can make you use maladaptive communication skills.
  • Another technique that you can use is to improve your awareness of how your partner approaches communication. In case you feel a tense topic is being approached, you can try relaxing yourself so that you are better equipped.
  • In times of a heated argument, it can seem easy to criticize the other person. However, hurtful words can only make the situation even worse and need to be avoided at all costs. Instead, try to use diplomatic and neutral sounding words.
  • You and your partner can also try avoiding discussing the topic until both of you calm down. When emotions are flaring, it can cause you to act in negative ways like emotionally shutting down, as opposed to when you are calmer.
  • You can also try to create a safe space where you and the other person can sort out the conflict. Consider it your very own Switzerland where you negotiate and discuss rather than fight and argue.


This article has explained what you can do when a woman shuts down emotionally. We have also discussed the various reasons why a woman may shut down emotionally. Finally, we have checked out what you can do instead of shutting down emotionally.

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