Emotionally shutting down on your partner is not productive or mature for the relationship.
We expect the government to pull some ridiculous moves, but it's not as bad as when our partner shuts down. Typically, we see the men quiet down and become stone-faced when they either choose to stop communicating or to make a point and give us the silent treatment. We were taught to use our words when we were young, but apparently some people did not get that memo.
When two parties, either the democrats and republicans or Phil and Leslie, stop talking, resolution can't happen. When it came to Phil shutting down and leaving Leslie to wonder what he was thinking, this just made her more frustrated. This frustration results in qualified resentment. The power that Phil thinks he has by not addressing the issue at hand turns into dust.
If Leslie is smart she will take his "shut down" as a sign that Phil is not sure what he feels or thinks about the situation, and therefore is pondering before he says something he doesn't mean.The problem is that unless Phil says "Leslie, I'm not sure how I feel about this, so I'm going to think about it and then we can talk," Leslie wouldn't know to interpret Phil's reaction as something she should be considerate of during a serious discussion. Otherwise, Leslie is left to wonder, guess, conjure up in her head all sorts of reason why the relationship isn't working.
Chances are Leslie planned, unbeknownst to Phil, her next move. Since Phil wasn't talking, Leslie decided that she was through with his immature behavior and created emotional distance in the relationship. Leslie has been down this road before with Phil, and until Phil learns that he can use his words, even if they are "Let me see what I can do, or I need to work through this in my head, etc" Leslie is going to build up contempt in her annoyance with Phil.
So, Phil missed out on what could have been a deep communicative relationship with Leslie. The value in communication is underestimated. The essential component in any relationship is communication. As social beings, we are designed to communicate, and if our partners refuse to talk to us, then somebody else will.
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