Three Scenarios in Which Blocking People Can Be Good For You
And even needed for your mental health
Blocking gets a bad rap. People feel like villains if they block someone. But it does not have to be so.
Imagine that you have a teammate at work who is constantly rude to you. What are you going to do about it? Are you just going to put up with it? Or are you going to raise a complaint with the manager? Withdraw from any contact with them unless absolutely necessary? Or confront them? Go to HR? More likely than not, you are going to do something about it and not tolerate such behaviour.
In the real world, we act and we put our defences up against unacceptable behaviour. The problem is that the real world is now very much an online world and vice versa. People who we would have otherwise avoided or shaken off still get access to us. And what's worse, people who would not have even met us in the real world, ever, have some form of access to us. We are all exposed to an indefinite number of people, via social media.
And whilst it's healthy to step out of our bubble and talk to people of different opinions and views, there is a line between this and putting up with an uncomfortable situation.
When Blocking Someone is Good For You
1. Bigoted Views
If a person has bigoted views and you feel under heavy criticism or patronized. They wreck a good conversation, for example, because of their sexist, racist or religious views. They won't take your opinions on board. Staying in touch with such a person can make you feel deflated.
2. Abusive Behaviour
When a person is harassing you or displays abusive behaviour. This could mean they do not respect your boundaries. They won’t take no for an answer. They gossip about you. They are writing hateful messages to you. Have unrealistic demands and expectations of you, i.e. they hold you to impossible standards. Not to mention sexual harassment. If you can, detach yourself. Staying in touch with such a person can make you feel depleted, anxious or worse, leave you with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
3. Your Mental Health is Suffering
When a person is simply not good for your mental health and they won’t change. They make you feel insecure. They belittle you. They’re guilt-tripping you or being passive-aggressive. You feel used or upset around them. They are way too demanding of your time and attention. They’re draining your energy.
There are many different reasons to warrant blocking. But if the people you’re blocking are someone who you feel comfortable talking to about any issues that you are having, it’s worth trying to find a way to talk through it first. If that cannot be done or talking has not resolved the issue, then hit the block button.
After all, protecting our mental health and a peaceful state of being is each person's first and foremost priority. And a birthright.
Blocking someone, even after the end of your relationship, does not mean that you hate them or will not miss them. It simply means that you care about yourself. It is an act of kindness to yourself, for a healthier state of mind. In order to close the door and start to heal, you need the space to detach yourself, completely.
And always, and I mean always, blocking is warranted and should be done for safety and security. Please do yourself a favour and shed any hesitation and guilt over blocking people.
Read a related article: 4 Types of Toxic Behavior We Have To Stop Making Excuses For.
About the author
Writing about well-being, self-care and psychology. Occassional poet and fiction writer. Based in Prague. Passionate about coffee, yoga, reading and Toastmasters. Native speaker of Czech, fluent in English (as a second language).