“Blocked.” Does Avoidance Solve the Problem?
Being a millennial in the technological world of 2015 is a blessing and a curse.
We’re connected in a way like never before, where we can express our thoughts and feelings instantaneously. The anxiety of picking up the phone, dialing someone’s number and hoping they pick up is long behind us…
So, we got rid of that anxiety, and replaced it with a new one. Today, we are scoping out Instagram maps and tagged photos. We’re watching who ‘likes’ what, and freak out when Snapchat no longer tells us who’s best friends. Is technology the problem, or are we?
Considering social media is something that is being created by us, I’m going to say that we are the problem. But, on the bright side, there is a solution. One solution many people turn to: “block this user.” From a psychological standpoint, avoidance is basically coping by not having to cope. You’re pretending the problem disappeared *poof* into thin air. The feelings of discomfort are gone, and you are free to sink back into your comfort zone.
Of course, there are some situations where blocking a person is necessary. Perhaps they are someone you genuinely do not want to find you, due to possible violent or traumatic outcomes.
Some people “block” out of maturity, because they do not agree with the thoughts a person has, and would rather ignore them than give into the temptation of engaging in a fight.
Then there are others, who “block” because they are being told to. They’re faced with an ultimatum from a significant other, where they have to prove themselves by “blocking” someone else from their life.
To the one that wants the blockage:
You remember on Friends when Ross was marrying Emily and she told him he couldn’t be friends with Rachel anymore? You’re Emily.
First of all, before getting into a relationship with someone else, you have to be 100% secure with yourself. Know what you’re worth and be proud. Be confident in yourself, so you can be confident in your relationship. A major tenant of any relationship is trust. By telling the person you supposedly love that they can’t talk to someone— what you’re actually saying, loud and clear, is “I don’t trust you.”
Maybe you have a reason not to trust this person. Maybe this person can’t have a platonic relationship with the person you want blocked. In that case, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them. It sounds like your future is a lifetime of mistrust, checked phones, and trying to dig for a deeper connection that doesn’t actually exist.
Or maybe these reasons are all in your head. Maybe you’re creating situations that cause you to be skeptical due to experiences you’ve had in the past. Maybe you’re not giving your significant other the benefit of the doubt.
In either case, have some more respect for yourself. Don’t think that simply “blocking” someone is going to erase your problem— because your problem lies within: security with yourself, and with your relationship.
To the block-er:
Toughen up you weakling! A lot of people choose appeasement over dealing with their problems, because it seems like the easier option. Instead, all it does is dig yourself into a hole of deeper problems. You’re creating a standard with your significant other that they’re allowed to tell you what to do. A relationship requires sacrifice— it’s a give and take. It’s not a dictatorship.
Maybe your bae hit the nail on the head. “Block this person, you still have feelings for them.” Maybe they’re right, and maybe you’re too afraid to confront those feelings. Maybe if you didn’t block that person, you would suffer other repercussions, like having to sleep on the couch, or getting your iPad smashed.
Maybe they are completely wrong! Maybe you are putting a genuine friendship at risk, just to ease someone’s nonsensical, worrying mind. Sometimes its easier just to say yes, rather than put effort into explaining that they have nothing to worry about.
In either case scenario, you’re doing two things:
- Respecting the person that doesn’t trust you.
- Disrespecting the person on the sidelines.
To the block-ee:
Knowing you are blocked by an old friend, former love interest, or even just some random Joe Shmo is a blow to the ego. I’m currently in this situation, on two very different sides of the spectrum (if you couldn’t already tell from the course of this post)…
The first one stemmed from a mutual attempt for a mature post-hook up-friendship (those could get messy, especially when feelings are involved). The second was from a long time friend, who feels more like a family member to me. In both instances, the “blocked” notifications hurt.
One of my favorite pearls of wisdom from the book “The Four Agreements” is: Don’t Take Anything Personally.
“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…” -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
To everyone reading:
Maybe I’ve been watching too much “Are You The One” lately, or maybe its situations I’m currently being faced with, but I truly believe that when you are with your “Perfect Match”, you will be able to trust them.
Take a step back and look at your relationship for what it is. If you truly appreciate the person you’re with, and feel in your heart that they are doing the right thing for you; then let them follow whoever the hell they want on Instagram. If you feel that just one simple glance at a tweet is going to jeopardize your relationship, then maybe you’re better off single.
If you’re being told what to do this early in your relationship and would rather appease than succumb to threats, then do some research on abusive relationships. If you are giving into appeasement because you genuinely care for someone, have a mature, civilized discussion with them about the person they are feeling threatened by, and tell them they have nothing to worry about. But only if you mean it.
Stay true to yourself, realize what you are worth, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Sometimes this means having hard conversations, sometimes it’s walking away from something that no longer suits you, and sometimes it’s writing a blog post to call attention to the issue. You’re given one life… live it out of compassion and trust, not out of jealously and fear.