Picture Britney’s iconic DUMP HIM shirt, but instead it says BLOCK THEM.
We’re willing to bet that someone(s) immediately came to mind.
Whoever it is—an ex, a friend, a family member—we’re going to try to help you figure out if it’s time to go no contact and block them. Ofc, we have our opinions (big fans of setting boundaries here), but we are not professionals, so we tapped licensed marriage and family therapist Vienna Pharaon, national best-selling author of The Origins of You, for her insights.
“It’s generally wise to block someone when hearing from them or reaching out to them is deeply disruptive to your life, your mental health, your relationships, or your overall well-being,” Vienna says. “I think most of us want to believe that we can navigate and tolerate hearing from someone, or keep a promise to ourselves that we won’t reach out. But if hearing from them is intrusive, keeps crossing a boundary, or moves you towards unwanted, unhealthy patterns, then blocking them is a step towards healing.”
She adds that while there are definitely times when it’s appropriate to block a friend or a family member, it’s more common to be in this scenario with an ex.
Ahhh yes, definitely been there. “I think a block comes when contact is too disruptive. If you can hear from someone and choose not to engage (and it doesn’t take over your day and it’s not disrespectful to your current relationships), then you can probably choose to brush it off,” she says.
- “You think about blocking them often, and the thought feels relieving to you.”
- “Their presence (reaching out) is emotionally and physically disruptive to you.”
- “They don’t listen to your boundaries no matter how many times you set them and ask them to be honored.”
Whomever you have in mind, blocking can be majorly beneficial. “It’s in the knowing. When a person is blocked, you know that you will not hear from them. There’s no guessing. There’s no anticipation. There’s no bracing for it. And, there’s no hoping, waiting for, wondering if they will. The block eliminates all of that.” she says.
She adds, “Sometimes that’s exactly what we need.”
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