I was up late at night going through my Facebook only to discover that I haven’t seen a friend’s feed in a while. So I search for them on my friend’s list only to discover they blocked me.
My first reaction was to get upset and maybe text this person. Then I stopped myself and said,” Why should I even care about this?” Then I started thinking about how rejected I felt when I was blocked and unfriended in the past. I always felt blocking is a passive-aggressive way to say, “I want you out my life”. Some of my friends and associates would argue that it is a totally direct way of telling someone you want them out of your life. I guess it all depends on how you view it.
Before social media, people were blocking people’s numbers on their phones or not returning their phone calls. Were people just as offended back then as some of us are when being blocked on social media? What is it about social media that magnifies the abandoning factor? Also, if a person has gone to certain lengths to block you on a social site, should we even care at all?
And since I have started writing this, I am just going to flow with it and share the three thoughts that always come to mind when I am blocked.
Initial Reaction: Why?
I hold myself to mature standards and always wonder why things like this irk me. I know many won’t admit it bothers them, but I am sure there are some out there that are bothered by it. To be clear, I am not irked by all unfollows and blockings, it is the people that I know in REAL life that irk me. It also derives the question, “why?”.
It doesn’t matter how obligatory you feel, the person does have the right not to tell you why. People deal with things in many ways and sometimes it is easier for people to simply cut you off then talk with you. Then some people block you just so they do not have to address you or the problem at all. The older I get the more I realize I cannot control other people’s actions I can only control how I react to it.
In some cases, it is just human nature to search for a reason especially for situations and relationships that undesirably ended. In the past I found myself obsessing over the reason that I would talk to my friends incessantly about it, get angry and then possibly contact the person for an answer. Most times I reached out I did not receive an answer which angered me worse and in the end, it did not change the person’s decision it just affected my energy. Today when I found out this long-time friend blocked me, I was shocked, I thought about the possible reason and realized there is nothing I can do about it. I felt a way about it but in the end, there is nothing I am going to do about it. Well, maybe write this post.
Secondary Reaction: I Cannot Control People’s Decision
Let’s be honest, no one likes to feel rejected. Even if a person is blocked and unfollowed by a person they haven’t seen in years, they will feel a certain way about it. I always thought when you have known someone for a long time there is an unspoken obligatory rule they should reach out and communicate their qualms. I am learning that maybe that is some shit I made up and maybe I should get over myself. Besides sometimes we get caught up in the number of years someone has been in our lives and ignoring how less they are currently pouring into the relationship.
Now that we know the reason we were blocked, unfollowed or unfriended is exclusive to the blocker,unfollower, or unfriender, it’s easier to accept that you cannot control their decision. To be honest I blocked someone before and I honestly did not feel vindicated from the anger towards them. When I realized it did not affect me, I removed the block and reached out to the person. Yet in still if the sole reason for social media is to be social I guess it would make sense for people to remove individuals they don’t want to be social with. Whatever the reason, realizing you cannot control someone’s actions is liberating.
Final Reaction: Acceptance
My mom once told me all relationships are not final and some of them are for a season. Sometimes the season is up. Also, when looking in the mirror we may think we are perfect but sometimes we could be the toxic ones. Whatever the reason, take what you learned from that relationship and when/if that person is ready to talk to you about it, they will. If you still want to reach out to the person be prepared for the possibility of that person not being ready to talk to you off social media.
Embrace the people that are still following and rocking with you as they will help you easily forget the ones that don’t. The older I become the more accepting I am about withering friendships, they still hit me but I am learning how to accept things I cannot change. There is no love lost, just a closed chapter.
Are you affected when blocked, unfriended, or unfollowed on social media by a close friend or family member? If so, how did you handle it? If not, what perspective do you lean on?