(This article is about Facebook blocks over people we know.)
Silencing someone by blocking them on Facebook during an exchange is a new trend nowadays.
Blocking is very easy. It’s fast, clean cut, and violent enough to assure that the other person will be hit -specially if we had the last word before blocking them. Originally made for stopping abusive contact, blocking is highlighting a sickness in today’s modern society: tech silent treament.
Silent treatment (often referred to as the silent treatment) is refusal to communicate verbally with someone who desires the communication. It may range from just sulking to malevolent abusive controlling behaviour. It may be a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. Clinical psychologist Harriet Braiker identifies it as a form of manipulative punishment.From Wikipedia.
Blocking someone in Facebook, specially when after having the last word, is applying “the silent treatment”. Blocking is very tempting because it makes us feel we are under control. If we have this tendency, we are becoming as abusive as our perceived abuser. The consequences for the person that has been blocked are feelings of incompetence and worthlessness, the same feelings that were released by the blocker at the moment of hitting the button.
Avoiding confrontation does not end the situation. It just put it in darkness.
Before blocking someone we need to make sure we have made efforts to listen what the other is saying. If someone make us feel like running away, is because of fear. Blocking or silent treatment occurs when we are in defensive mode – total lack of receptivity and a sign that we are under enormous stress generally linked to unconscious trauma that the blocked person has just triggered.
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