Thanks to the internet, social media and our mobile devices, there will be occasions where we need to block, delete or unfriend. This is something that most of us don’t envision having to do with someone we once liked, loved or valued, and as a result, we get stuck in trying to avoid it. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about why we resist blocking, deleting or unfriending even when not doing so means that we torture ourselves. I share some of the signs that it’s time to block, delete or unfriend, and questions we can ask ourselves to check in with our needs, boundaries and values.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Not wanting to be someone who has to block, unfriend or delete is a big stumbling block for us. We see these acts as being indictments of our worthiness or how ‘good’ we are at relationships. It’s like If I unfriend or block my ex, they or others will know that our relationship wasn’t that great or that I haven’t handled the breakup well.
  • Keeping people in our contacts or remaining connected to them on social media despite how doing so makes us feel bad and keeps us stuck in harmful cycles of behaviour hogs up valuable bandwidth.
  • Everything that humans do is about trying to meet emotional needs. Our resistance to blocking, unfriending or deleting, and what we’re doing instead, are our attempts to meet other needs. But our feelings are the clue that we are ignoring our very real needs. And if we’re ignoring our needs, we’re ignoring our boundaries.
  • If engaging in a painful dynamic that actually requires a block/unfriend/delete is about trying to right the wrongs of the past, playing Columbo and snooping, self-sabotage or continuing with uncharacteristic and harmful behaviour, we need to stop. Is it worth me interacting with this person to end up feeling, thinking and behaving like this?
  • It’s critical to get honest about our motivations for remaining connected. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will block, unfriend or delete, but it does mean that we can be more intentional. We can ensure that we’re not playing games and getting involved in other ego-driven behaviour.

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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