It’s Thursday! We had quite a lot of severe weather last night. In our area, there was just a big thunderstorm with lots of rain that refilled my rain barrel. However, in our former town of Jettingen, I’ve seen that a lot of people’s cars and windows were damaged by hail.
During our four years of living in Jettingen, I noticed there was more severe weather there in all respects– more snow, more rain and hail, more wind, and yes, hotter days in the summer! Jettingen is at a higher altitude than some other areas. Consequently, it gets some interesting weather. I remember in 2015, we got snow that hung around for weeks after it was long gone from Stuttgart.
In spite of the weather, I did like Jettingen, mainly because it was right next to a beautiful forested nature park. On the other hand, the nature park was full of ticks, and any time we walked through it, we came out with the little bloodsucking pests. I was forever pulling ticks off of our dogs. We also had a landlady who was a bit of a leech, as we found out upon leaving her house. Where we live now, the weather is milder. So is our landlord’s disposition. That’s a good thing, too, since he’s also our neighbor.
Speaking of non-literal “leeches”… I could also use that metaphor for some of the people I run into on Facebook. I’m sure anyone who uses social media has noticed how hostile and rude people are these days. You post a comment– especially one that goes against the status quo– and chances are good someone is going to come at you with negativity. There’s a pervasive “shoot first and ask questions” later attitude on Facebook.
Lately, I’ve been blocking people like crazy, mainly because I’m tired of being confronted with that level of disrespect by strangers. I know some people think blocking people is “cowardly” or “immature”. However, I think being nasty to people you don’t know, simply because you disagree with something they’ve said or written, is also cowardly and immature. If we were in person, I wouldn’t stick around to listen to that shit. I’d walk away. So that’s what I’ve been doing a lot more of on Facebook. I don’t post on Twitter or X or whatever… and I don’t really use Instagram, either. I stick to Facebook and YouTube, and lately I’ve been upping my YouTube consumption, because I mostly find it a more pleasant place to spend my time.
If you read yesterday’s post, you know that yesterday, I read an AITA post on Reddit Ridiculousness that triggered me. I mostly confined my comments about that post to my blog, because it’s a place where I can write everything I want to, and have some control over the responses I get. But, even though there was a little voice in my head telling me not to comment, I didn’t resist leaving a short statement on the post. I basically wrote a much shorter version of what was in yesterday’s blog post. It went against most of the other comments, praising the OP in yesterday’s post and saying he’s “not the asshole” for looking after his mental health by going “no contact”. My verdict was that “everyone sucked”.
The gist of my comment was that if a person wants to go “no contact”, they should stop being in contact with pretty much everyone connected to their target. In my social media post, I specifically wrote that the no contact thing makes “funerals and weddings awkward”. Which it does. Don’t kid yourself thinking your passive aggressive “silent treatment” toward certain family members doesn’t affect everybody else at a family function. It totally does, even if no one says that out loud.
I got several angry comments from people who told me my comment was “rubbish”. I blocked the first two or three people who responded to me in that way, because I figure if they’re automatically hostile because I’ve disrupted their version of reality, they aren’t mature enough to have a discussion. Frankly, I neither have the time nor the crayons to explain this concept to them, and I don’t want to get into a heated online confrontation with a stranger who hasn’t bothered to put on their thinking cap or employ basic civility.
I know sometimes comments on Facebook are very triggering, but most of the time, when I post on social media, I try to take a deep breath first. I wish others would try to do the same. I don’t like getting into contentious arguments with randos.
I’m sure the people who responded to me in anger were triggered because other people, whose opinions they might actually value, have admonished them for “taking care of their mental health” by going no contact with family members. And they feel that no one has the right to deny them their right to go no contact with others. What they really want is to have their cake and eat it, too, and it upsets them when someone has the nerve to suggest to them that “no contact” doesn’t work that way.
Here I am, a total stranger behind a computer screen whom they feel “safe” to attack, having the audacity to write that if you want to go “no contact”, you have to be all in and really commit to it. So attack they do… and I’m sure it temporarily makes them feel better. But I don’t usually respond to their angry comments. Lately, more often than not, I simply block them without any other response. I have the right to express my views, too, and I don’t owe anyone a conversation or an explanation, especially when they tell me my opinions are “rubbish”. If they want an explanation, they can find my blog. 😉
For the record, I have never claimed that people don’t have the right to go “no contact” if that’s what they want to do. What I wrote yesterday is that if you claim to be going “no contact”, but then you hang around with people who are communicating with your “no contact” target, you’re not really going “no contact”.
Going no contact is not just about giving people the silent treatment. Going no contact means just that. You don’t communicate with them at all. Communication isn’t just about talking to people, because not all communication is verbal. So, that means you don’t stalk them on Facebook; you don’t drive by their house; you don’t ask others about them; you don’t talk or think about them at all. And you don’t give other people in their circle of friends and loved ones the opportunity to share information about you to them. To do that effectively, you will probably have to cut off more than the target person.
If you cut off speaking to your father, but you’re still talking to your siblings, and they are still speaking to your dad, there will be communication and, likely, some triangulation. Your name will probably come up. You can’t expect your siblings to honor your desire to keep all of your communications private, especially when they are talking to someone as significant as a parent. You can certainly ask them to do it, but chances are good that, ultimately, they won’t honor your request.
It might even be by accident that they let something slip. See yesterday’s AITA post for proof of that. The OP claimed to go “no contact” with his brother and parents, but he still spoke to his cousin and grandmother. Sure enough, that eventually put him back into contact with his parents and brother, because the parents pressured the cousin to give them his phone number. And I’m sure when Granny died, if the OP went to the funeral, there was communication, even if he didn’t say a single word to his parents or brother. A large percentage of communication is nonverbal. Maybe nonverbal communication is not the mythical 93% that has been claimed for so many years, but it’s a very large percentage.
So, that’s why I wrote that if you want to go “no contact”, you have to go all in and commit to it, which means not talking to other people in the family. If you’re still speaking to family members, and they’re still speaking to your target, you haven’t really gone “no contact”. You’ve gone “low contact”.
Going low contact can also be effective for mental health purposes. Plenty of people who have to co-parent with a narcissist do just that, for the sake of their children– that is, if they’ve been able to arrange a co-parenting scenario. Not everyone can do that in every situation. My husband couldn’t do that with his ex wife; she flatly refused to cooperate, and he lacked the means to legally force her to comply with his requests to share the kids.
But if you’re not speaking to certain people, except to rudely tell them you’re not speaking to them… or you tell someone you obviously know that they have you mixed up with someone else. Yep… that is, indeed, a form of communication. You haven’t actually gone “no contact” with them at all. It’s petty as fuck and really stupid, to boot.
After a few indignant responses from irate people about how my comment was “rubbish”, I decided to respond to the last person who challenged me. I was feeling rested, because I had just taken a nap. And I was tired of being tagged in angry responses by people who were trying to “correct my opinions”.
I calmly explained that it seems to me that the guy in the Reddit article had not actually gone “no contact”, and I included reasons why I believe that. Then I briefly explained why I think anyone really going no contact needs to quit talking to other people in the group or family unit. At the end of my response, I wrote “That’s just my opinion, and I’m entitled to it. If you respond to me with rudeness or hostility, I’ll be going ‘no contact’ with you.” And I added a winking smilie, even though I was dead serious, not that I think the guy cares one way or the other if he ever has a Facebook exchange with me again.
I doubt most random people care when I block them. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know, because I don’t so much as interact with them. I just notice their online conduct and “schwack” them… as Bill would say. Because I’ve seen the trailer and I’ve determined that their show isn’t one I want to watch… or be sucked into for binge viewing. I do it for MY mental health. Sure, it hurts more when a person is blocked by someone they “know”. So, I figure it’s better to spare them the pain by not engaging and just sending them to Facebook’s proverbial round file called the “block list”. I’m sure other people still love them anyway, even if things didn’t work out between us. 😀
It’s very difficult to truly go no contact with people you somehow know. I would love to be able to do it with Ex, but it’s been impossible, especially since Bill and his daughter reconnected. I used to make a point of not searching for information about Ex, because I figured it would disrupt my peace. But then I’d hear about her latest antics or past shenanigans, or some other disgusting layer of toxic crap would come to light. I’d need to unpack it, so I’d write a post in my blog.
Then I noticed her trying to mess with the vulnerable in Bill’s family. I don’t directly intervene, but I do raise the alarm so the more easily affected can protect themselves from the craziness. At this point, I just embrace watching what she posts online. At the very least, it helps warn us if she’s planning something sinister; and at best, sometimes she’s entertaining. I know she watches what I do; she always has, even long before I started paying attention to her. I know, because she mentioned my blog to Bill’s daughter. So yes, I realize I’ve been “Googled”. Turnabout is fair play.
I figure that if you’re reading my blog, seething because I’ve written something you don’t like, or you think is unfair, but then you lack the courage to have a conversation, you’re no better than I am. At least I watch Ex because I know for a fact that she can be dangerous, if not to one’s health, then certainly to one’s finances. I may not be the most likable person, but I’ve never used family members (especially children) as weapons; I don’t threaten or abuse people; I don’t manipulate others; and I’ve never been the direct cause of anyone’s severe financial or emotional problems. I’ve also never left any physical scars in private places on another person’s body.
I suspect people in the family read yesterday’s post, as well as several others. I pay close attention to who reads my blogs and where they come from. There were some suspicious hits yesterday. Allow me to go on record in saying that I truly don’t care if my husband’s former family members read my blog. Maybe it will help some of them wake up and grow up. Or maybe it won’t… either way, it doesn’t matter to me, because they’ve all supposedly gone “no contact”. 😉
Life is short. I don’t like the bloodsucking ticks in the naturepark, or the extortionate behaviors of our former landlady. I also don’t enjoy having my time and emotional well-being sapped by hostile people on Facebook, who don’t bother to consider more than their own perspective before popping off with disrespectful comments to perfect strangers. I choose not to waste my time with those people. I simply go “no contact”. And because they are complete strangers and we have no shared experiences, relatives, or friends in common, it’s super easy to do.
For more information on how to REALLY go “no contact”, have a look at this excellent post by the folks at Psych Central. It offers good advice, but again… it’s not easy to do.