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Forums » Smalltalk » Being blocked: Sadness is not innocence

(This was typed on a phone, sorry if it's a mess.)

Probably all of us learn at some point that being blocked stings, especially if you don't know why it happened. Something that's been bugging me though is that every time someone steps up to share their frustration with such an experience, in the attempt to comfort the person, there's a cacophony of "You didn't do anything wrong!" Often, there often seems to be an underlying sentiment of negativity towards those who did the blocking, rather than understanding.

A person can be sad and confused about what happened and have actually done something to cause the block, and telling them they did nothing without any idea what happened won't help them.

Yes, there is a very good chance that the one who was blocked did nothing wrong - that is, nothing rude or cruel or anything like that. But they might have inadvertently broken one of the blocker's personal rules, or said something seemingly innocuous that still made the blocker uncomfortable, or the pacing might have been stressful, or the blocker might have had some nitpick they didn't want to actually criticize, or things just might not have been as equally enjoyable as it looked, etc. We can't always be sure of things like this or take action to prevent them, but sometimes there are things we can do - like making sure we check out or ask for any personal rules, taking time to learn what sorts if topics or jokes might be off-limits, checking in nonjudgementally with our partners to ensure they're having fun, etc. Failing to do many of these things does not make it the blocked person's fault; they are merely options which may help prevent/reduce blocking.

And we need to be more understanding of those who block. Of course I am always in favor of communicating first, but that's usually far easier said than done. Communication can be terrifying, especially if you have an issue like Anxiety (where your brain actively lies to you and everything seems horrible and untrustworthy), or a history of being harassed, or just plain don't have the energy to deal with a conversation. One thing we could work on as a community is better offering the option to just drop something instead of insisting on fixing it. For example:

"If you're not having fun, I'd like to know if we can fix that, but I'm also willing to drop the rp if you feel that's best."

Just giving the option up front, and not arguing of they take it with no explanation.

And if you were blocked by someone you're not playing with, even if it was someone you never played with, chances are that you did something that rubbed them the wrong way. This doesn't necessarily mean that you did something wrong or bad, or that the action taken was really fair, but it may be worthwhile to review yourself to see if anything stands out. It might be helpful to try viewing your posts as posts from a stranger whose intent you cannot know. This doesn't mean you need to be walking on eggshells, but it gives you a better opportunity to balance your priorities. Will adjusting things to be gentler help your self respect? Awesome, go for it! Would it damage your self-respect, perhaps require you to go along with something that makes you uncomfortable? Then stay the course and accept that the block helps you both.

Even RPR's official page on preventing and handling drama has a section encouraging self-reflection.

Validating people who have been blocked ("sorry that happened, I know it hurts") is great! Helping them move past it ("this happens sometimes, it doesn't mean you're a bad person," "I like talking to/rping with you, so don't only take the bad!") is great! But jumping in with "You did nothing wrong!" especially in a way that invalidates the feelings of the person who did the blocking is not great.

There is also a chance that the one side you are hearing is not being honest. There is a chance that the one who was blocked was actually being abusive, intentionally or not, and those implications that they didn't deserve to be blocked and that the blocker was unfair can be a huge slap in the face to a vulnerable person. Please don't assume this is the case, or course, but also don't assume that the blocker was being unfair.

Please stop treating a personal safety feature as a problem.

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Sanne Moderator

I want to say I appreciate this message a lot. :)

Being blocked, especially unexpectedly, is of course an emotional situation for most people. Not knowing why? It sucks. Not having a chance to fix things? That also sucks. These feelings are always real and valid, thank you for emphasizing this!

I also want to thank you for referring to the block feature as a 'personal safety feature'. I've personally always considered it a self-care tool that allows a person to create a safe space for themselves where they can breathe, process and heal. I am convinced most people never intend to do anything that warrants a block, but good intentions unfortunately don't always prevent mistakes that can hurt someone. If someone is hurt, even when it was an accident, they may still need that safe space to deal with the hurt.

Thank you for a constructive post that addresses both sides and sheds a different perspective on the block feature.
Thank you SO much for this.


long venty reply
I've honestly felt very pointed out before by some people unfortunately even if my name wasn't mentioned and then saw a slew of people - some even who were/are my friends - saying stuff like 'you did nothing wrong' and 'they are just immature ect ect' and insulting things to the people who I have blocked - not knowing anything about what happened.

Whether it was because they made me uncomfortable and I simply wasn't willing to try and talk to them about it because I felt unsafe, or because or some other personal issue with them. Several times it's also happened I blocked someone on accident and then saw their 'they blocked me' post with a bunch of people insulting someone they have no idea about, who blocked the person on bloody accident and didn't know until seeing that post lol. That is always the weirdest ones.

Like you said - because someone is sad and claims they didn't do a single thing - doesn't mean the person who blocked them is a horrible, immature, jerk of a person with no communication skills. I can communicate just fine but sometimes my anxiety stops me and other times replying or telling someone will just make it worse.

I've had people who everyone else views as super kind and nice, say very upsetting things to me, then post about how they were blocked and everyone take their sides and insult the person who blocked them.

At this point seeing all the 'blocked and didn't do anything' and 'why was I blocked?' posts is getting VERY upsetting, even when it's not about me or someone I know.

I cannot wait for the new RPR so I can block (haha) the word blocked/block/blocking from ever showing up when I look at forums again because it has gotten to an excess that is making me feel distressed. Especially seeing people jump immediately on the 'they suck!!!' band wagon about the blockers and acting like blocking people is a crime that should be looked down on.

I don't like the whole idea that someone even if uncomfortable has to 'try and work things out' or else something is wrong with them. I like to think I'm a fairly nice person, but sometimes I just can't bring myself past that feeling of anxiety or uncomfortability to say 'Hey I don't want to talk to you anymore' because the times that I have done that have been replied to with really angry or sad responses that are intentionally or unintentionally manipulative.

Phew. I needed to let that out. Thanks again <3
I can't really say much else. I've only ever blocked one person and I saw the post they made about being blocked, along with the swarm of people who don't blame them and blame me. Relating to the lying part, I think a lot of people want to believe that people on RPR wouldn't lie, so they automatically believe what people say it's true.

Unfortunately, people on RPR do still lie to make themselves look better.

The person said they did nothing wrong for me to block them, when in fact, despite knowing I was a minor (they were 19) and knowing that I was uncomfortable with any sort of South, they still tried to start initiating smut with me and one of my characters. I told them to stop and when they didn't, I blocked them. Simple.

People need to recognise that not everyone is as innocent as they claim to be even for they hope the are. And as said, people need to understand that blocking is a safety feature most people, even if the feeling of being blocked socks.
I skimmed this a little, but from my understanding. many of the problems with blocking without knowing the reason, also falls in place with the ghosting epidemic.

Ghosting is not a solution to a problem. Ignoring people is not a solution to a problem if they had the best intentions at heart. In fact if you ghosted someone, you're hurting them more than anything. People cannot improve without knowing what they did wrong, and how to fix it.
Draken901 wrote:
I skimmed this a little, but from my understanding. many of the problems with blocking without knowing the reason, also falls in place with the ghosting epidemic.

Ghosting is not a solution to a problem. Ignoring people is not a solution to a problem if they had the best intentions at heart. In fact if you ghosted someone, you're hurting them more than anything. People cannot improve without knowing what they did wrong, and how to fix it.

I think everyone understands this, and we all need to try and improve communication skills to stop it. However if you've made a user uncomfortable (even if you don't realise it) it can drive a person away from communication because they are uncomfortable and don't want to talk about it. Either because they don't feel safe, or that uncomfortable feeling makes them feel horrible.
For this exact reason, I try to word my posts so that it doesn't seem like I am against either party. I just let them know that it happens sometimes, and maybe you did something to upset them, but you just have to move passed it. I know it sucks if you don't know what's wrong, but you have to respect that it happens, either for a good reason or not. I have blocked someone just because they were irritating me with their constant criticizing on public forums. I have blocked someone for trying to initiate smut with me as a minor, and getting mad when I tell them that I won't. But, this forum definitely makes me think more about this. Like Static said, it's hard to think that such a loving community could have people who can be negative to other people.
Zelphyr Topic Starter

Draken901 wrote:
I skimmed this a little, but from my understanding. many of the problems with blocking without knowing the reason, also falls in place with the ghosting epidemic.

Ghosting is not a solution to a problem. Ignoring people is not a solution to a problem if they had the best intentions at heart. In fact if you ghosted someone, you're hurting them more than anything. People cannot improve without knowing what they did wrong, and how to fix it.
It is not an injured person's responsibility to help the one who injured them improve, and it is not anyone else's right to determine what is a qualifying injury.

I don't like ghosting or blocking without discussion*, but I will not hold it against the person. I don't know what they're going through, or how difficult it is for them to communicate.

*A clarification. There are probably those who are "block-happy" or who could stand to talk before resorting to blocking. More importantly, I don't like the concept of not giving someone a chance. I fully acknowledge in some cases, a person shouldn't be given a chance, such as the "trying smut with minors" that has been mentioned or when it's clear harassment (and I really encourage people to report those!). It is not up to me to judge, though.
But, I do believe that some things can be talked out, especially if you are RPing with this person. Maybe they did this thing unknowingly, maybe they misinterpreted something? All that needs to be said is "I'm not comfortable with this subject." , but at that point is when they should immediately stop doing whatever was bothering you.

Some things you should block someone for, especially if the attack/broken rule/etc. is reoccurring. Another example would be if they were asking for your personal information or just doing something that makes you extremely disturbed/uncomfortable, and should be common sense not to speak of.
Zelphyr Topic Starter

8_Stars_8 wrote:
But, I do believe that some things can be talked out, especially if you are RPing with this person. Maybe they did this thing unknowingly, maybe they misinterpreted something? All that needs to be said is "I'm not comfortable with this subject." , but at that point is when they should immediately stop doing whatever was bothering you.

Some things you should block someone for, especially if the attack/broken rule/etc. is reoccurring. Another example would be if they were asking for your personal information or just doing something that makes you extremely disturbed/uncomfortable, and should be common sense not to speak of.
As has been pointed out, there are times that speaking up makes things worse. Not always, but again, we all process things differently, especially if we've had a bad history.

It's like saying someone with a phobia of dogs just has to give approaching dogs a chance. Most dogs are great! But that person has a body and brain that will go into panic mode anyway, even for dogs with a proven record of being wonderful.
8_Stars_8 wrote:
But, I do believe that some things can be talked out, especially if you are RPing with this person. Maybe they did this thing unknowingly, maybe they misinterpreted something? All that needs to be said is "I'm not comfortable with this subject." , but at that point is when they should immediately stop doing whatever was bothering you.

Some things you should block someone for, especially if the attack/broken rule/etc. is reoccurring. Another example would be if they were asking for your personal information or just doing something that makes you extremely disturbed/uncomfortable, and should be common sense not to speak of.

An important thing or couple things really to remember is just because something can/could be worked out or spoken about doesn't mean it should or has to be.

On that note, what's minor or major to one might be completely different for someone else. I've managed to feel comfortable talking and working something other people might consider MAJOR out with people before without blocking them but been wildly uncomfortable to message and try to work something other people might consider very minor out with someone without blocking them.

What someone finds minor or major is personal, and sometimes people can talk out something major but not minor and something minor but not major.
I appreciate this post quite a bit, while I have never blocked anyone nor been blocked myself I can empathize with the need to remove yourself from a difficult situation. I always think there should some attempt at communication but sometimes, nothing can really be done to fix the pain or comfort of the blocker and they know that the other person didn’t necessarily do anything wrong but they simply can’t associate with them for their own mental/emotional health. Or they did try to communicate and it didn’t go well, etc.
There are a cornucopia of options and situations that we as observers aren’t aware of, or even both sides in the situation aren’t aware of. Placing blame on one side to vindicate the other is a hurtful thing to raise someone else from their sadness. Like saying one thing is better by putting down another, just as an example. IMO people don’t see the issue of doing something like this often because it is so commonplace, but it is always going to be hurtful to someone. So reminding others to help those in sadness but not compound the pain of the situation is a very kind thing to do. For this I thank you for your post.

PS, it wasn't a mess, good phone skills.
I am guilty of making one of these “blocked for no reason” post. I was upset in the moment because I didn’t know what I did wrong, and it caused me to jump the gun, which also caused me to word my post in a way i didn’t want it to sound. I honestly probably shouldn’t have made a post about it in the first place.

I understand that there’s always a reason for one to block you. I just wish commutation was better sometimes.

I don’t think people should insult any party, because no one knows what happened behind the scenes (except for the 2 people involved)


Again I wish things could be discussed more but I understand there’s people that just aren’t comfortable with that, and that’s okay, everyone should be comfortable on this community.
Rogue-Scribe

Thanks for this post Nova Lynn! Good insights from you and the others who have posted.

I myself personally don't pay much attention to the 'I'm Blocked' forum threads that regularly crop up. Occasionally I comment, but it is what it is. I guess I have little sympathy for the whole 'woe is me' sort of threads or the personal problems threads that are a regular feature on this site. Nothing against them. I just don't care to invest myself in them. I'm here to RP.

Blocking, ghosting, account deletion... it all runs under a net of social awareness. Some people don't even consider the reason before doing something like blocking someone. Maybe they didn't like the username or something. There is likely a lot of social anxiety with some that don't want to deal with the interaction it takes to discuss what may be on their mind, and blocking is an easy feature provided by the site. Same with deleting entire accounts without a word. It happens a lot on this site... more than any other I've been a part of. I just accept it and move on.
Novalyyn wrote:
Please stop treating a personal safety feature as a problem.

I wanted to chime in real short like and say I deeply appreciate this message. Most people who get blocked missed a cue somewhere that something wasn't right. Sometimes(though not as often) the person blocking was the issue. It doesn't really matter in the end who blocked who. If people aren't vibing and one of them is so afraid of saying anything because of a suspected reaction that they'd rather block and never have that confrontation- they NEED that option. No matter who might or might not be at fault.

I also wanted to say that rp ghosting hurts, but it isn't the end of the world. I've had it done to me and I've been guilty of it myself. We really need to be conscious of the fact that these stories are a hobby, and we have literally no idea what the person on the other side of our story collab is going through. It could be a full schedule, or a heightened stress environment or abusive or all three. We just don't know. Instead of taking the silence personally(and I know sometimes it feels like a snub) we need to remind ourselves that we aren't the center of the world and if a story ends, it doesn't mean our worth ends with it. Try to cultivate the courage and self validation necessary to move on to people who do want a story with you, rather than dwelling on those who don't or for whatever private reason, can't.
Selkieborn wrote:

It could be a full schedule, or a heightened stress environment or abusive or all three. We just don't know.

Yes such a huge factor. We just don't know. For lots of reasons.

When I first joined RPR my abusive partner at the time forced me to cut off communication with several people and eventually was not happy until I stopped RPing as a whole. So I left for a long while. Until that relationship thankfully ended and I found my passion for writing again and RPR.

There's so many reasons for this stuff even outside of 'they were uncomfortable'. Sometimes peoples partners and parents (even parents of grown adults) force/threaten/manipulate them to block people or stop talking to certain people, espeically if they monitor their messages and don't like what they see.
Zelphyr Topic Starter

Kingbaconporkchop wrote:
I am guilty of making one of these “blocked for no reason” post. I was upset in the moment because I didn’t know what I did wrong, and it caused me to jump the gun, which also caused me to word my post in a way i didn’t want it to sound. I honestly probably shouldn’t have made a post about it in the first place.

I understand that there’s always a reason for one to block you. I just wish commutation was better sometimes.

I don’t think people should insult any party, because no one knows what happened behind the scenes (except for the 2 people involved)


Again I wish things could be discussed more but I understand there’s people that just aren’t comfortable with that, and that’s okay, everyone should be comfortable on this community.
Thank you for your honesty and willingness to learn and grow. :)
Zelphyr Topic Starter

Just to be clear, I'd really like this thread to be a call to action for people to be more self-aware in general, and more sympathetic toward those who block or even just vanish without a word. Take more care not to insult them and remember there might be some hidden very big reason for things.

Be more understanding of problems before trying to make demands.
Rogue-Scribe

Novalyyn wrote:
Just to be clear, I'd really like this thread to be a call to action for people to be more self-aware in general, and more sympathetic toward those who block or even just vanish without a word. Take more care not to insult them and remember there might be some hidden very big reason for things.

Be more understanding of problems before trying to make demands.

In total agreement with this.
Kim Site Admin

Now this is some solidly wholesome content. <3

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