Blocking People Isn't A Great Mental Health Solution

Sometimes you’re only manipulating yourself.

Shannon Ashley
7 min readMar 26, 2019


Since beginning my writing journey over the past year, I have blocked two users. Both were strangers to me, and both were “red pill men” who frequently commented on my stories in a deeply hurtful fashion.

No matter what I wrote about, these guys were there to tell me that I was worthless and selfish as a single mom. They painted a story about me that I supposedly forced my ex to have a baby, the poor man.

When I wrote about my ex initially wanting me to have an abortion a few hours away, how he refused to take off work to go with me, and how he tried to get some guy he knows (whom I’d never met) to take me instead, what do you think they said?

You guessed it. They felt sorry for my ex for having no control over me and the pregnancy.

It was schoolyard level bullying from people I’d never even met. They called me names like “fat cow,” and claimed I only wrote online because I’m such a failure in real life.

In some ways, they weren’t wrong. My writing journey began out of desperation. I did feel worthless. I thought I needed a man to prove I was somebody, so I was ashamed of my status as a single mother.

I did feel like a failure.

When I blocked those men, it was definitely for the benefit of my own mental health. They were strangers and bullies, and there was nothing for me to say that they would ever deem worthy.

Even so, I will never understand the knee-jerk reaction to block people we know on social media or various websites just because we get mad. I consider blocking as a last resort for people who will not listen to reason.

Every time I write about somebody trolling on my work, or discuss an unsavory interaction with a fellow writer, a few people ask why I don’t just block them and move on.

“Why not just block them and be done with it,” they ask me.

But I don’t even understand the question. "Blocking people" is pretty much only something you do online. In real life, cutting off from somebody who disagrees with you isn’t lauded as a positive mental health move. It’s more often…



Shannon Ashley

It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Calling out vipers since 2018 🍵 📧