4 Reasons You Should Never Block Your Partner's Calls When You're Arguing

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Why Blocking Someone's Number Is A Terrible Call

Note: This article is not about legitimate cases of telephone harassment or threats. There are appropriate times when you may need to block a number; this story is not about one of those times.

Recently, I was having a conversation with a client about a disagreement she was having with her long-distance boyfriend. They had been dating for some time, had multiple visits, and were talking about a future together when there was a change of plans.

Her boyfriend found out that his job was being transferred to another location even further away and after a particularly tense "discussion" with her, and he was obviously feeling "attacked" and got defensive.

Of course, the situation was already less than ideal, but as she was discussing it with me, she casually mentioned that she "blocked his number" in retaliation.

Hold the phone! She mentioned it so casually that clearly it was no big deal to her. In fact, when I asked her, she even admitted that it's a move she had pulled multiple times in the past.

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She said she always unblocks the number eventually. It's just a thing she does when she's angry or upset.

That's when I had to stop her. We talked about how ineffective that is in her relationships and how it could be a huge form of self-sabotage that was costing her dearly over and over again in every relationship.

As she started to see how that might be the case, I asked her where she got the idea that cutting off communication might be a good strategy, and her answer kind of floored me. I wasn't expecting that level of self-awareness mixed with cluelessness at the same time.

Without missing a beat, she said it was something she started doing as a way to punish her Dad for not being there, or for falling short of what she hoped he would be for her. In that moment, a beautiful accomplished woman suddenly sounded like a hurt and disappointed little girl.

Nearly four decades later, my client was still working out her "daddy issues," and up until we started working together, she still wasn't entirely clear on what exactly she needed to heal.

So, why is blocking his calls or phone number such a bad idea?

The fact that she's used this strategy over and over again for years, without success, should have been a clue as to its ineffectiveness. However, sometimes you're just too close to a problem to get a healthy, objective perspective on it.

Here's why you shouldn't block his calls, and why doing so is incredibly detrimental.

1. It's passive-aggressive. 

By disappearing and withholding contact, you're taking away the one and only shot you have at resolving the issue.

For my client, by punishing her guy with enforced silence, there was no way to initiate and sustain a productive dialogue that could have yielded a solution that was a win/win for both parties.

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2. It kills authenticity. 

If no one is talking, that also means no one has an opportunity to just be vulnerable and speak from the heart. That means no one gets to speak their truth either, so the risk of false assumptions and misunderstandings is unnecessarily high.

No one has the opportunity to own their own role in the breakdown and not make the other party wrong. No one gets to hold a safe space for their partner to work out or heal an old wound that might get discovered.

3. It blocks intimacy.

When two people just get real and express their feelings without having to make any one else wrong, that's where the breakthroughs happen. That's when people bridge the gaps, get closer than ever and develop real, heartfelt understanding. 

4. It forces you to play small.

It stands to reason that if you don't step up and rise to the occasion in a way that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable — and, at the same time, very proud and satisfied — you've missed an opportunity for massive growth.

The truth is, the bigger the upset, the greater the opportunity for massive and rapid growth. That's because there are essentially two types of growth.

Evolutionary growth happens slowly over time, and when you stop many years later, you may notice the huge growth in the rear view mirror, but you seldom see it in real time.

By contrast, Revolutionary growth takes place when you come up against something huge, painful, and maybe even seemingly insurmountable, but you somehow rise up and conquer because you find a strong enough "why." Usually, it requires an immediate response because it is so very painful.

When it comes to creating an amazing relationship, you might as well give it everything you’ve got if you hope to succeed.

After all, those who only make small, safe investments rarely enjoy a great return.

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Dave Elliot is a Neurostrategist and Coach who is known for getting results with a variety of techniques that enable rapid transformational change. Connect with him for support in moving past bad relationship cycles or a toxic bad boy phase.