While I've been dating, I've discovered a common problem that I don't think gets enough attention. It's about time it gets addressed.
Unfortunately, in the world of smart phones and social media, so-called creepers – be it the psycho stalker, the crazy ex or the old friend who just won't get the hint – have access to numerous ways to get in contact with you. Unless you choose to live your life completely locked down and unavailable to the world, these people will find you.
The most common ways are contacting you through text or on Facebook. It could be as simple as “Hey, hope all is well,” or as complex as “I have something of yours. Do you want it back?”
It's the bait and hook approach. The goal is to get a response by any means necessary. They likely are aware you don't wish to communicate with them.
But in their heads, as long as they can get a response from you, they have a chance. They are arrogant in this way. They have no regard for how you feel about them; they only care about the fact that they feel a certain way about you.
They are more than willing to come off as creepy and say whatever they need to to say in order to get a response. In their mind, they are oblivious to the way they're coming across. They are blinded by infatuation.
The only way to combat this is to never – no matter what they say or do – acknowledge them. If they get any sense that you're open to communication, it's going to feed their behavior.
These people are already convinced that all they need from you is a hint of dialogue, no matter whether it's good or bad. They honestly believe they can manipulate you into being interested if they just have a chance to talk to you.
It's time you learned how to avoid them:
1. Block first and think later.
It's common sense, really. Say you get a random text from some number you don't know that says, “Hope you're well.”
Your first reaction is to text back, “Who is this?”
Bam. You opened the door because the stalker got you to respond. That was the stalker's cue to blow up your phone.
Consider the fact that anyone you want to associate with in any capacity is already stored on your phone. Unless this person is sending a message saying, “Hey, it's Chris. Got a new phone. This is my new number,” he or she is probably not someone you need or want to talk to.
If you respond at all, this person is going to keep at it. Why block immediately, you ask? It's simple. If this person tries once and gets no response, he or she will try again.
How annoying is it to get those random texts every day? Just block the number and be done with it. This person can keep going all he or she wants, but you won't have to see it anymore. If this person is truly someone you want to talk to, he or she is likely going to tell you who he or she is.
2. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
Never respond. Give this person nothing.
If this person Snapchats you, don't view it. If he or she Facebook messages you, don't read it. The beautiful thing about social media is the ability to block anyone at the click of a button.
The downside is, if you look at what this person sent, he or she will know you did. Just refrain.
Don't open it, don't view it and sure as hell don't respond to it. If you don't give this person anything, then he or she has no fuel to keep going. But if you give him or her anything, he or she will never stop.
Once this person is blocked, delete everything this person sent to you. Get rid of it. You don't need it in your phone, on your screen or in your head.
When you go to Snapchat your friends, you don't need to see the cyberstalker's Snap still sitting there, begging to be opened. When you go to message someone on Facebook, you don't need the off chance that you will accidentally open the message.
You definitely don't need a drunk night where you'll get some liquid courage in you and decide to message the person back to scream at him or her.
It just takes one click to give this person the wrong message. Delete it immediately. This person may find other ways to try to get to you, but you can handle those attempts in the same way.
Maybe even report these people. It's likely you aren't their first victim or their last. By reporting this person, you will be making sure the same thing doesn't happen to anyone else.
These tools are there at your disposal for a reason: Use them. This type of behavior has only increased with the rise of social media, and the only way to stop it is to get ahead of it.
You have the power to stop the creeps before they even have a chance to get started. The more we allow it, the worse it will get.
Take my advice and make these cyberstalkers disappear. Don't be the victim. Be the aggressor.
Block, ignore, delete and be done.