I was recently going through my privacy settings on Facebook, and I looked through the list of people whom I've blocked over time. It's a pretty small list, but as I looked through it, I realized a pattern. With the exception of one, they are all people who would probably never add me (for reasons you'll see), but I blocked them simply because I wanted them to have no opportunity to view anything about me.
Take a look through the list and see if you can spot the pattern. If not, well, I'll make it easy as it will be at the bottom of the post.
- My childhood babysitter – Until I was ten, my dad raised me alone. Since he worked, I needed someone to watch me before and after school, and through summer breaks and what not. Somehow, he found a lady who watched a few kids. We were all around the same age group. Looking back now, I realize that I wasn't the best behaved kid. I admit that I was a bit disruptive, but I wasn't destructive. Still, I was surprised when somewhere through the third grade school year, she told my dad that she didn't want to watch me anymore. She started thinking about winding down her babysitting service, and I was the first one she ‘cut' as she started to reduce the number of kids she watched. I don't have any fond memories of time spent with ‘Marge' before this, but it's always stuck in my head that she cut me loose. A couple of years ago, she actually found me and sent me a friend request. I sat on it for a few weeks before deciding that, no, I was not going to accept the request.
- Two bullies – In junior high and high school, I never ran with the popular crowd. As a result, there were times when I was bullied. One kid, in junior high, went so far as to egg my house, something that completely embarrased me as my parents were the ones that ultimately had to clean it up. In high school, I caught the attention of the ‘star lacrosse' player, who already was adored because of his ‘star' status, but it wasn't enough, so he picked on various kids, including me. While some other kids followed suit with both of the bullies, none kept it up as long or went to the degrees that these two did. As soon as I saw them on my ‘You might know…' list, they went right to being blocked.
- The frat guy – When I was in college, many people rushed a fraternity during the second semester of their freshman year. I was on the fence, so I passed, but decided I wanted to rush in the first semester of my sophomore year. I knew a lot of the guys in the fraternity I wanted to rush, and was good friends with many. It seemed a good fit, so I applied to rush. The way it worked is that if you got ‘a bid' they'd come by your dorm room and officially give you the invitation to go through the pledge process. The day of the invites come and went and I never got one. I was pretty devastated, but the code of the fraternity made it so that I could never really find out what had happened…and I didn't for a few years. Eventually one of my best friends admitted that there was a guy that had recommended I not receive a bid, and if one person felt that strongly, the house generally went with that recommendation. It was someone I never interacted with regularly, and to this day, I have no idea why I ran afoul of him. Again, he showed up as someone I might know and immediately went on my list.
- An ex-boss – Last year, I went through the story of my worst job ever (parts one two three) where I outlined the story of the one job I've had where I didn't excel. Not only did I not excel, I fell flat on my face. While I take responsibility for many parts, the fact is that I had a very unsupportive boss who did not believe in me, did not work to improve my performance, and took no responsibility for any of the issues. The job rattled me and made me question everything about myself as a worker, though luckily my next (and current) position has been a job where I've been given the opportunity to succeed, and have taken advantage of it.
So, now that you've read through these, do you know why I blocked all of these people?
Hint, it's because they all tried to take something away from me.
What was it? Have you guessed yet?
Here's what it is that they tried to take:
Each of these individuals attempted to compromise my self-confidence. That's apparently something that I cannot compromise.
And, really, neither should anybody.
On the flip side of all this, a couple of years ago I came across the fact that my third grade teacher was on Facebook. I was in third grade the same time as the ‘babysitter' item above, so it's all the more important that I had someone that believed in me, and Mr. H did. He was an awesome teacher, and he believed in me and every one of his students. The number of former students that have found him and shared pictures and stories are in the hundreds, but every one ties back to how Mr. H believed in them. He helped build their confidence.
He's retired and nearly 80 years old now, but he still comments on statuses and pictures and he still makes each person believe that they're special.
He's an amazing man and I'll never forget him.
All because he helped me believe in myself, all while there were others out there who, even if they weren't actively doing it, were attempting to take my confidence away. I value my confidence too much to let that be compromised, and after seeing the pattern in Facebook, I realize just how important that is to me.
Readers, if you have a Facebook account and have blocked people, does your blocked list say anything about what you value?