How to Get Someone to Stop Texting You

Unwanted texts can be a small inconvenience bogging down your inbox with notifications. They can also be a frightening intrusion and threat to your peace of mind. 

Regardless of where unwanted texts fall on the spectrum between irritation and danger, there are several methods to get them to stop. Your options can be simple, like blocking numbers. They can also be very serious, like obtaining a protection order, if it is warranted.

Our phones are with us everywhere. Unwanted messages can cause us to miss important messages or just cause way too many notifications. Unwanted messages can also make us feel vulnerable when they contain implicit or explicit threats. 

Read on for specific tips to end these unwanted messages and to get someone to stop texting you. The easiest option is to avoid responding altogether, but sometimes the messages continue to come. We will tackle these ideas from the least serious ways to the more drastic options.

Let The Other Person Know Their Messages Are Not Welcome

While this may seem obvious to some, this option may seem really challenging for people less comfortable with direct communication. Direct communication does not need to be mean or brusque, but it is to the point and specific.

If you know why the other person is texting you, address it. Did you ghost them? Is it possible they do not know that their messages are unwanted? Here is a kind suggestion for a response to someone you only went out with a couple times: “It was great getting to know you, but I don’t think we are a good fit. Best of luck in the future!”

Many times it is kinder just to let the other person know where you stand. Unfortunately, a part of dating is knowing that it is a process of trial and error. The other person may not like that you are shutting the door, and will likely respond with another message or two. Try not responding to those, and the vast majority of reasonable people will stop texting at that point.

For a non-romantic relationship, the goal is to signal that you are not as invested as they are. Acknowledge that you received their messages but will not be responding further: “I got your messages. I have quite a bit on my plate right now, so it is not a good time for me to chat.”

Again, most reasonable people will only send one follow-up and then understand the brush-off. Of course, some deeper relationships do need and deserve a more in-depth conclusion to relationship. If that has already happened and the messages continue, use a version of the above messages. When the messages continue, it is time to move on to the next step.

Also, some situations are too dangerous to risk inflaming them with a message to stop texting. Always put your own safety at the forefront when deciding how to go forward. This is only recommended for people who you perceive to be safe.

Block Their Number

It is absolutely appropriate to block someone’s phone number when you establish a boundary that they continue to break. When you block a phone number, you will not see calls or messages from them. They will not be notified that you blocked them, but they can probably guess when the message stays unread. 

Blocking a number can be great for your peace of mind when messages from someone disrupt your day with negative feelings. Does seeing a message alert from someone make your heart race (in a bad way)? Or do you dwell on it until you finally open it? Or do you feel the impulse to respond even though you know it will not be productive?

These are all great signs it is time to block someone. Here’s how to do it:

Blocking numbers on iPhones

  1. On your messages screen, select the message from the person in question.
  2. At the top of your screen, click the drop-down arrow by the contact name or unknown number 
  3. Select ‘info.’
  4. Select ‘info’ again. 
  5. Choose ‘block this caller.’
  6. Confirm that you want to block contact

Blocking numbers on Androids

  1. If the number is in your contacts, select the contact. Tap the three-dotted icon. Choose block number.
  2. If it is not in your contacts, go to the call or message log. Tap the three vertical dots for ‘more options.’ Choose ‘settings’ and ‘blocked numbers.’ Then ‘add a number.’

Change Your Phone Number

Changing your phone number is an inconvenient option. If the messages are so concerning that you are willing to change your phone number, consider whether the person knows where you live.

Changing your phone number will eliminate unwanted messages, but it does not independently resolve safety concerns. This one is best used in conjunction with other safety steps. If you change your phone number, be conscious of to whom you provide the number in the future. If it is attached to your voter registration, it may be visible online. 

Pursue A Protection Order

Depending on your state, no contact orders may be called protection orders or restraining orders. The purpose of such orders is to prevent contact of one person by another.

Protection orders are issued by a court with jurisdiction. This may be a municipal, civil, or district court. Protection orders are commonly issued in criminal cases between the victim and the person who commited a crime. People can also pursue civil protection orders without waiting on police intervention.

If issued, the protection order is an official court order. The order makes it a crime for one person to have certain types of contact with another. 

The prohibited contact is often being with a certain distance, e.g., 100 yards, of another. Protection orders can also specifically prohibit phone calls, text messages, online messages. Sometimes all contact is prohibited. 

Protection orders are serious. They may reflect on the restrained party’s criminal background check. Protection orders are issued when someone threatens to hurt another person someone is in imminent danger from the other person. States may have specific provisions for harassment. 

How To Request A Protection Order 

To request a protection order, proceed to your local state court. You may be able to obtain the forms online or at the courthouse. You will file the forms to request the protection order. You will likely be asked to describe, in detail, your basis for requesting the protection order. There may also be a hearing.

Remember that if you are requesting a protection order, it is your responsibility to inform the court of all relevant information. View this as your opportunity to convince the judicial officer that you needs this method of protection.

The court may issue a temporary protection order. This is done to permit the restrained party to be served with the paperwork and receive notice of the proceeding. Then, a permanent hearing will occur. During this hearing, you will each provide any evidence to present your perspective to the court. 

What Happens If You Have A Protection Order Against Someone

Unfortunately, a protection order is only a piece of paper. If you become aware of someone violating it, you can call the police for assistance. Violating a protection order can have serious consequences for the person who violates it. However, the protected person is not in a bubble to ensure their safety.

Other resources for those in dangerous situations

If the person you want to stop texting you makes you feel afraid for your safety, there are other resources available. As always, call 9-1-1 if there is an imminent threat to your safety. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has many resources, from educational resources to action plans. Reach them by phone at 1-800-799-SAFE.

Additional resources vary by state. Visit the Office on Women’s Health for a state-by-state resource list.

Special Considerations For Women

If you identify as a woman  and are trying to end unwanted messages from a man, please focus on your safety. All-too-many headlines tell the stories of women attacked after rejecting a man, whether a stranger on the street or a long-term partner. Male aggression after rejection is a much studied topic. 

Walking the tightrope between enforcing boundaries and maintaining safety is a continual balancing act. Sadly, no article regarding ending unwanted text messages should overlook this fact. 

Takeaways About Getting Someone To Stop Texting You

Ending unwanted text messages run the full spectrum between an awkward social task and a matter of safety. We cannot ignore the serious situations. Ending text messages can be perceived as rejection, and some men react with violence.

However, many of these situations happen between people not romantically involved or among good people who are not on the same page.When safe and appropriate, communication to clarify the terms of the relationship (or lack of one), is the most recommended course of action.

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