When does text harassment become stalking?

If you have been obsessively texting an ex girlfriend, ex boyfriend, ex husband, or ex wife, you might be crossing over line. It might be considered harassment and even stalking, what you are doing. If you are wondering whether obsessive texting can get you into trouble then it is likely that you are doing something that you are well aware might get you in trouble. In this article I will cover a few stark warning signs that indicates texting you are doing is treading into stalking.

Take this text stalking quiz below to see if you are becoming a bonefide text stalker. If you answer yes to any of the questions then you need to get control of your behavior, realize it can get you into trouble, and learn to stop texting. Even if it means turning texting capability off your phone completely, you need to stop. Remember, you might be staring at what you texted in court papers down the road. So, take the high road and learn to quit texting threatening content to your ex.

Are you wondering if you a stalker?

The odds are that if you are wondering if you are becoming a stalker, you probably are.

Do you text an ex more than a dozen times daily?

If you are ranting to someone, whethere it be an ex boyfriend about him cheating, or an ex spouse about him violating custody orders, it can all turn around on you. Your harassing them may actually wind up getting you into trouble, not them! This is why it is so important to recognize obsessive texting behavior and stop. If you are sending out a dozen or more messages a day to someone, consider it harassment.

Has the person made it clear in writing either by email or text that they do not wish to hear from you?

If the person you are texting has made it clear to you that they do not wish to hear from you and yet you refuse to accept it and continue to text, consider it as stalking. Someone that makes it clear that they do not wish to hear from you should be taken very seriously. Respect the boundries they are setting or you can really get yourself in hot water.

Would the person pick up the phone if you called or would they screen your call and let it roll over to voice mail?

If a person blatantly screens your calls and does not pick up the phone when you call, then your texts are intrusive. He (or she) obviously does not want to hear from you. No matter how bad you want to talk to them, make up, whatever, you should respect their boundries.

Honestly, if you have to call this person on a restricted number just to get through to them without being screened, then why text them? Understand that obsessive texters use texting to force themselves onto the peron they want to talk to, because its the only way they can get through. If he won’t even pick up the phone when you call then your texts are invasive and you should stop making yourself look desperate.

Has the person ever blocked your number or threatened to block your number because of your refusal to stop texting them?

In breakups especially, it is often the case that one person moves on and does not wish to hear from the other. The person that was dumped on the other hand, may find it hard to accept the rejection so they continue to try and communicate and make contact. Eventually, the person who left will get fed up. All it takes is one text to their inbox at an inopportune moment and they will finally blow.

If an ex threatens to block your number or even goes so far that they do block your number, bet your bottom dollar that they do not wish to hear from you. Contacting them at this point can be considered stalking behavior and you should quit texting him.

Has the person defriended you and/or blocked you on social networking sites?

If a person begins to feel threatened and caged in by an ex, they usually take protective steps. These steps are not solely as a diss, they are attempts to block you out from contact so that they can continue on with their lives.

If the person blocks you from seeing their friends list on facebook, or defriends you on facebook or myspace, then for you to continue to attempt to contact that can be construed as stalker behavior. If they make a point that they will be sending any email that you send them to spam, then quit emailing. Quit emailing, calling and definitely quit texting.

Has the person gone so far as to change their number because of you?

If a person has actually gone to the effort of changing their number to block you from contacting them and you continue to contact them through other means such as email or looking up their new number on a people finder site, then this is stalking behavior. Someone who changes their phone number does not wish to remain in contact with you. You must stop texting them.

Have you made idle threats or scary statements to anyone?

If your texts contain threats of any nature, then be forewarned those texts can be used against you. The person getting the threats can forward them to an email and print them out as documentation and proof that you are a stalker. Real threatening texts combined with a phone bill history of you constantly texting them, along with their letters telling you to stop, all add up to you getting in to legal trouble.

Never, ever threaten any one (or for that matter actually hurt anyone). Threatening to physically hurt them, emotionally hurt them, spread damaging rumors, wreck their reputation, take them down, beat them up, take their kids away from them, ruin their careers, financially harm them, bribe or blackmail them, and so on are all considered abuse. If you abusively threaten someone like this then rest assured your texting behavior will be considered stalking.

Are you in a legal situation with someone you are texting relentlessly?

You have to understand that there are laws and harassing phone calls as well as stalking are considered criminal behavior under those statutes. Particularly if you are sending threatening or harmful text messages, the person who you are harassing can accuse you of aggravated harassment.

If you are harassing someone or threatening them harm without basis, these actions will backfire on you and only serve to get you in trouble. You can get anything from a police report filed on you, to getting slapped with a family court order of protection (a restraining order). If you constantly tell a parent that they are a horrible parent, etc, the court will take your accusations seriously. Even if they are a horrible parent, you could be the one getting into hot water with the law.

Are you in a custody dispute or contentious divorce?

Whenever custody of your children is involved you need to take care. Be the best parent you can and try not to trash or dirty up the other parent. If you need to contact the other parent or authorities out of concern for your children then do so professionally and even with the help of an attorney or authorities if mediation with them proves impossible. In other words, act like an adult at all times and use the proper and appropriate channels. Don’t let out of control anger manifest in threatening or harassing text messages.

Your harassing texts to the other parent could very easily make their way into court papers and declarations, not to mention custody evaluaters. Act on the up and up and make sure you respect the other parent to the best of your ability. Always re-read your communications that you send to your ex and make 100% certain that they are always civil and pertinent. Family split ups are stressful enough as it is, and you certainly don’t want to create an unnecesarry negative paper trail on yourself by harassing your ex with angry text messages.

Another pointer to remember is that often breakups get nasty for a long time before the actual split up or attorneys get involved. During that break down phase, your behavior might get out of control and at that point you could text or email stupid accusations that are later used against you in a divorce proceeding. So, if a breakup is a possibility at all, take care to keep your behavior at the most professional civil state possible. Maintaining proper conduct is very important.

If you answered yes to any of the questions in the above text stalking quiz then you are crossing the line into the grey area of harassment and stalking. Get control of your behavior and quit texting that ex. Edit all that you say and keep civility with your ex. It will save you so much headache and aggravation. Ssshhh. No venting to your ex on text!


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2 Responses to When does text harassment become stalking?

  1. Jill says:

    Great article.

  2. Pingback: Love texting tips | Love Dating How to Text

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