Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger are great programs for instant messaging, no doubt, but they can place quite a strain on your time if you let anyone and everyone send you a message.
Here's what to do to allow contact only from certain individuals:
If you want to block just a certain individual from contacting you, highlight his or her contact record in Messenger, right-click, and choose "Block." Don't worry; you won't hurt their feelings because they'll never know you don't want to "chat" with them. To the "blocked" Messenger contact, your status will simply display as offline, saving everyone an awkward conversation later on.
And, even though you've blocked someone, you can still end up exchanging IM messages if you are both invited to a conversation by someone else.
Then there are times when you don't want anyone to contact you through MSN Messenger. If that's the case, you can set your status to "Busy," "Away," or "Appear Offline."
No problem, just click the little arrow next to your name in the Messenger main window and choose one of the other status indicators, as shown in Figure 12-19.
Figure 12-19. Change your Messenger status.