Unfriended or Unfollowed? How to Handle Rejection on Social Media

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Social media is a place where people make new friends. But for some, it’s also the place where people leave old friends.

Being unfriended or unfollowed by someone feels horrible. And while most social media platforms won’t inform you when someone leaves you, you might find out anyway when you notice no recent activity from them. They just dumped you like that—without any goodbyes, broken up on social media.

Here are some things you can do when you face social media rejection.

Confirm If They Really Unfollowed You

Before you feel bad, make sure they indeed unfollowed or unfriended you.

On Instagram, you can visit their profile and click on their Following count. If your account appears in their list, they are still following you.

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On Facebook, visit their profile. If it shows “Friends” then you’re still friends with them. If they have unfriended you, you’ll see an “Add friend” button instead.

Checking if you’re unfollowed on Facebook is a bit trickier. There is no direct way to know that. If they are still on your friends list and are active on Facebook but aren’t interacting with your posts, there’s a chance they have unfollowed you—but there’s no way to be sure.

Analyze Why They Might Have Unfollowed You

Do you make crude comments on posts? Do you share too much information on the public platform? You might be posting too many selfies that nobody cares about.

You need to analyze your own behavior or ask a close friend for the honest truth—to figure out what might be irking your social media friends and causing them to unfollow you.

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If there’s nothing you can find, perhaps the reason is as simple as you not paying their posts enough attention, such as not commenting on their baby pics or their vacation photos. In that case, the problem isn’t you and you shouldn’t feel too bad about it.

Be Direct and Ask Why They Unfollowed You

If they were someone important to you and you noticed that they have unfriended you without giving any explanation, try to talk to them.

Ask them if you have done something that might have hurt them. Sometimes, the sensitivities of people don’t match. What you posted as a joke might have sounded offensive to someone else.

If you know them personally or their friendship is important to you, it’s best to discuss things and sort the matters.

Did You Two Have an Argument?

If someone unfollowed you because of an argument you had with them, discuss the matter and sort the problem out. However, don’t bring up the fact that they unfollowed you and don’t ask them to re-follow you. Discuss the issue at hand, come to a resolution, and if they appreciate your gesture of maturity, they will re-follow you when they are ready.

Don’t Stalk Them

If you start stalking the person that unfriended you, you will only hurt yourself more. It’s best to move on and not dwell on the reasons why they unfriended you.

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And the reasons aren’t always about you. Maybe your friend reached their friends limit and removed a handful of old acquaintances to make space for new acquaintances. You might have been one of those people they didn’t know so well.

Stalking them will consume your time and increase your obsession. If you cannot gently confront them, just let them go.

Continue Being Nice to Them

If this is a person you know outside social media, continue being nice to them. If their behavior towards you hasn’t changed, don’t ask them why they unfriended you.

It could be anything. Maybe they didn’t want you to know about something they’re trying to hide from their family or colleagues.

If their online friendship meant a lot to you, you can bring up the topic but in a friendly way. Don’t be angry at them or it might jeopardize your real life relations as well.

Consider Doing a Social Media Detox

If you are obsessing far too much over being unfriended, take a break from social media and make some friends in the real world.

Stop checking your account frequently. Or temporarily deactivate your account for some time. If you find yourself checking the app again and again, uninstall it from your phone. You need a break to gain some perspective.

Don’t Dwell on It

Sure, it burns to think that someone doesn’t like you. After all, you’re just minding your own business on social media and suddenly you notice you that you have one fewer follower than before.

Before you start feeling bad, did you really like them? If not, you’re just feeling bad that they didn’t like you either. If you weren’t close to that person, try not to dwell on that thought too much.

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People become social media friends and then they stop being friends. It’s part of the normal ebb and flow of digital socialization.

Take Social Media Rejection With a Pinch of Salt

Being unceremoniously defriended by a social media friend is painful. If you’re going to lose hope over a small experience, you might lose trust in friendships.

However, this is not how all friendships are going to be. Some people start from being social media friends and they meet and become close friends in real life. Don’t let a small bad experience bring you down. Go ahead and add some new friends.

It’s not very difficult to find new friends on the internet. It could be an old classmate or a colleague at the office. You can also join social media pages and groups and mingle with others there.

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