It’s happened to all of us, whether we notice or not. As a lifelong people pleaser, when I notice that someone unfriends me it can hurt my feelings. But I gave it some thought, and these are some of the common reasons, and why it shouldn’t bother you. (Warning, this is a very frank article, and if you shy away from honesty, maybe read something a little softer like this…)
1. Do you really want them in your life?
I don’t want someone in my life, (or following my blog) who doesn’t want to be there. The truth is, I can’t make you like me, and frankly I don’t want to. I have enough people that I love and that love me that I don’t need to waste my time on those who don’t. And neither should you!
2. Understand follow/unfollow
This is something people do on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter…in order to get followers. These individuals choose to follow you, and if you don’t follow them back in a set amount of time, or even if you do follow them back, they unfollow you. So when you see that your numbers go down slightly, it might just be a part of a ploy to get more followers. While watching numbers on my social media channels go up is very gratifying and I can’t pretend not care at all about them, I would rather have a few engaged followers than tons of people who are only following me because they feel obligated to, and don’t care about my content.
Just for your own gee-whiz, when I am notified that I get new followers (on Instagram or Pinterest), I scope out their profiles, if I looks like something I’m interested in, I’ll follow them. But I don’t follow people just because they follow me if I don’t think their content looks interesting. That doesn’t make sense to me. Because all content is meant for a specific group of people, and not everyone is going to like it.
I’ve had some difficulties recently . Our baby was in the NICU briefly. I have left two separate toxic job situations. I was pregnant with a 9 pound baby in July heat. My previous neighbors had loud dogs! (And were apparently doing drugs in their house, what??). My husband and baby got into a minor car accident. I struggled with breast feeding, and postpartum depression. The type of people who don’t want to be there for you when things aren’t rainbows and unicorns, aren’t true friends. So sayonara!
4. Blessings and Success:
I’ve also been incredibly blessed in the past few years. I have a healthy and happy marriage, I was able to further my education and earn a master’s degree, I have a fulfilling and low stress job, and of course I was blessed with my beautiful baby boy. Some people don’t want to see success when they are unhappy in their personal lives. My success in life has driven some people away. I don’t know about you, but people who don’t want to watch me succeed and get jealous when I find happiness aren’t the type I want as friends!
5. Relationship changes:
Sometimes relationship changes with those around you result in unfriending. If you were friends with someone that you met because of a romantic relationship with someone you know, if that relationship ends it is highly likely they will want to cut off all contact with everyone associated with that person and will unfriend you. Also, if you were in a relationship personally with someone and it ended, whether on good terms or not, it is likely you will delete them or they will delete you! Life moves on!
Sometimes people go through and clean out their friends list, and if you changed your name due to legal reasons (marriage, divorce) or just for kicks and giggles, people may not recognize you right away and unfriend you. Oops! I look very different than I did a few years ago, so with that on top of my name change, there is definitely some confusion.
Maybe you drift away from someone, due to physical distance or life changes. This type of unfriending is the definition of not personal. As someone who has moved around a few times, I have people I have lost contact with and I don’t have any shared interests with anymore. No need to force things and hang on to friendships that aren’t alive anymore.
8. Misunderstandings, and actual fights:
This is probably the only one you should care about in this entire list. We aren’t all perfect, sometimes we offend people. Do your best to work it out, but sometimes people want to stay mad and don’t want to fix things, or don’t tell you what they are thinking so you don’t have the chance to do anything about it. Try not to dwell on it.
I’m not one to be very vocal about politics or religion on social media, but I know people who get very into it. Some people can’t handle having a friend who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum or who has different religious views, and their friendship ends. Life is exciting because of our differences, and I don’t want to live in a world where we all think the same way. How boring would that be? As my husband says, you are entitled to your wrong opinion…;)
10. Game requests/other annoyances:
Back before I figured out how to block certain games (Flashback, remember Farmville??) I definitely unfriended people who requested to play games too often. I know I’m not the only one who did that!
11. Who even knows??
People are crazy sometimes, and sometimes they just do things. Maybe they have a reason, but spend your time on the people who matter!
To summarize, there are thousands of reasons why people decide to end a real or digital friendship. The people who matter aren’t hundreds or thousands of followers, they are the ones in your home, and the real friends, the ones who love you and are interested in what you have to say. Focus on the ones who matter, and feel free to ignore the rest!