When A Friend ‘Unfriends’ You

Technology does it again.  Technology has made quick work of something most people will have a difficult time doing.  In one click of a button, it is now possible to eliminate someone from your apparent life.  Problem solved?  Not quite.

Confrontation.  The enemy of the meek.  The initial step to resolution.  The dreaded place in any human relation.  Confrontation.  O how I yearn for thee now.

How does it feel to be unfriended by a friend?  I’ll tell you.

In the beginning was convenience.  The friend of all.  Convenience all the way.  It didn’t matter what transpired, what’s been lost, or what’s going to happen afterwards.  A quick cutoff is always less painful.  I believe it’s the shock factor that desensitizes the brain.  However, pain nags.  And the memory of pain nags even longer.  It’s easy to say short words like, “I’m done” or “let’s not talk anymore.”  Better yet, some people just leave silence hanging in the space between, hoping that the space will stretch to infinity until the silence dissipates and the awkwardness no longer exists.  It happens, true.  And along with the non existing awkwardness also is borne a nonexistent friendship.

Something is much easier than words said or silence combats.  It’s called the unfriend button, so readily available to those so eager to lose a friend.  It’s the simplest message anyone could ever give.  “I’m unfriending you because I no longer want to be your friend.”  No brainer.  Definitely a heart sinker.  Social networking sites make it such a natural thing.

I’m horrible at confrontations.  Three years ago, I very much welcomed such wicked gesture towards me.  After an unexpected and immature and more than likely misread texting war about roommate-type situations, I exploited the silence route to emotional freedom while she, on the other hand, decided to unfriend me.  I didn’t care then.  But worst yet, she packed up her bags and left with two months still on the lease.  Personally, I didn’t think it was that serious.  Really?  But it must’ve been enough for her to take it to that sad, empty level of being strangers to each other again.  You see, we weren’t just roommates then.  We had been wonderfully close friends for about 10  years before that disaster.  10 years of precious fun times and sisterly emotions spent.  10 minutes of careless and tactless texting on both sides.  One click of a finger and voila!  We have become strangers.  We have become two random souls who never talk to each other, let alone apologize for our shortcomings.  It was the quick getaway, the perfect resolution.  However, we didn’t account for the aftershocks of such a high, solid drop.  At least, I didn’t.  And now I feel the effects full on.

It is strange now looking back at it.  So much has changed in my life since then.  I’ve thought about her as a person.  I’ve seen her a couple of times at parties of our common friends.  There’s no more hurt.  The guilt of letting our friendship slip away is what’s haunting me.  There’s only sadness there.  And frankly, I’m afraid to reach out.  I’ve been unfriended once, can I possibly take it again?  And this is coming from someone who will circle around chasing my own tail just to avoid confrontation.  In matters as such, I admit I’m not so brave.  And as much as I strive to be better, it humbles me to think of my many lacks and flaws as a person and how long and narrow that road is to perfection.  Whatever distance we have put between us, it’s still awkward after all this time and even more so now.  And after all this time, I just feel like a closure of some sorts is optimal for my conscientious health.  It bothers me that it bothers me.  It’s a door that needs to be closed, whether we become acquaintances again or not.  Friendship is a long shot, unfortunately.

So when a friend, lover, sister, brother, or someone close ‘unfriends’ you, how do you try to ‘friend’ them back?

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Author: Jennifer Longinos

I'm a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom of two awesome toddlers. If we aren't out on an adventure, we spend most of our days tickling each other on the bedroom floor, making things explode in the kitchen, jumping on piles of laundry before and after washing, or just doing random little things that make life absolutely worth it.

5 thoughts on “When A Friend ‘Unfriends’ You”

  1. Yeah I think that eventually you are going to have to talk to her and let her know that you didn’t appreciate what she did but the friendship will not continue. Or you could just move on because that is what she did to you and just act as if it didn’t phase you because it seems like she doesn’t even care. BUT if you really need that closure you should reach out to her.

    1. I will have to reach out to her eventually. I really feel I need to let her know how I felt in order to move on. If she doesn’t respond back or even if she responds negatively, at least I can say I’ve done my part. It just seems so awkward even to think about how to approach her. Email maybe? Lol.

  2. I agree with you 100%. At first when someone that I consider myself close to unfriends me it feels like a slap in the face for many reasons. One, if we are supposedly friends then you should just be able to say that you don’t want to be friends anymore because it is just that simple. There is no need to be secretive about when you know that I am going to find out eventually. Secondly, when they unfriend me I do not go through the trouble of adding them back because I see no point. if a person doesn’t want to be my friend online then that is perfectly fine with me because they have their reasons. I am not a very confrontational person but when someone unfriends me I DO NOT FRIEND THEM BACK! Why should I? They got rid of me first. Its even worse when its family because it seems like they don’t want to be connected online but they then add you back later. Why go through the trouble of adding or accepting them back? Once you’re off my list…thats it! Do you think that it is worse when its family because you are related?

    1. Thank you for your response! I definitely think it’s worse when family does it. And this girl was practically family. It was just such an odd thing. It seemed so childish; I felt like we were in 5th grade. I could really care less about the online thing, and you made a good point. If they don’t want to be connected online, then maybe it isn’t worth the effort to connect with them offline. I don’t feel like I should try to get her friendship back. I just want to tie those loose ends. It’s like a hanging strand of thread on my shirt that I just want to completely pull off. How do I do it? I can’t just seem to cut it off without talking.

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