I’ve decided to make this as light hearted as possible because there may be some of you who are shaking out of furry, or your heart may be tender because you just found out someone unfollowed you. But not just anyone unfollowed you – maybe it was someone you know, kind of know, or your best friend’s mom. Well, I’ve been unfollowed by friends moms, grandma’s, sisters, my own wedding photographer, friendors, and talented folks that suddenly felt like I was crouching in on their career space – a mix of old and long time friends.
I’m here to tell you that you can move past the emotions you may be feeling now.
I’m here to tell you that you can move past the emotions you may be feeling now.
There are a topics I want to go over to break this down so you don’t fall into self pity, become self-doubtful, and you can say hi when you run into those who unfollowed you, because it’s totally fine! First, let me say that about 4 years ago I once cleared out my feed (unfollowed some people) when Instagram was fairly new – there was no algorithm. Today I would never ever, intentionally unfollow someone I know personally – and we are both following each other. I also forgot who I unfollowed so I can’t find them to refollow if I had hurt their feelings which was not intentional.
Today I would never ever, intentionally unfollow someone I know personally – and we are both following each other.
Even if it’s all babies, even if they’re _______. It doesn’t take much effort to scroll past their photo on a feed and avoid hurting a friend’s feelings – someone you personally KNOW.
Why I have/had an unfollow app (I no longer do)
- Business. I have had brands severe ties or vendors unfollow which shows me our business relationship might have changed. I want to know about this so I’m not investing too much any longer – this has absolutely helped and it’s more of an awareness rather than a spying incentive.
- Personal. Because it is good to know if I’ve hurt a friend’s feelings and not be caught off guard – to tackle the issue immediately. I’ll explain later in this post.
A good reason to use it – I have a friend who runs a business and she uses it to see if a PC who follows is no longer a PC (potential customer), she’s able to move on, no hard feelings.
Why I no longer use it – The app I was using stopped working and I’m too lazy and uninterested to find a new one – this may change but for now I like the peace. I don’t follow many people anyway so knowing who is following and unfollowing doesn’t matter to me. I also don’t care about people I don’t know who use the follow and unfollow method to grow their following. I know it’s a marketing method and it doesn’t bother me, as I’m not forced to follow back. You do what works for you, brand/person/account.
The first time I realized a friend unfollowed me
My mouth dropped as I thought – Are you serious? She follows 800 people, including Justin Timberlake but unfollows ME and she knows me! I took her to a party as my date and we’ve gone to lunches!
That would be my first, inappropriate, angry thoughts from my first unfollow rejection. Since, I’ve learned how to handle an unfollow by a friend because hey it’s life, and unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.
How to handle when your friend unfollows you
We don’t need to worry about people who unfollow us who we don’t know.
I once had an instance where a good, longtime girlfriend unfollowed me, and I considered her a forever friend so it really caught me off guard. When I noticed I had been unfollowed, I immediately picked up the phone and called her. We’re talking within a minute. I left a voice message –
“Hey (name), I noticed an unfollow, and I couldn’t help but want to just call and talk because I’m concerned I did something that may have hurt your feelings or offended you which was not my intention. You’ve been such a good friend in the past and I want to make sure we can continue our friendship into the future because you’re really important to me. So I’d love to talk, I’m not upset but I have a feeling you are, so please call or text me, whatever you feel most comfortable doing.”
I delivered the longer message a soft voice, because I was SO sad that I not only seemed to hurt a friend’s feelings unintentionally, but that I might be losing a friend. I elaborated over what I last posted which was strictly a business post, not to be taken as competition or disrespectful, though I was sorry if it was taken that way.
I received a text back a few days later, and her response didn’t leave me reassured we’d talk again in the future. I even asked friends, “Do I unfollow her back?” and every single one said, “No, because your heart isn’t in the right place and you would only be doing it to get back at her.” Thank God for good friends with wonderful hearts!
That was quite a few years ago, I’m sad to say that I used to know her. I continued to follow her for over a year – but I did get a little sad because I didn’t know her anymore and eventually unfollowed just because time and distance made me realize I was looking at a stranger’s feed. I continually wish her well and I know my heart is in the right place. Who is to say that one day life sorts itself out? I have had many friends come back into my life unexpectedly.
You may not get a response or one that makes sense, but you reach out because your heart is concerned about the relationship, not the follow.
If a good friend unfollows you – pick up the phone, immediately. Or text, if that’s your kind of relationship with that person. But don’t get in contact for an answer, reach out because you genuinely care about your friend and you want to make sure s/he is OK. You are more than likely not going to get a response if any, that makes sense. But reach out because your heart is concerned about the relationship, not the follow. If you see them in person, don’t let it be awkward – you didn’t do anything. If anything, you were the bigger person and reached out so you have a good conscience.
Remember that person might not really be your friend
My dad had to remind me that many people are acquaintances – including your best friend’s sister or mom – or former clients. I know we look at the people in our lives and their lives as extensions and we carry love onto them too, but we don’t have to keep in touch with everyone or follow, or like everyone’s stuff.
Remember we are human, we are strong and weak in certain areas
I had a friend ask me, “Haven’t you unfollowed someone because you saw their life and it made you jealous or sad?” I looked at her like she was crazy and said, “NOT PEOPLE I KNOW PERSONALLY!”
She agreed, and then pointed out we each struggle with something. Some people struggle with envy. Some are depressed. Some are having a hard time with life in general. Some are in a weak moment and can’t celebrate you, while others are able to. Just understand this and allow this to be a possible answer. And then read this article on how to not take it personally, even if they mean it personally.
As for you, choose to celebrate others, it will keep your mind healthy.
Remember some view social media differently
If you use it for your business, it’s going to appeal to some people, but not all, including friends – they may want to be in touch to see your personal life but not every post of self-promotion is intriguing to them.
But my business is personal to me! And if my friends care about me, they would care about my business too!
I have to say even with my real friends, I don’t want to see some of the things they post regularly. It’s not my jam, but, it doesn’t pain me to still cheer them on and be OK with it. Your real friends will stick around, your finicky followers will not, and that’s OK too. Appeal to the right audience.
Remember it will only be as awkward as you allow it to be
So a girlfriend’s sister unfollowed me on Instagram. She had just had a big life event when she had unfollowed so who knows what was going on in her life. Months later I saw her at a party and happily caught up with her. I’m not the one who made the move, so why should I avoid or be weird about it? Don’t. Be kind, say hello, it’s JUST social media.
Remember to allow the possibility of finding that you may need to apologize
Please be open to hearing if you have hurt a friend’s feelings or done something you are unaware of. Enter the conversation humbly, be compassionate, but most of all know that a relationship is far more important than a follow and that’s why you are reaching out. And even if the unfollow doesn’t make sense, listen and accept it while still being able to love that person, off social media in whatever form that looks like.
Have a story to share? What are your thoughts? How have you handled when a friend unfollows?