Have you been unfriended on Facebook? Did you ask the person why they unfriended you, or did you just move on? I’ve been unfriended before. and I didn’t ask. It’s not that I didn’t want to know. It’s just that I’ve evolved to a place where things like that don’t really matter to me, especially if it was a peripheral friend or acquaintance. I’m not everyone’s “cup of tea,” I get that. If it were a close friend, I wouldn’t expect that my notification that our friendship had ended would be by a Facebook unfriend. With a close friend, my expectations would be a conversation before I got booted off their Facebook. But with an outlier, I have no expectations as to when they want to unfriend me on social media.
Confession: I unfriended someone recently. Well, not recently — but they only just realized it recently. I actually unfriended her over a year ago, but recent events caused her to reach out to me, with the realization we were no longer “friends” on Facebook.
She sent me another friend request. I declined the request, not realizing it would block her from my profile. (I am not exactly Facebook savvy.) This prompted a text asking me why I unfriended her and to please let her know so she could apologize for any wrongdoing. This was the hard part. Do I respond to the text? If so, do I tell her the truth? How much of the truth? Do I want to engage in what I foresee to be a potentially unpleasant ending?
I made the decision to respond. I texted her that I did unfriend her with a heavy heart, which is true. I had unfriended people before without as much thought because I was “cleaning up” my newsfeed and people were either too politically polarizing for my liking, too vulgar, or just someone I’d accepted as a friend years ago because they were a random friend of a friend. But, with her, I did give it some thought. I don’t think we had the “hide” option when I unfriended her, or if we did, I was unaware of it at the time. Again, I am not Facebook savvy.
I will admit, she is not a close friend. We share mutual friends, but we are not close friends. We see each other briefly every 10 years or so. She is a peripheral friend. But, I gave it more thought because our mutual friends are some of my absolute favorite people in the world, and I considered the fallout. With that being said, I told her the truth. And, I did my best to tell her in a straightforward manner — not hurtful, but honestly. She asked, and I responded instead of ignoring her or softening the reason. Her response was long and included denial, and she told me I should be ashamed of myself. No apology like she indicated above, which I didn’t expect and wasn’t even looking for. I had come to a point where unfriending her was my solution to the situation, and I don’t apologize for it. My Facebook is for me. No one else. It is what I want to see, MY newsfeed. I get to choose what I want to fill my heart and mind with when I look at social media. And if I don’t like it, I can change it. It’s that way by design.
But I do get the bigger picture. Someone was hurt by my actions and for that, I am truly sorry. I never want to hurt people, and if I have unintentionally done so, I will quickly apologize. I feel like I am a kind person who wants everyone to be happy, to get along, and to live together in harmony regardless of differences. But, I do have a limit. I will defend my family. I will protect my happy. And I was hurt by this person, hence the heavy heart. Limit reached. Action taken.
Even though I unfriended her over a year ago, the exchange happened a couple of months ago. I never responded to her after she said I should be ashamed of myself. That’s how it was left, and it gave me pause. Should I be ashamed I stood up for myself? Or that I am fiercely defending my family? Or that I am protecting my happy? No. I am not ashamed. I am sad. Sad for the situation and the outcome. Sad that we were both hurt. But certainly not ashamed that I stood up when challenged. When you ask someone why they unfriended you, if they are honest, can it ever turn out well?