Posted in Psychology

FACEBOOK ESTRANGEMENT: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF UNFRIENDING AND BLOCKING

Being in a relationship requires maturity of the mind, emotions, and behavior.

Does this apply in social networking like Facebook? Definitely. Yes, Facebook can bring you up, but sadly, it can also bring you down. The meltdown of a Facebook friendship almost always occurs in a non-mutually agreed-upon way. Meaning, most of the time it’s only the decision of the person who unfriended and/or blocked you. No conversation needed. Just press the unfriend/block button, and bam! It’s over. Imagine how painful it is to have your right to ask for reason and explain your side removed. How bad is that, humans? According to psychologists, unfriending someone on Facebook is called “Facebook estrangement”. This only means that by unfriending you, the person has officially severed social ties with you. Again, how bad is that, humans?

I compiled some psychological explanations from counselors, psychologists, and researchers who studied about and dealt with the phenomena. Here are some points to consider when unfriended and/or blocked by someone:

Don’t wrestle with the unfriending. It could be more acceptable and even possible that you may be more upset about being unfriended/blocked than about losing a friend. If you’re thinking too much and more about the unfriending than about the friend, this could only mean that the person wasn’t really all that close to you. If this point already satisfied you, then stop reading. Your concern has already been addressed. The person is not that important to you. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Look objectively at your Real and Virtual (Facebook) behavior. It could be the reason why you were unfriended. Ask yourself. Do you continually make unfiltered comments that could hurt someone? Do you gossip? Do you put a person down? In a study conducted by Christopher Sabona from University of Colorado Denver, people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook.

Not applicable? Maybe, this one is. Are you guilty of sharing too much information like you post every thing about you including the number of times that you inhale oxygen in a day? I can’t blame them if they will unfriend you. Seriously.

Take the effort to know the cause of sudden severing of ties and if still possible, try to repair it. Self-explanatory. Difficult, though, and this may only be applicable to people who are still worthy of another chance of conversation and maybe, friendship.

Don’t be blinded by false hopes to avoid disappointment. Let the sequel and aftermath, and of course, taking a break, have their process be finished. If it’s meant to be, the relationship will resume in its own perfect time.

Never ever stalk the person who unfriended you. If this person is worth the chance, but you were unable to repair the severed relationship, don’t allow yourself to be more distressed by becoming a stalker. You’ll see this person’s posts, check-ins, and everything and this might only You will only re-cut the scars.

I was unfriended/blocked for several times since I joined Facebook, and I also have done the same to others. They have their reason and so have I. But on social network, no one tells you that you’re unfriended, but instead the person just presses the button and it’s over. No one never has to tell you in person their reason. They don’t even need your consent to do it to you.

Keep in mind, though, that a mature individual can cope up with this kind of situation as long as he/she keeps track of his/her own thoughts, emotions, and behavior — whether it be in real or virtual life.

Maturity is about how you see and understand things. It’s about how you consider others. It’s about how you communicate. It’s about how you react. It’s about the things that you gove importance to. It’s about the things that you entertain. It’s about how you represent yourself and others. 

Take nothing personally and you’ll feel more liberated in that way. Remember that it’s not about you all the time.

You can get through this, mature person.

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Author:

Graduate of Psychology (Bachelor's Degree) Graduate of Counseling (Master's Degree) Licensed Counselor Filipino

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