Unfriending on Social Media: 6 Tips on How To Do It Politely

Aditi Ray B
Social media unfriending is now a common thing but people sometimes take it very seriously

If you fall out with a friend, break up with a lover or just don’t want to keep in touch with someone, you usually ensure you don’t meet him or her. Relationships are dramatically different online. On social media unless you are unfriending or blocking that person you will keep getting a glimpse into his or her life. Something you might not want. There are ways you can unfriend a person politely. Read on.

Why unfriending on social media happens?

There are various reasons why people unfriend others on social media we list a few.

  • Break ups

Not all relationships have a happy ending, sometimes heart breaks happen. Some are mature enough to keep a bond of friendship alive even when that happens, but most want to forget the ex’s very existence. After all, one would not want to “see him” looking happy with another partner.
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  • Fight with a friend

Best friends fight over trivial issues and then unfollow and block at least till that point in time when the two have not sorted out their differences.

  • Stalkers
Unless you unfriend and block someone on social media the stalking might continue

Stalking your ex Image source

Thanks to social media, stalking has become easy. Post-breakup this is most common. Or you never know the person you made friends with just seeing mutual friends, might be asking for your number or demanding a coffee date. Guess that’s when you need to say goodbye.

  • Leaving an office

With some ex-colleagues, you stay in touch with over a lifetime and some you just know you will not bump into ever again. So, what do you do? Immediately remove them from the “friend list”.

  • Relatives, one doesn’t like

It is true what they say – we can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our family. In continuation of this thought – not all family members are likeable. In real life, when get-togethers to happen it is tough to avoid such people, but in the digital world one can – all that one has to do is to get rid of them by unfriending on social media.

  • Posts of some are irritating
some post of people make you to unfriend them from social media

Irritating posts make you unfriend some people Image source

People post updates and pictures of just about everything nowadays – thousands of pictures showing different angles of the same tree, pictures of what he eats at different times of the day or offending jokes. Some of these posts can irritate and when that happens one tends to remove him from his life by unfriending.

  • Constant tagging

There are those who constantly tag people by the dozen without even seeking their permission. If done too often, this could get a little infuriating. Hence, such people do get unfriended.

  • Haven’t been in touch for a long time

There are often those on the friend list who one has not been in touch with either in real life or in the virtual world for a long time. Some don’t like keeping such people on the list. There is no reason behind this – it is just what they feel is right.

How to politely unfriend someone?

Let’s say you have decided to unfriend someone for a reason that you feel is strong enough one. The question that now arises is how do you go about doing it with without hurting someone.

1. Don’t announce

never announce about unfriending to your social media

Don’t announce after unfriending someone Image source

It could be that you are unfriending a whole group of people simply because you are on a “cutting” spree. Go ahead and do that but social media manners say not to make an announcement about it. So, avoid unnecessary fanfare.

2. Inform

Before you unfriend someone, let the person know in private that you are doing so. Explain to him that it is best not to stay in touch anymore and go ahead and make your move after that. This is going to be one hard thing to do but, that’s up to you if you can do it.

3. Feign ignorance

Go ahead and unfriend the person. If you ever do happen to bump into this person in flesh and blood later then just feign ignorance. “I’m sure it happened when my account got hacked. I’ll send you a request again,” would be a good answer to give in a situation like this.

4. Don’t unfriend – stay friends

People do fall out in life, but everything need not get acrimonious and bitter. Maybe with a little bit of maturity, you will be able to let him “stay” in your “friend list”. It is not that he will come out of the virtual medium and eat you up just because both of you don’t talk anymore. So, let him just be. Rather just:

  • Unfollow him – only because someone follows you, you are not obligated to follow him back
  • Change your settings so that his updates don’t pop up on your timeline
  • Control who can see your posts by choosing the correct option before you hit the “post” button

5. Don’t switch on and switch off

blocking than unblocking is a common thing in social media

Playing blocking and unblocking game on social media Image source

It is one thing to unfriend or block a person and another to want to unblock and make him your friend after a few days once again. That is childish. If you must play it right, then give yourself some time and be sure that unfriending is really what you want to do. Take the step only when you are sure of yourself. This is more so when it comes to people who you have to otherwise be in touch with in real life – like, for example, batchmates, work colleagues etc.

6. Run!

Okay, so you find the person who you have unfriended is walking up to you. What do you do? Put on your sneakers and run for your life. Yes, that was a joke. You can smile now. Life is not so tough, so don’t make it one.

Can someone see if I unfriend them on social media?

If you decide to unfriend someone on Facebook there are three levels of unfriending that you could opt for.

  • Unfollow – In this the person continues to be on your friend list and yet you don’t see any updates from him. Also, he doesn’t get to know that you have unfollowed him.
  • Unfriend –A person won’t know that he has been removed from your friend list unless he searches for your name on his list and finds that you are not in it anymore.
  • Block – Here the person won’t be able to find you on Facebook at all.

For all three options, the person won’t be notified about it though.

How can I tell if someone unfriended me on Facebook?

it is easy to know about who unfriended us

Who unfollowed or blocked you Image source

There are only two ways to find out if someone has unfriended you or not.

  • If you are unable to find the person you are looking for in your friend list – this would mean that the person has either unfriended or blocked you
  • If you go to the person’s profile who is now no longer on your friend list and find the “Add Friend” button on his profile

How to respond when you have been unfriended?

The reverse could also happen. One fine day you might just find that a someone has unfriended you. How do you behave? Screaming, shouting, and abusing through innumerable posts on social media is not an option. Here is what etiquette tells you to do.

  • Don’t take it personally

Think – the whole world cannot get invited to a wedding, choices have to be made. Similarly, a person cannot have the whole world as his friend. Hence, he did what he had to. Drink some lemonade and move on.

  • Leave him alone
in social media after unfriending leaving person alone is better

Leaving them alone Image source

Social media manners mean that you don’t start hounding him on personal messages trying to find out why he unfriended you. If both of you have had a fight, it could be that this was the way he thought it best to move on in life. Try and accept it  – you never know, taking such a step might have hurt him immensely as well but sometimes things just have to be done.

Social media and friendships come hand in hand – technology has indeed made forging a relationship very easy to do – far easier than when formal introductions and handshakes used to happen. Yet, often we fail when it comes to maintaining a sense of etiquette during termination of such relationships. Sometimes “unfriending” could be the only option, but one does not have to make it like a slap on someone’s face. To maintain your dignity next time you want to “unfriend” someone.

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