Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thoughts on Unfriending

I remember how devastated I was the first time someone unfriended me on Facebook.  I tore apart  and analyzed the possible reasons.  I let it take little stabs at my self-worth.  What's wrong with me that someone can't stand to hang out with me online?

Today I was on Facebook and noticed that someone I never see any posts from anymore leave a comment on a mutual friend's post.  I went to her page and confirmed what I had suspected all along.  We were no longer friends.  I was less hurt by this than I had been by unfriendings in the past.  We had never really been friends.  It never would have occurred to me to friend her.  She was the one who had approached me.  In her mind, she realized she made a mistake, so she rectified it with an unfriending.

I have come to realize something important not just about Facebook friendships, but about friendships in general.  When I first joined Facebook I received plenty of invites from people I have known in the past.  Many of them were people I liked in the old days, some were people I didn't (or at least had no previous connection to).  I sometimes questioned their motives.  What did they hope to derive out of a Facebook friendship?  Were they just curiosity seekers ("It will be fun to see how she turned out")?  Were they hoping to ease guilty feelings?  Did they think offering an olive branch would fix their karma?  I'm willing to leave the past in the past.  In fact, I prefer to do that.  I don't want to be your friend only because you think it will fix your conscience.  It's far more honest of you to admit you just don't like me.

It's okay.  You tried.  Maybe you disliked me for the wrong reasons back in the old days, but 30 years later, you're allowed to decide you still don't like me.  You probably dislike me for much better reasons now.  They might not be good reasons, but they're much better reasons than they were when we were kids.  I'll move on if you do.

One of my New Year's Resolutions (or as I prefer to call them, goals) for 2015 is to let go. I give people permission, without malice or bitterness, to go their own ways, without me.  This applies especially to Facebook friends.  When it comes to people in your life, quality is better than quantity.  It's not very fulfilling to force relationships, or hang around waiting for someone to make a friendly gesture to you.  Nothing drives people away like people who hang onto them.  I don't want to be that person.  I have better things to do than costantly check Facebook to see if anyone has responded to my latest clever witty post, or offered sympathy for my latest woe.

I think it also helps me appreciate those who do want to stay in my life a little more.  Never take the ones who will always stand by you for granted.

Now the question is, will I be mature enough to believe this?

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