Social anxiety

I’m probably over-reacting, but…

As far as I know, there was only one time in my adult life that someone decided not to talk to me. The situation lasted for two weeks, during which I was devastated. Why? Probably because in my childhood it was a regular occurrence for me to be sent to Coventry. Because even when this was not the case, I was mostly ignored. When I wasn’t ignored I was mostly made fun of, and yet this was preferable. For me, loneliness was harder than being bullied, and not being spoken to has remained the worst thing anyone can do to me.

When, a few days ago, someone unfriended me on Facebook, it felt just the same. Even though I’ve never met this person. Even though, as I’ve been told, this is a common occurrence on Facebook. This was someone I had “talked” to quite a lot, someone who had always been friendly up to then.

At first, I could only guess at the reason. Later, through a mutual friend, my suspicions were confirmed, although I still don’t understand it completely. I’m hoping that this rift won’t last long either.

Friends, on- or offline, don’t always agree with each other. They can discuss their differences or agree to differ. Breaking off the friendship seems very drastic, even on Facebook. To me, anyway.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

6 replies on “I’m probably over-reacting, but…”

Losing an online friends is surprisingly painful, or at least the pain surprised me. You can easily end up sharing more with an online friend than you do with your friends in “monkey space” (thanks to Charles Stross for the phrase.)

I hope your friend gets back with you soon.

Dear Miriam,
since I am the person who upset you in this way, I am writing to apologize from the bottom of my heart. I was reacting, and with hindsight, over-reacting, to a piece of propaganda which you re-posted, and which I found offensive in the light of last week’s events at sea. I didn’t think you would be so upset, but of course I should have realised that you would be, given your particular background. It was insensitive of me and I’ve been so sorry, ever since our mutual friend told me how you felt. I hope that we can put it behind us and be friends again, on or off facebook as you like.

Thank you, Annette. Your comment makes me very happy. We have probably all regretted actions taken in haste sometimes. I’m sure I have. We can certainly be friends again and I’ll be writing to you.
Your comment also shows that your conception of the events at sea are very different to mine and I’m prepared to discuss that too – offline.

Hi Miriam

Is that why you sent me a PM within 24 hours of my deactivating my Facebook account asking if you were the cause of my temporary leave of absence? I was a little surprised to have received a message so soon actually, didn’t think anyone would noticed I’d gone so quickly.

In some of my more paranoid periods I used to monitor my friends list numbers daily, if not hourly, and would become remarkably demoralised and depressed if someone disappeared or obviously removed me from their list.

I suppose it’s a testament to the condition that SA sufferers can ride so much of their self esteem on the size and status of their friend’s lists and yet a “normal” person would hardly bat an eyelid, or at worse would only be slightly phased by it. Although to be honest it only seriously affected me during more extreme moments of paranoia.

It’s not easy for someone with this condition but as I said to you on the other place try not to let it get to you, remember that SA can cause us to be more paranoid about what people think of us then it should. Or to quote myself “we are the kings (or queens) of paranoia sometimes”.


p.s I assume you recognise my name and know who I am. 😉

Yes, Paul, I recognise you. Welcome to my blog!

No, I don’t monitor my friends daily and it would probably normally take me a while to notice if any of them disappeared. I noticed your absence on the Word Challenge game, due to the fact that I have a friend called Paula. (I won’t go into the details here.) I noticed this one (Annette) because she cancelled a Scrabble game with me in the middle.

I’m happy to say that Annette and I are now friends again on Facebook. 🙂

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