Author Topic: Unfriending Backfired...  (Read 9253 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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Unfriending Backfired...
« on: September 22, 2012, 10:35:19 PM »
Yikes...not sure what to do here, guys.

B/G: A few days ago, my uncle verbally attacked my brother in Facebook PM's because of some political thing my brother had posted.  It wasn't directed at my uncle, and my brother rarely posts anything political, but my uncle posts political stuff all the time.  Trouble is, he is very much on the other end of the spectrum as far as politics go.  As a result, we do not discuss politics with them.  He attacked my brother's political leanings (or what he assumed they were), his sexual orientation, and implied that he was an idiot for believing the "propaganda".  When my brother stood up for himself instead of rolling over and saying, "Yes, Uncle, you're absolutely right", my uncle unfriended him. 

I was greatly angered by this, and I no longer have the energy or the inclination to walk on eggshells around them and deal with the drama.  I unfriended my uncle (yes, I finally did it), and I also unfriended his wife.  She hadn't actually done anything this time, and she's not really the one I'm mad at, but after the things she said in last year's major blow-up I've lost a lot of respect for her.  I thought that if I unfriended my own uncle but stayed "friends" with his wife, whom I no longer like very much, I would have been something of a hypocrite. --End B/G.

Well, I just got this message from his wife on FB: "Hi, CrochetFanatic-- You fell off my facebook list. What happened? I'm rarely on but do notice when the important people aren't around. Hope all is well...alright, DD is anxious for the Mother Goose Club.  Have a good night!"

Part of me wonders if I made a faux pas in unfriending my uncle's wife as well, but it's a very small part.  I don't want them back on my friend list, and I refuse to feel badly about it.  I've already seen how two-faced they can be, and I have no interest in being drawn in once more.  The problem is, though, I don't know how to avoid awkwardness, and an angry phone call from someone is sure to follow on the heels of any explanation I give her.  I guess I might owe her an explanation of some sort, seeing as how this is because of something her husband did, but I don't know what to say to her. 

Is there a nice way I can put it?  And should I tell her what her husband did, or just say that there was a dispute and leave it at that?

It doesn't surprise me that my uncle hasn't noticed that I unfriended him.  In his mind, he seems to feel that he is the only one who is allowed to take offense and act accordingly...

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've unfriended someone instead of just hiding their posts, so I wasn't sure if I committed some kind of social error here, and while I don't want to associate with them anymore I'd like to avoid committing another.

JenJay

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 11:30:31 PM »
Awkward! I was recently unfriended by my uncle, due to our polar opposite political beliefs. What's funny is that he posts extremely off putting political rants constantly and I almost never mention politics at all. I have no idea when he unfriended me or why, but if he wants to miss out on pics of my kids so be it. That said, I don't allow people to cut me out of their lives while maintaining a relationship with my kids (they are young), so I went into the kids' accounts and removed uncle (they haven't noticed because I'd long ago "hidden" him from showing up on their feeds). I was worried my aunt would notice and confront me but she hasn't yet.

I sympathize with this spot you're in. You don't want to be guilted into re-friending someone and yet there's no way to say "Yes, I unfriended you, and I don't regret it." without there being anger or hurt feelings. I would leave your brother out of it and say something like "I'm sure you've noticed the political climate is quite heated these days. Uncle seems to be taking great offense to statements that don't reflect his own opinions. I prefer he not have access to my Facebook page right now, even through other people. I hope you can understand."

Ceallach

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 12:05:15 AM »
Personally, I think no good can come of ANY response that you give.   I would ignore it.    If you feel you must say something keep it simple and vague, don't fuel the fire or engage in debate.

Part of me wonders if she knows exactly why she was defriended - she may well be aware of the drama with her husband, and perhaps he even tried to go on via her login to check our you or your brother's FB page to see if you'd posted anything new.  Otherwise, it does seem interesting that somebody who is "rarely on" FB would notice so quickly that you were no longer on her friends list.  It seems like a bit of a coincidence. 
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sammycat

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 02:07:42 AM »
Personally, I think no good can come of ANY response that you give.   I would ignore it.    If you feel you must say something keep it simple and vague, don't fuel the fire or engage in debate.

Part of me wonders if she knows exactly why she was defriended - she may well be aware of the drama with her husband, and perhaps he even tried to go on via her login to check our you or your brother's FB page to see if you'd posted anything new.  Otherwise, it does seem interesting that somebody who is "rarely on" FB would notice so quickly that you were no longer on her friends list.  It seems like a bit of a coincidence.

I agree totally.

Kaypeep

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 04:54:02 AM »
"I've decided to change the way that I use my facebook page. Feel free to give me a phone call for updates on life."

I like this reply.  Perhaps change the 2nd sentence though, and just say "I'm still available by phone and email, though.  And of course, real life.  :)  "

bonyk

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 08:25:08 AM »
I'd probably take the chicken's way out:  block her and then claim that you've deleted your account.  This would probably just lead to more excessive drama, though.  Ignoring is probably best.   :-X

TootsNYC

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 08:25:22 AM »
Or, drop her an email using regular, non-Facebook email, and say, "Hi, I saw your message on Facebook. I'm using email to communicate w/ family lately. How's your DD? The Mother Goose Club sounds like fun for her!"

Sharnita

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 08:29:29 AM »
"I've decided to change the way that I use my facebook page. Feel free to give me a phone call for updates on life."

I like this reply.  Perhaps change the 2nd sentence though, and just say "I'm still available by phone and email, though.  And of course, real life.  :)  "

This sounds great.

Knitterly

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 08:44:47 AM »
Or, drop her an email using regular, non-Facebook email, and say, "Hi, I saw your message on Facebook. I'm using email to communicate w/ family lately. How's your DD? The Mother Goose Club sounds like fun for her!"

Parking my POD here.  I have actually used this tactic when unfriending people on facebook with whom I no longer wish to be facebook friends.


Minmom3

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 01:37:49 PM »
Eh, I'd just tell her you unfriended Uncle due to his attack on your brother, and you wouldn't feel right being friends with her and not him, so they're both off now.  She knows what her husband did.  She can't expect you to like the attack, and attacks have repercussions.  It doesn't sound like you see a whole lot of them anyhow, so reducing what contact you have won't pain you a lot, right?  I'm a big fan of telling people why I'm cutting contact with them.  Not to give them a second chance with me, but to let them know not to bother trying anymore, 'we're done and this is why'. 

My inertia and dislike of making a scene will take an offender a LONG way in keeping contact with me, but it only takes them so far.  Offend me badly enough, or one too many times, and I will no longer care.  I may or may not be angry, but eventually, I'm tired of their poor behavior, and no longer wish to be around it.  DH hasn't spoken to 3 of his 5 siblings since a week after their father died (there was stupid and unattractive behavior on both sides, but blame is not all on one side).  We all saw each other at nephew's wedding last January, and we were all superficially amiable and pleasant because it was nephew's wedding and NOT the place to replay old arguments, but we haven't and won't speak to them again until the next wedding.
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Cleargleam

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 01:42:54 PM »
First, you have done nothing wrong.

As another poster noted, you applied consequences to actions.

I like the "changed the way I've used Facebook" response.

Anything else veers into Justify/Argue/Defend/Explain territory.

Keep it simple, and don't invite drama back onto your Facebook page. 

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 11:26:27 PM »
Thanks for all the good advice!

I still had trouble deciding what to do, and I eventually just went with a vague but honest answer.  No matter what I would have done, and this includes ignoring, there were bound to be hurt feelings.  I haven't heard back from my uncle's wife yet, and I don't expect to.  I think my grandmother's angry with us now, because she didn't call to wish my brother a happy birthday like she always does (he's actually relieved, because he doesn't want to talk to any of them). 

As cold as it sounds to say it, that's up to her.  It's up to all of them.  I'm not interested in mind games and trying to figure out what they're going to pull next.  I'm not interested in a fight, and I'm not interested in hurting anyone.  What I'm interested in is peace and quiet, and having our personal boundaries respected instead of challenged and crossed.

It was mentioned that my uncle might have tried to log on to his wife's account to see what we were up to, and I don't think he has up to this point.  He goes for a more direct approach unless he's turned down, then he would usually have his wife message one of us to ask again.  That's about as sneaky as he gets.  Or has gotten.  But that's another reason I unfriended his wife; I don't know if he'll do this, and while I don't post anything that I don't want the world to see, it's the idea of being spied on that bugs me.  So, I cut them both off, and I feel pretty good about it so far. 

The bad thing about this is, his wife's feelings probably are hurt at this point.  That wasn't what I wanted, because I don't actually hate either of them, but I saw no way to avoid it.  Last year, my uncle unfriended both of us because of that argument we had, and we were stupid enough to apologize to him when we hadn't actually done anything wrong.  Back in his good graces, we were added once more, and he actually managed to sound magnanimous.  Sorry, Uncle...I'm out of olive branches.  When you insult my brother, you insult me.  I can't do it anymore, and I won't.

Feeling both liberated and apprehensive about this, but all in all...so far, so good!

aloe

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 01:08:24 AM »
Good to hear.  I sometimes find it hard to make decisions like this, but I found that keeping a simple rule of thumb helps when deciding what to do with Facebook Friends:

If the idea of being connected to a specific person on Facebook makes me feel uncomfortable whether they are doing anything wrong or not, whether they are family or good friends in real life or not, I deFriend or put on Limited Profile.  Limited Profile avoids the drama of deFriending and it causes the person to see virtually nothing on your page if the settings are done correctly.

southern girl

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 07:54:58 AM »
What is it with relatives and FB lately?  My cousin did the same to me.  He basically called me stupid a bunch of times and when I finally replied very mildly that my family had taught me to debate respectfully and not jump straight to insults, he defriended me.  And, yes, this was because I dared to post something opposite to his political beliefs.

Winterlight

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Re: Unfriending Backfired...
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 09:51:42 AM »
Or, drop her an email using regular, non-Facebook email, and say, "Hi, I saw your message on Facebook. I'm using email to communicate w/ family lately. How's your DD? The Mother Goose Club sounds like fun for her!"

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