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The Facebook "Seen" message gives me a lot of anxiety! When I see that the person has "seen" the message, but does not reply, I start thinking about all the possible reasons why they would 'ignore' me... Does anyone else feel this? If so, how do you cope?

319 Answers
Last Updated: 09/19/2021 at 5:53am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lisa Groesz, PhD


With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.

Top Rated Answers
March 19th, 2021 6:21am
I do relate to this, it can be really anxiety inducing! I usually just try to stay busy, which i know is way easier said than done. Important to remember that everyone lives a separate life and just like when youre sometimes busy and unable to repond, its the same for them. I try to keep this in mind when i start to become anxious about it! If it gets too much its totally okay to message them again later, just try not to take your anxiety out on them as they likely dont even realise what theyre doing or how its affecting you.
March 24th, 2021 9:15pm
Yes sometimes i do feel that way too.. Especially when I feel tired, down and has a bit of low self esteem, i would tend to see the situstion worse. A tiny unintentional message can lead to a huge argument because of miscommunication, message can easily be misunderstandood. In this situation, it is best to take a break from messaging, to engage ib self care instead, take a deep breath and try to relax. Do something that does not require phonees/ laptop screen so you can disengage from all the messaging activities like taking a shower, reading books, eating, meet people in real life, there are many thing we can do!
March 26th, 2021 7:49pm
A lot! So usually before sending message, I check it and read it for several times to avoid any misunderstanding. After sending, if I didn't answer immediately, I tend to overthink a lot and being anxious. I usually try to get myself thinking about different scenarios of why they weren't able to answer me. They might be driving, going outdoor, eating dinner. Or they might simply need some time to think about what they're going to say. It's sometimes true about ourselves too, Isn't it? I myself try to avoid others from overthinking when I don't answer immediately. So I try to read message from its "notifiation", find a good time or think about the answer, and then check and send it. But to be honest, It's still really hard for me, especially for the those who are important to me.
April 21st, 2021 2:19am
This is normal! A lot of people share this anxiety but sometimes we cannot help but leaving others on seen. Think about when you leave someone on seen, what are you doing? Putting yourself in their shoes can definitely help. It makes you realize “ah ok. They are busy and will soon reply.” You can also try calming exercises if you believe they will benefit you. You’re the master of you. You know what works and what doesn’t! Experimenting is always alright. Trial and error will always help in the long run. Time also passes quicker when you occupy your time.
April 22nd, 2021 3:18am
I used to have troubles with this very issue. There is a looming sense of being neglected or taken for granted when someone sees your message but doesn't respond to it. However, I remind myself that they, just like you, are human beings; that they are managing their own baggages on a day-to-day basis. Maybe they are going through something and just needs a little room to breathe before replying to you. These things can range from being overwhelmed by the workload they have on that day or their darker emotions taking over their ability to have the strength to socialize with you in that moment. Whatever the case, they deserve the benefit of the doubt and you can find peace in knowing that they'll get back to you as soon as they can. The only scenario in which your fear of being ignored gains merit is when the frequency at which they do this to you is high. If you find yourself in a situation where you are the one engaging in conversations most of the time, and there is very little effort on their part to keep the conversation going while also being left on "seen" over and over again, then you may need to question whether they are worth the trouble at all. Every healthy relationship (romantic or otherwise) requires a healthy give and take. Effort on both sides is what makes the relationship going. So, ask yourself which of these cases feels more likely to you and I think you should have your answer. Your fears are normal, and something I believe many feel. Know you are not the only one in this boat. Ultimately, whichever case they fall into, you are strong with or without them and if they can't provide it to you, there are millions of people happy to pay the attention you deserve. Hope this helps! :)
April 24th, 2021 5:10am
I cope by turning on some music and dancing around. This helps me release some of my anxiety. I might also turn on my favorite movie or show. This helps my overthinking because I have something else to focus and I know what will happen on the movie and tv show, so that also helps my anxiety. I will also call a close friend or family member to talk to them about it. They usually calm me down and help me to look at things in a more positive light. I will also try to tell myself that it is not what I think it is.
April 29th, 2021 1:09am
Yes! I often worry that the person I’ve messaged hasn’t responded because they are upset with me or are waiting for the “right time” to tell me something awful. It’s an awful feeling. But I try to remind myself that just like I have. A lot going on, they probably do too. The delayed response likely has very little, if anything, to do with me. It can be challenging not to send a follow up message. But I find it helpful to give people time and space to respond. And I try to remember that we never might never know what someone else has going on, so I try not to assume the worst :)
April 29th, 2021 1:58pm
I can definitely relate to how you are feeling. I also get anxiety when someone does not answer me, and sometimes I think maybe they do not want to talk to me. I then try to remember that there have been times I do not answer right away was well. I think we have to try and take a step back, take a breath and realize that they may just be busy at the moment. If they take longer than a day to message back, I usually send another quick message asking "Did you get my last message? I wasn't sure if it went through or not". This usually helps keep the conversation going!
May 5th, 2021 7:34pm
You are not alone! I feel like this all the time- not just on Facebook but in every app with texting. I personally feel like this because I'm afraid that I am being judged, and that I said something wrong that caused them not to want to respond. I usually cope by distracting myself in any way possible from overthinking about what the "seen" message means. I go watch a show, read a book, talk to friends, etc. Once, someone left me on seen for a while, so I asked them if something happened and they just said no, which made me overthink more so probably wasn't the best idea. I also like to put myself in their shoes and calm myself down by thinking about how I would have probably done the same, and sometimes I just forget to reply, just like they probably did.
May 9th, 2021 4:24am
I feel this away a lot too! What helped me is re-accessing why it mattered to me if they replied. If the person didn't reply right away I have to remember they probably have other priorities and will reply eventually. If this is a repeat occurrence, this is a great way for me to know that this person probably don't see eye to eye with me on our friendship level. This helps me reevaluate our relationship and keeps my exception low on them in future. I find this way helps my mental well being and also help me see who I really care about as a friend and them to me.
May 30th, 2021 6:28pm
Yes, I think it's normal to get anxious about something like this. My mind starts to make up all these different scenarios about what they could possibly be thinking about what I said. When something like this used to happen to me, I used to just delete my message. Eventually, I started to think that even deleting it was too much effort. Now leave the message there and make the other person start our next conversation. I don't think it's worth my energy to stay hooked on a conversation they clearly weren't interested in. I don't assume the worst; I just do something else to get my mind off it.
June 9th, 2021 4:31am
In most times, you do not know what the person behind the screen is really doing. Perhaps they are not really ignoring you, they are probably not having the time or the energy to talk with you right now, but don't want the notification to stay there. Perhaps they had an unexpected call on the phone , or someone in real life needed them. I felt this multiple times, I was almost always sure that they are intentionally ignoring me. To calm yourself down whenever this happens, I suggest picturing in your mind a positive situation, instead of a negative one : "Perhaps they are just busy." Also, do not make text messages, or social media messages, a priority, because people are not on the phone all the time. It's impossible. Let the conversation flow naturally. When they'll come, they might tell you why they were absent or they might apologize.
June 24th, 2021 11:27am
Yes this is normal. That anxiety can come up when we are second guessing ourselves and feel we need some validation through others response to us. We use the world to judge and gauge where we are at. So this is normal however I do encourage you do remember that you are valid no matter how a person may respond to you. Your worth is not in others, you are worthy simply for being exactly who you are. Reminding ourselves of this when we experience this anxiety can help a lot. Work on not giving your 'power' away to anyone else but keeping your power with you. This means not allowing anyone to define your worth. Remind yourself that if someone were not to reply it could be that they are busy or not up for chatting and that it is not you. And if they are ignoring you remember that this shows a lot about themselves than it does about you.
July 1st, 2021 4:53pm
I used to feel this on a daily basis-- with every message I sent! I think it's because there's a certian anxiety these situations give us-- they make us really anxious that something went wrong and the problem is with what we did, not vice versa. To cope, I remind myself that I'm not the problem/ the reason to why they're not answering-- maybe the person is waiting to see if I say something else, maybe they're thinking of a great reply to dazzle us, maybe something's going on at home at the moment that they've got to deal with... the possibilities are endless. And obviously, you can't just sit there thinking about all the reasons why they might not be answering. So here's the solution that sounds so easy but is actually quite the opposite: be more confident! Look, if the person doesn't answer, then okay. Whatever! It's not their responsibility to answer right away after seeing a message and it's definitely, definitely not your fault that they don't do this. (Unless you've said something highly offensive/cussed at them) It's theirs! Don't worry too much and think confidently, think about how you're not going to anxiously await a response for that one little text you sent and waste your time like that. They'll reply when they can or want to, so just let them do that and move on with other stuff!
July 4th, 2021 9:47am
I used to be exactly the same, wondering if i has said something wrong to a person for them to ignore me. The truth is that 90% of the time, it is the other person's problem, not our own. You see, everyone is caught up in their own life, they do not pay much attention to a message. When i came to that realization, it made me feel so much better. We can't control other perceptions of ourselves! And when we do mess up, it's a learning opportunity on what we can do better next time. Hope this helps!
July 8th, 2021 8:37am
Yes, I feel this most of the time. But I just think they could be in the middle of doing something and could not reply immediately. But if they don't reply after a few hours, I would accept that not all people are polite enough to reply to a facebook message and I should probably not do it again. It is hard not to take it personally but for my mental health, I would take it as a cue that maybe, they dont want to talk to me and would keep my distance. If someone does not want to talk to me, I'd probably would not want to talk to them either.
July 10th, 2021 11:00pm
Yes, I have this aswell. If I'm chatting to someone in instagram for example, and if i've seen that they've seen the message but they aren't typing or they haven't answered me in a while. I always start worrying that did I say something bad or what's going on. But then I usually just wait and tell myself that they aren't ignoring me, they're just thinking what to say and do something to distract myself from the anxiety or I text them something that I "forgot" to send earlier, so if they see it immediately I know that they're just thinkin what to answer to me.
August 11th, 2021 1:46am
Yes! This is definitely a problem for overthinkers. When we don't get a response quickly, our minds start to fill in the gap or void in response with all the possibilities. I think the first thing that I have learned to do in these situations is recognize that most of the conclusions I jump to are probably not true. This is because we tend to think in terms of the worst case scenarios rather than the most realistic explanations. For example, if you saw someone didn't respond quickly, you might think: "Did I say something wrong?" "Are they angry at me?" In reality, unless you've done something to directly provoke the other person, these responses are more anxiety-based than anything. In most cases, the lag in responses is less about something wrong on our end and more about something going on with the other person. For example, they might just be busy at that moment, or not able to think up a proper response until later. I remind myself of these things constantly because it's rarely been the case that a friend has left me on "seen" and it ended up being for the reasons that my mind would jump to initially.
September 19th, 2021 5:53am
I feel the exact same way, I have a problem with overthinking all of the time! What helps me cope is taking a deep breath and recounting the times when I could not respond to a Facebook message right away after reading it. Sometimes it takes time for me to even think of a response, or maybe I was at work and only had time to give the message a quick look. Coming with reasonable reasons as to why I may not be able to answer a message right away eases my anxiety when I see the little "seen" message in the corner!