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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?

255 Answers
Last Updated: 06/11/2020 at 7:28pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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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
June 22nd, 2018 2:02pm
Its not about you. Many do that. Its just their texting style. Give them the benefit of doubt that maybe they're occupied with smt and will reply once they're free. Think if you're super busy and read someone's message. Would you leave all your work just to reply to their message? Remember this golden rule of texting : always give people their own time to reply.
September 22nd, 2015 7:26pm
I feel this constantly, but I cope by thinking of all the reasons they could not reply. They opened the message, but had to set their phone down real quick to do something and then accidently forgot. Things like that.
October 8th, 2016 10:20am
I get this too - it's a symptom of anxiety and it leads your mind to overthink. Your brain goes into overdrive and it becomes difficult to concentrate on anything else. My coping mechanism is just avoiding it altogether - don't check to see if they have read your message if you can avoid it.
January 12th, 2017 4:03pm
Many people are in this situation. It's not a matter of coping, it's simply patience. Find yourself busy with something to occupy your time.
March 8th, 2017 1:25am
Yes, and it is a bit unnerving. When social media starts giving me anxiety, to me this means it's time to take a break. You don't want to take these things too seriously because what happens if the person is multi-tasking when they saw it and forgot to respond, or what happens if they are in the middle of something but really wanted to read what you sent them and they plan to get back to you as soon as they are done with their current endeavor or maybe it's a person who just doesn't respond well with messages... there could be a million different reasons and here we are going crazy trying to read people's minds and understand. Chill out - take a breath - and sign off. Social media is not supposed to make you feel this way. It's supposed to help you connect with people on a different level, not stress you out. Remember, you have your true friends and people who love you - don't get yourself all worked up over a message that someone saw on the internet. It's not worth it. Hey - you can always follow up with a phone call!
April 13th, 2017 11:47am
I often feel this, and so do a lot of my friends. It's natural, and you can't help your response. However, there are many reasons why this could happen: maybe the person is busy, and will reply later; maybe they have nothing further to add and want the conversation to naturally ebb away; maybe they hastily checked it and then forgot to reply.
April 16th, 2017 3:58pm
When people see my messages but don't answer me, I remind myself that they might be busy or they may have just forgotten to reply. Some people, however, may not be very close to me and I remind myself that I shouldn't be too concerned about them not answering me.
April 22nd, 2017 8:10pm
I've indeed felt this way before, and at times I still do when it occurs. People have their own lives (and I say that in a dynamic perspective). There can be many reasons for a lack of response from something big happening to as little as forgetting to press send. With coping with such anxiety it's key to remember that this anxiety is just a feeling that flows it'll come and it will pass just as quickly, but it's important to acknowledge this feeling and reflect on why you feel this discomfort.
May 3rd, 2017 8:13pm
I've felt this same anxiety about the text message check mark. Assumptions can be a powerful trigger for anxiety! Particularly negative assumptions, like thinking that someone is ignoring you and creating reasons why. Instead, I try to forgive them for not having the ability to text back right away, and distract myself with something healthy, like walking, studying, or even starting a conversation with another friend. Hope this helps!
May 5th, 2017 11:12pm
When I was younger, I had that anxiety myself. I always felt that I had to reply on spot and I expected the same out of other people! I don't know how I changed but Now that I think of it, that the stupid seen symbol obligates people to reply on the spot! Why must it be like that? I remember one morning while rushing to UNI, my phone buzzed. I opened the message, left the phone on the table and proceeded to painting my nails while reading that lovely long message from my friend. I did not have the time to reply then and I wanted to be able to reply nice and long. Is it my fault I saw the message and didn't reply on the spot? Personally, I hate the seen option. If people who like us are taking the time to write back, they probably have a reason for it. And now coming to those who do not write back. It's hard. Rejection stings. It has stung me in the past. But we don't need those who reject us, do we? I hope I helped.
March 23rd, 2018 11:36pm
Yeah. My anxiety just spikes up. In my mind, I've already thought of all the things I've done wrong to make them not want to reply. But we have to remember, some people are just not like us. We just have to accept, some, just don't reply quick. That's just how they are and that's not something we can change
June 2nd, 2018 6:54am
You're assuming they're ignoring you but that's not necessarily the case. Actually that's probably the most negative assumption. When that happens to me I find positive reasons why they didn't answer. Something like: They saw my message while driving and decided to reply when they reach home! etc etc. The point is: Don't assume and if you do always assume a good thing.
June 20th, 2018 9:46am
I do feel this way sometimes as well. It is scary, but the person who you are messaging may be busy at the moment, otherwise if they don't message you in the next day or so, message them again and if the same thing happens again, talk to them, unless you think they aren't worth all that stress and anxiety.
July 2nd, 2018 3:12pm
It is normal to get anxiety about that, your mind wanders into reasons on why the person couldn't or didn't respond. I cope by telling myself that they could've gotten busy or weren't able to respond. If they could respond they would and if they weren't able to, maybe they just looked at it real quick when they could. But do not fret! Just take a few deep breaths and reassure yourself!
July 21st, 2015 6:17pm
i think everyone feels like this! well i know i do! and it sucks because you feel let down or like your not good enough and it can turn into this thought pattern that spirals. the way i cope is like this, how many times have i not messaged back for ages because I'm busy or thinking of something to say? They could have stuff on, at a club, need to check if their free if your inviting them to something or just forgot they opened it, and if they are that ignorant to ignore you then it their loss! so then you go on the inter net and look agh the Facebook seen memes and laugh :D
June 28th, 2016 6:16am
I totally understand what you are going through. Seeing the "Seen" message gives a lot of people anxiety I'm sure.
September 23rd, 2016 8:05pm
I do feel the same way! The way of coping is to practice restraint from checking if the person has replied, and occupy oneself with usual activities to not get stuck in a loop of toxic thoughts :)
October 8th, 2016 7:04pm
I feel this as well sometimes! I usually try to run through other reasons why they could not be responding. For example, I'll say to myself that they're busy, they'll get back to me soon, and they do care or they wouldn't have been talking to me in the first place. Repeating these and other little affirmations help me a lot personally!
November 17th, 2016 4:32am
I feel that too sometimes, I think that you can think that maybe people doesn´t responses because they are just busy or distracted, and that does not have anything about ignoring you, maybe you could do the same as them in their position, with no will of harming anyone and keeping the same care as always
December 31st, 2016 2:50am
I definitely relate to this! It can be really stressful for me sometimes. My best friend prefers to chat over messenger, but always forgets to answer me. It makes me feel like she is ignoring me on purpose. I cope by reminding myself that sometimes people accidentally click on the message and didn't actually read it. Sometimes they don't even realize they did it. I also have to remind myself that people have busy lives and sometimes even though they are on messenger they are doing other things as well!
April 7th, 2017 1:42pm
I do feel like this a lot. It makes me feel absolutely insane. I try to distract myself and try not to think about it. If I feel like it will make me feel insane I ask the person. Sometimes people don't feel like talking or they're busy.
April 16th, 2017 8:03pm
Some people may get anxious when a message is "seen" but not replied to immediately. At times there can be genuine reasons for this. The other person may be busy and/or forget to reply, or they are doing something which is more important than answering the message. In that case, keep yourself occupied with other things and be patient! However, if such thing happens every time with certain people, then it might be time to ask them what is wrong and why they are not answering your messages. If this persists, you should stop messaging the person because they might be needing some space or are maintaining distance.
April 20th, 2017 5:23pm
I used to feel this way especially when I had to speak to someone about an important matter. It stopped after I began to distract myself with other enjoyable things/work and I used to repeat time over time that the person could not be available to reply at the exact moment or that their internet connection isn't working.
August 19th, 2017 1:14am
I completely understand how you feel; I always feel anxious when someone has "seen" what I've said and taken what feels like a century to respond. However, while it does seem difficult, taking your mind off of it by distracting yourself with an activity, no matter how trivial it is, can definitely help to put your mind at ease, or, at the very least, it helps me.
February 1st, 2018 1:53am
Hell to the yeah, and this is a big part of why I don't have Facebook anymore! If you can, try and brainstorm alllll of the other reasons why they might not have replied yet: - Maybe they read it and meant to reply but forgot - Maybe they wanted to wait and chat with you or give it a longer answer - Maybe they didn't feel like talking to anyone and just want to browse the feed instead - Maybe they thought they didn't need to reply Hope this helps some :)
February 3rd, 2018 9:44pm
I believe almost everyone has had this feeling. People feel unsecure when knowing that your friend/love/someone has seen the message but doesn't answer. I believe patience is what is necessary. If you have waited for a very long time, try send a little message, maybe just an emoji or a kind 'have you seen my message?' to them, it usually helps :) Often people just forget that they saw the message and since the notification is gone, they don't see it anymore and therefore doesn't answer
March 28th, 2018 2:48am
I also feel anxiety over this. To cope I just try not to use that platform as much and talk in person or some other way that gives me less stress. If thats not an option try to remember that they probably aren't ignoring you, they're just busy.
April 11th, 2018 1:55am
The "seen" is there just to stress us all the time. We shouldnt get stressed if we see it, maybe the other person is a little bit busy and can actually answer you
April 12th, 2018 7:41pm
Would it help to hear the other side of the issue? The "seen" message, or any other proof that I've noticed/read someone's message, stresses me out because of my social anxiety. Online or off, I have trouble immediately knowing how to respond. Conversation-wise, my brain is often a little spinny loading wheel. I don't dislike the person at all! What I do dislike is today's amount of accessibility. I don't want to always be having a conversation, even if it's my favorite person in the world. I want to have alone time. Sure, I could tell them that straight up, but my anxiety tells me that they'll still be hurt. I've gotten an "I see" reply before and it made me so guilty and stressed. However, I've been on the waiting end before and it made me antsy as well. I just try to do other things while I wait, like read my twitter timeline or watch something.
April 19th, 2018 5:56pm
many people feel this way. it is completely understandable and you are not alone in feeling the way that you do. i usually tell myself the person's phone was open to the message while having been left on the table for the duration of time it took to complete a simple task; if the app is open it often doesnt make a noise. They will reply when they see it with their own eyes.