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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
United States
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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
November 8th, 2017 3:53pm
I feel this as well! i'm afraid they are ignoring me or think i'm weird. When this happens to me, i take a deep breath and try to think about a time where i looked at a message but didn't respond. This helps me remember that everyone has a life and things going on and that they are probably just busy.
November 9th, 2017 2:52am
Yes, I relate. Most of the time, I assume they are busy but why would they read it but NOT reply? I always think of the worst things which never leads into anything.
November 9th, 2017 8:56pm
I often feel the same way. Anytime I send an e-mail, text, letter. . . if the person doesn't reply for a while, I immediately think of all the possible reasons why. Try not to worry about people who don't respond to you. I know it's hard. But I try to realize that the person actually may not have anything against me; and if they do, it's not really my problem. If I've upset them in some way, they should bring it to my attention.
November 10th, 2017 9:27pm
I feel the same when when someone leaves me on read.. Really there isn't anything you could do, I think positively like maybe they got called to do something before they could reply, or got a phone call, or something important and they'll reply later, but if they don't I shoot them another message after a couple of hours later.
November 12th, 2017 9:51pm
Of course this can cause a lot of anxiety, it can be unnerving to know someone has seen what you have said but not replied. I generally cope by knowing there could be reasons that I don't know about. For example they were distracted by something else, they needed to go to dinner etc. I know it can be hard and possibly nerve racking, but it's often easier to distract yourself or do something instead of waiting, as I am sure for the most part there was a valid reason.
November 15th, 2017 10:40am
I feel this all the time, and it is painful sometimes, when you feel you are deliberatedly being ignored. Be patient with others, so as with yourself.
November 18th, 2017 2:20pm
I’ve felt this before,so i just give excuses to the other person like the internet is broken or they’re thinking about a really good reply or their dog was barking so they went to see it.
November 18th, 2017 11:38pm
I understand how you feel and experience this also. I try to reminded myself that they may have gotten busy and think back to a time I have accidentally done this too someone. If you have a close relationship (feeling comfortable) maybe you could bring this up with certain people you talk to.
November 22nd, 2017 3:22pm
Try to think about the good things that they are doing. They may be busy or their computer may have died. Talk to other people in the meantime.
December 1st, 2017 9:23pm
Try to keep in mind that social media isn't the same as a real-life face-to-face interaction. Someone not replying to a message right away is NOT the same thing as them ignoring you in real life, even though it feels that way. It's always a good policy to put yourself in someone else's shoes and give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're at work or school and they had time to glance at their phone, but not time to type out a reply. There could be a million reasons why they don't reply right away, so try not to assume!
December 9th, 2017 6:53pm
It happens to lots of us. Sometimes it can just be because that person wants you to know that they have seen your message but they are busy so will reply later - there are many possible explanations so don't beat yourself up about it I'm sure they will reply soon.
December 14th, 2017 12:55pm
Yes, I can definitely relate to this. Sometimes I’m unable to stop the thought cycle but when this happens I try to recognise it and accept I’m having the thoughts. Then I sit and breathe for a while and try to calm myself.
December 21st, 2017 9:57pm
Yes, this is actually very common among anxiety. What helps me is just talking to other loved ones and understand that people sometimes can't respond right away, or know how to respond, and that's okay.
December 22nd, 2017 9:34am
I think the anxiety that comes from the seen message may be miswired in that concept. It was intended for people to know only if the message was seen “whew, glad they saw it.” So that you can know that the other person simply saw their message - like if your going to be late because of traffic. Try everytime you think- why didn’t they respond, to reprogram instantly with, “I’m not be ignored I.e. rejected- they just didn’t have time to respond. The more reprogramming from negative to positive the more you will see those negative thoughts will go away and rarely start from negative anymore
December 22nd, 2017 6:15pm
I think everyone experiences this to some degree. I find it helpful to remind myself of all the times that I might have not responded to a message as soon as I saw it, and what my reasons were. That way I can be more realistic about how I interpret it from others. Usually delays are just because people are busy.
December 22nd, 2017 10:33pm
Not every time someone does not respond is about 'you'. It could be that this person is busy, have other things on his/her mind. We are all captives of quick, on the moment communication but sometimes people need time to respond.
December 22nd, 2017 11:13pm
I get this a lot, I usually send another message if they don't reply within around 5 - 10 mins. If they read that one and don't reply I know they're ignoring me and then my mind isn't wandering through all the possible scenarios.
December 23rd, 2017 2:30am
I feel this and the best way of coping in my opinion is ignoring the conversation until the person decides to reply to you. If you see them in real life you could always ask if they're mad, annoyed, ect.
December 24th, 2017 12:21am
I'd like to provide some perspective from someone who does a message but doesn't always reply soon! First of course I'd like to apologize for any anxiety I had caused but I think the thing about social media is that we have it so conveniently with us that we receive messages at all times of day, when we're doing anything and maybe just taking a peek at our phones. I often look at my phone and see the message but it's not at a time I am able to reply (ie at work, in a social situation etc)! I often wait till a time I am alone and able to take the time to reply to do so. So I think it's important to consider the possibility that not replying after having seen the message may not necessarily mean they are ignore you.
December 31st, 2017 8:15pm
seen status of the message can happen many ways. Sometimes, kids or spouse access the messanger other time in hurry or while driving or doing something critical or safety related stuff the recipient might browsed which causes the seen status Until, response is negative, it is worth leaving things neutral
January 31st, 2018 10:48pm
This happens to me on a regular basis. Some people are just good at getting back to others and some are not. I find different ways to cope. Either only check once a day so it doesn't consume you. Or find an alternative way to chat. That's my two cents. Great question!!
February 1st, 2018 8:36pm
i definitely feel the same. i guess the way i cope with it is to just not think the worst. i just say that they might be busy or maybe accidentally opened the chat and forgot about it.
February 4th, 2018 6:08pm
I totally feel this! Recently, I have decided not to care as much. I tell myself "I could have read this in between things or during a 5m break at work and I will reply when I am able and ready, they will know I wasn't ignoring with that reply, so I do not need to worry."
February 8th, 2018 12:43pm
I personally hate it when people do this to me. So I either remind myself if the person is usually responsive that they are probably busy and could have gotten caught up. If this frequently occurs, I consider dumping the friend because that's really quite unacceptable if it happens too much
February 10th, 2018 5:08pm
I know it's frustrating, but you can't change other people. What I do is I try prompting them to see if they're there, and if they don't respond to that...then I accept that maybe they don't want to talk to me right now, and I let it go. If the person avoids you on a regular basis though, you may want to find a way to confront them or just break off the relationship.
February 16th, 2018 6:14am
There could be many reasons, they could have accidentally clicked it (like if the phone was in their pocket) or they may have left the chat up. Maybe they're just busy and will get back soon? Sometimes the message even fails to show on one side but still counts as sent, so when someone opens their messages it counts as "read".
February 22nd, 2018 8:55am
I feel this way as well! Sometimes you have to realize that if they are ignoring you then it is within themselves and they shouldn't be a part of your life if they do not feel the need to speak to you. Focus on those around you who do not make you feel this way.
February 24th, 2018 6:36am
I have definitely experienced this, so you are certainly not alone! I cope by reminding myself that sometimes I see messages and want to read them but get caught up doing other things. Life is so busy! And reminding myself that it can sometimes take me days to reply to a Facebook message (especially when I am feeling low!) and that sometimes I even need a nudge or reminder that it is there. Coping is a funny thing. So is anxiety. In order to cope with that icky anxious feeling, it sometimes helps me to remind myself that it is just anxiety, and just a feeling, and that it will pass just as it has before! It doesn't last forever and it also is only a thought rather than a reality! :)
March 1st, 2018 4:53pm
You're definitely not alone there, but try and remember that the person is probably paying far less attention to the situation than you are - while you're worried about their response to you, they have likely just forgotten to respond to their messages! Their phone might have died, or they might have been called over by somebody irl and would have felt rude staying on to their phone - not realising that the "Seen" message would worry you. If you can imagine all the distractions which might have pulled them away from their phone, this should hopefully help you see that they're not doing it personally towards you, it's just a thoughtless accident. Besides, no one would ignore you personally unless they were just having a really bad day and felt generally snappy, which is nothing to do with how they feel towards you!
March 1st, 2018 5:02pm
Oh, definitely. The best thing to do is even though by nature you think negative situations; try thinking of more reasonable and/or positive situations. They may be busy. They may be thinking on how to reply. They may have gotten caught up in something. You never know.