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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
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 5th, 2018 2:09am
Ignore Facebook. Some people just read it to read it, or are bored and just don't respond. It causes lots of stress and anxiety, so don't use it anytime soon if you are anxiety-prone. So take a break from it.
March 13th, 2018 10:17pm
After someone ignores you, you start to realize that this is just something that happens in life, whether the person is too busy or forgets to reply or simply doesn't know what to say - try not to waste your time thinking about why they didn't answer. Fact of the matter is this will likely happen again in the future. Hopefully they eventually reply, but if they don't, try to focus on other things - keep yourself busy and don't let something like no response keep you up at night. At that point, there is nothing you can really do but see if they respond eventually. You can also try messaging the person again, but then you open yourself up to the possibility that they may 'see' it and not respond again. Either way, find ways to ease your feelings of anxiety by focussing on the people that do reply to you and doing things you enjoy doing that make you feel good :)
March 28th, 2018 10:31pm
This happens to me all the time. I think that they could be busy, or they could've just seen the message but is still thinking of a reply. Either way don't take it personal.
March 30th, 2018 8:16am
Just think that the person “ignoring” you is too busy! They might be at work. Also, if they want to ignore you, they shouldn’t be friends with you!
March 30th, 2018 5:51pm
I do feel this. Very often. What I try to tell myself is that the person has other friends too and they might be busy with something very important. We can't always know for sure what someone is doing.
March 31st, 2018 2:08am
Yes, you are not alone in feeling this way. Maybe after sending a message try not looking at your phone so then you don't see whether they have seen it or not until you actually get a message
April 1st, 2018 11:54pm
I feel that way. I just try to remember they could be busy, or they just don't have an answer right now.
April 5th, 2018 4:01am
I feel like this all the time I get it is nerve racking. One way I cope with it is deep breaths. Or I will do an activity that calms me down
April 5th, 2018 6:54pm
Oh, I have been there and done that! Time and again. I wish that there was no option to see whether or not the other person has read your message. That would eliminate SO much stress. I wish that it were set to where the only way to know if they read it is if you are seeing the three dots in motion, meaning that they are typing a reply. And it is stressful. Especially if you think like I do. The first thing I do is say "oh, that's it, so and so hates me now. Even though I can not think of one single thing that I could have possibly done to make so and so hate me, I know I have done something. I just know it. That's it, I have destroyed a great friendship. I didn't just burn that bridge, I NUKED it!!". Then, I hand wring and worry something fierce. I will say that it does help me to look at it another way. If the person who is not responding to me really wanted nothing more to do with me, then they would just unfriend and block me, and in fact, probably would have already done it by now. So, that helps to calm my worries some. Not a lot, but some. Basically, what I do is just try again the next day. And what's funny is, nine times out of ten, the next day they actually do reply! And then I breathe this huge sigh of relief. One time I decided to ask someone about this. I said "just curious, was everything alright the other day? I messaged you but didn't hear back, so I was just hoping you were okay." While their answer was very vague, at least it told me something. They said "oh, yeah, everything is fine. Don't worry, my not replying didn't have anything to do with you." I took that to mean that they didn't reply to anyone else that day either. Or, at least I hope that was what it meant. Anyway, it sucks to the nth degree nonetheless. But, when this happens again, try to think of it in terms of if they were really mad at you, then you would have been unfriended by now. And then message them again a day or so later. Hope this helps!
April 7th, 2018 6:52pm
You just need to understand that they might seen it but been in a place where they just couldn't answer right away. I too have this happen to me....but it is not something that matters to me as much, not overlooking though how it affects you.... The message might not been as important to them as it was for you..... Ppl are all different and certain things mean differently to is all.... 💔 sorry you hurt .
April 14th, 2018 6:21am
It's a very natural thing to "fear the unknown" - we don't know what's on the other side of the, let's say, screen. Fear/anxiety is a feeling we create in our minds. With practice and persistence we can train/trick our minds into believing we are fearless. Anxiety is a symptom of the fight, flight, or freeze method (FFF). Without fear we are free.
April 15th, 2018 6:45am
Seeing the seen messages but no reply often sets me on edge! To cope I feel it is important to first recognise all the times you haven't replied instantly and how busy some people can be. The person reading the message probably took note of it and will get back as soon as they can! Another possibility is they don't have anything they feel they can contribute to the conversation or are unsure of how to carry on the conversation. Chances are the people you are talking to have no reason or desire to ignore.
April 15th, 2018 7:49am
Yes, i get this too and i constantly worry that i've upset or offended someone. I feel great relief when they finally answer and everything feels ok again. I think it's because there's no feedback like you'd get in a face to face conversation, so you can't see how the other person is taking it. I try to distract myself when it happens otherwise i end up staring at it and it feels like my world is about to end. I find other things to do, watch netflix, read news websites, catch up on emails, and force myself to give reasons why they may not be answering right now which don't involve hating me (for example: maybe they are in the middle of cooking dinner and just checked the message on their phone. Maybe they are out shopping? Maybe they have people to deal with someone face to face right now and it wouldn't be acceptable to be typing on the phone?). Personally, i'm quite diligent about answering messages quickly so i struggle to understand why they can't at least acknowledge me, but i get that this is unreasonable so defer to the above advice for myself.
April 15th, 2018 8:46am
I feel a lot of people experience anxiety with the "seen" message, the thought of being ignored is never a good thought, personally I for a while had the same fear, but I took a break from social media for a month, and when I got back I didn't feel as bad about being ignored.
April 15th, 2018 5:56pm
This happens to me all the time. Especially when they respond fast sometimes and not others. I find a distraction when I’m anxiously waiting for a message. Because the longer you dwell and stare at it, the more it builds up. Walk away from the computer, put your phone down. Go do something productive around the house or for yourself and come back. They’re not always ignoring you. Real life happens outside of the computer world.
April 15th, 2018 5:59pm
I personally try not to overthink things even though it can be very hard. I try to remember that whoever I am messaging always has the possibility of simply getting caught up doing something else. :)
April 24th, 2018 6:39am
First of all, chillax. Maybe, the person is busy and doesn't have time to chat then. My suggestion is don't open the chat. You automatically get a notification when the person sends you a message, right? So I don't think you will miss anything.
April 25th, 2018 6:59pm
I feel this all the time! But then I have to stop and think - how many times was I interrupted just after I saw someone's message to me? There are so many things that could have happened, so I remind myself to try to not take it too personally.
April 25th, 2018 9:21pm
I use to take it really personal when someone would leave me on "seen." I would start re-reading messages, and obsessing over something I could have said to make that person ignore me. I would remind yourself that people get busy throughout the day, and don't always remember that they read the message.
April 26th, 2018 2:48pm
I tend to try to reframe my perspective when I get anxious about someone possibly ignoring me. Perhaps they opened the message by accident and didn't actually read it? Perhaps they meant to reply but got distracted? I think about how when I don't reply to people, it isn't usually because I am ignoring them.
May 2nd, 2018 9:02pm
Yes I feel like this sometimes. I just put myself in their shoes as to why they may not respond right away. It may be that they are busy, driving, working, accidentally seen the message, etc and can't respond right away. If they don't respond at all, I just tell myself that they simply forgot and thats okay. I have done that to others unintentionally!
May 6th, 2018 5:53am
What I would do in this situation, any next time you find yourself into anxiety because of someone not responding, sit with your anxiety and write down every thought and feeling about it. This will help you to understand what is really causing you to feel like u can track down the real core and then deal with that afterwards. Allow it few times so you can get as many indicators as possible ;)
May 19th, 2018 9:14pm
You're yourself. If they leave you with a seen, go about your day and let that seen be there. It's you who matters above all.
May 25th, 2018 3:33am
I try and remember that there are a million reasons someone would have seen my message and not replied, and only one of them is that they want to ignore me. It can be difficult to rationalize with yourself, but what’s going through our heads usually isn’t going through the people we care about’s.
May 25th, 2018 3:56am
A lot of times you just have to understand people have lives and many times a busy scheduled day. For example while I’m on break (15) I may read messages (plural) and may have time to reply to one or two. Frankly, I wouldn’t read to much into why or why not a someone did not response but just seen my message. Unless your speaking specifically of a significant other. Then I kinda understand from that stance. Though, if it bother you that much make a video call or leave another message asking why no reply? Many times people are demanding and not considerate of their FB friends lives. Ever considered this person may also going through a lot?
May 26th, 2018 2:32am
Yes, I have felt this, and it's difficult. I was able to start coping better with it once I realized that I too, do the same thing, and the people on the other side have either just forgotten to reply or are too busy at the moment. You cannot let how fast someone replies define you.
May 31st, 2018 11:37am
I also feel the same I think that the person is ignoring me intentionally but I tell myself that maybe he is busy and will reply to me after a certain time.
June 3rd, 2018 1:48pm
I did this today. I was in a negative mind frame anyway and this just fuelled the fire. Normally it can help if you get a pad. List down all your negative thoughts about it then for each negative ask and what could be a neutral or positive explanation for the non answer. It my case the one who didn't answer was out of the house and out of data!!
June 13th, 2018 12:06am
Knowing that someone has seen a message and has not replied feels like I'm being rejected at times. I remind myself that even if they've seen it, they may not want to reply or they may be too busy at that time to reply. At times when I experience that anxiety, I find a way to distract myself by doing activities that will make it hard for me to think about it. After some time passes, I may reach out to that person again.
June 13th, 2018 10:41pm
I definitely experience this too.. What I try to do in those situations is think about all the times I didn't immediately respond to someone despite reading the message and all the different reasons why I didn't. It usually helps me to think about this, because I realise that I do it a lot too and it's usually just because I'm busy with something else or have to think about an answer, so that's most likely what's happening the other way around with them now.