The beauty of getting unfriended

Courtesy of Liv Lane

When someone unfriends or unfollows me on social media, I have learned to say this:

THANK YOU.

See, I love trends and stats, especially related to human behavior. So, I’m fascinated by social media – a giant petri dish of moment-to-moment interactions ripe with potential to lift people up or bring them down. These platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, are like grown-up playgrounds. The goal is to avoid the bullies, and just find a nice group of friends to play with each day.

But sometimes, when you show your true colors, one or more of those friends backs away and goes looking for a new group to hang out with.

It stings, doesn’t it? Because it means somebody doesn’t really appreciate who you are and how you think. Ouch. But THEN! When a new friend shows up and “likes” you, actually wanting to hear MORE from you, everything becomes crystal clear: that other buddy, the one who bit the dust when you got real, wasn’t a great match for you in the first place. When we align with our true nature, the Universe weeds out what and who we no longer need and brings in what and who we do.

THANK YOU

During the past year, this has played out for me online many times. When I decided to shift my business to center around my intuitive abilities, showing my true colors in the process, I was scared it would send people running. And you know what? It did. A few of them ran like the wind.

When it first started happening, it hurt to see people backing away. Not just strangers, but people I’d been connected to for a long time. I questioned if I was doing the right thing. I wondered if I should tone it down or go back into hiding. And then I asked myself three critical questions:

  • After reviewing a few of my most recent social media posts, am I someone I would want to follow?
  • Is the content I’m sharing an authentic reflection/representation of me?
  • Do I want to spend my energy connecting with kindred spirits or pleasing the naysayers?

These questions – and my answers – were perspective-shifting for me. I no longer felt wounded by those who were unfollowing me, but grateful that every “unfollow” was actually making space for a tribe of friends and followers and cheerleaders who value who I am and what I do.

That’s what we all need and deserve – on social media, in our friendship circles, in our families, in our work. We are all big kids on the playground, looking for a nice group of friends to play with each day; people who value who we are and enrich our lives, too. There is no need to chase the people who don’t want to play with us. We flourish when we feel found and appreciated by the people who do.

This post was written by Liv Lane and originally published on her blog. Follow Liv on Twitter: @liv_lane.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by John Cricky on 05/02/2014 - 01:07 pm.

    What did people do 50 years ago before the internet, Facebook, Twitter and “Intuitive Advisers?” I didn’t even know my intuition required an adviser!

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/02/2014 - 03:58 pm.

    Historically Speaking

    I guess back in the day we actually…talked to people and got to know them. Sometimes those people weren’t exactly fitting your demographic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We need exposure to people who have other perspectives, ideas, and goals so we can test them against our own and see where we’re lacking. No one should pretend they have all the answers in the world and chatting with people from diverse backgrounds gives us the opportunity to learn and expand. If we just stick within our comfort zones then we lose the opportunity to meet some fascinating individuals.

    Facebook et all strikes me as a way to connect lightly with like-minded people. They’re a brief quick conversations or a “like” here and there that never seems to elevate above the level of a posted link to a clever article. The people who are into your point of view stick around and those who don’t like what you have to say drift away, therein narrowing the pool of diversity.

    Which isn’t to say that Facebook is all bad or doesn’t have its uses. I have friends who use it to keep in touch with people they rarely see. The danger though is when these apps become your circle, to the exclusion of all else.

    Facbook is like the McDonald’s of social interaction: filling a need at the moment, but long term not a healthy choice. I prefer to go the slow food method and have a cocktail party instead, complete with hors d’oeuvres, the fine china, and a five course meal.

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