The pain’s the same

3 November 2015

In an interview for the Telegraph on the hurt of being defriended on Facebook, Relate counsellor Arabella Russell says: “Social media can be a great source of communication, but it can also be a great battering ram on the self-esteem.

“If you’re dropped, it can have a really visceral effect: ‘What have I done?’ It’s always what have I done. We immediately blame it on ourselves. An online friendship is absolutely real. It can become a lot more intense a lot more quickly than offline relationships and often we’ll share things we wouldn’t offline.

“So being defriended hurts. It’s a rejection that plays to childhood feelings exactly the same way it did in the playground. It feels the same when we’re an adult, no less harsh. We’ve been given no opportunity to speak our mind, compromise, negotiate, raise problems… We can use logic on it as adults and defend ourselves against the pain more successfully than when we were children. But the pain’s the same.”

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