How to Deal with People Who Seem to be Unfriendly Online

Often you come across people online. It’s impossible to avoid it. However, sometimes there’s one or more people that just seem to not like you. You’re not sure why, but the way they write to you seems somewhat rude and unnecessary. This isn’t always because they necessarily do not like you; most of the time they don’t care enough to treat you any differently. So how do you deal with this?


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    Consider the possibility that maybe that’s how they type. They might just convey their feelings differently. Just because somebody doesn’t use emoticons does not mean they do not like you. Sometimes, people believe emoticons can be perceived as “sarcastic” or “rude” and choose, for those reasons, not to use them. Don’t take a lack of a “:D” in response to your “xD” personally; sometimes the person doesn’t care for them.
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    Think about humor. Keep in mind that sometimes people have a dark or dry sense of humor. Sometimes the things they say can come off as rude, but often they’re not meaning to offend you with what they’re saying.
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    Remember pre-established dislike. Think about whether someone has a reputation for being “mean” and you meet them. You will immediately expect them to dislike you. Open your mind to the possibility that, just because they speak one way to one person, they may treat you totally differently. This can go both ways; if the person who you are speaking to has a pre-established impression of you as a rude person, chances are they will treat you like one.
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    Try not to offend others. Offending people is a premier way you can becoming disliked. People can react very badly to insulting things. Do not immediately get defensive if you say something and another person starts to give you attitude; try to calmly and politely explain what you actually meant, but do your best not to sound sarcastic or snarky.
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    Realize that sometimes it's impossible to change the way someone thinks. Despite your best efforts, people will not like you. The trick is not to become a sycophant; if they choose to dislike you, sucking up to them will not make their opinion of you any better. In fact, it might very well make it even worse than it already is. If it’s clearly established that someone is not a fan of you, leave it alone; be civil when you need to speak with them, but otherwise try not to push them for a response.
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    Don't react. Reaction can do a lot of damage. Reacting isn't something you should take entirely personal. People always react in their own ways to things that are said. A lack of emoticons and exclamation marks does not show dislike; it may merely express a more mature, concise outlook on things. Try to think of it as a different way of expressing themselves online; emoticons are not the only ways to show what you’re feeling through your words.
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    Know that sometimes two perfectly nice people don't get along and don't take it personally. Things happen.
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    He/she has little or no interest in you. It usually happens when someone meet other people on the Internet and fail to make some emotional ties or when the other person meet new people he/she considers more attractive than you. The best thing to do is to try to convince the other person that you're really interested in him/her and that you want to meet him/her in real life. Try to tell also the real motive that moved the other person to get into contact with you.
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    Internet Trolls It's completely possible you might be dealing with one. These are a special group of people that have nothing better to do except go on websites and post things that are meant to be so rude or outrageous that they get a reaction from many users. As the saying goes, "Don't Feed the Trolls", meaning don't react to them since all they're looking for is attention.


  • Sometimes it’s hard to accept that other people might just not like you for one reason or another. Chances are, nobody dislikes you without a reason; try to figure out on your own what it was you might have done to upset or offend the person you’re dealing with.
  • Often people misinterpret what is said. Make sure you know exactly what the person means when they say something and don’t take anything personally; otherwise, you might end up thinking something about them that’s not true.


  • In the case that you are dealing with someone who, for whatever reason they have, does not like you, do not try to force them to like you. This will most likely cause more damage than could be done normally, and will have a negative outcome for all involved.

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Categories: Managing Conflict and Difficult Interactions