Articles on: Trust, Safety, and Privacy

What should I do if someone is distant or unfriendly towards me?

To be able to build a global community like Schoolhouse, we all have to learn to respect and uplift other people who have different cultures, backgrounds, communication styles, and belief systems than we do. This is not always easy—it takes patience, reflection and empathy. However, it's an awesome opportunity to learn interpersonal skills that will help you connect with all kinds of people later in life.

As we try to get to know others, we might accidentally hurt, offend or annoy them in some way. It's important to know that this is normal and expected, and that we're here to learn from those mistakes. Here are some tips on how to navigate this situation:
Be open to feedback. If someone lets you know that they found something you did problematic, try to recognize the defensiveness that will naturally rise up in you—take a deep breath, and let it go. Reflect genuinely on what they shared, and how it might help you interact with this person and others in the future. Thank them for the feedback.
Give the person space. If someone doesn't seem like they're actively interested in a friendship, it's important to recognize that and give them some space. If you're almost always the first person to reach out to someone, it's often a good idea to stop reaching out to them for a while—that way, if they're interested in interacting, they'll reach out. Otherwise, you can focus on other friendships instead.
Respect the person and their boundaries. There are lots of reasons why someone may not be interested in a friendship right now, and those reasons are not for us to judge. If someone tells you they'd like some space, or stops responding, it's very important that we respect that decision. A forced friendship is not a friendship!
Redirect your energy. If you feel disappointed or frustrated by someone, it's healthy to give yourself some distance from that person. Think about the kindness and empathy you would have liked to see, and show that kindness and empathy yourself, towards others.
Get a second opinion on the situation. If you feel that someone is treating you unfairly or you don't agree with their feedback, reach out to the safety team for support to handle the situation. Important: do not reach out to other community members for a second opinion, as this can quickly lead to gossip and make the situation harder to move on from. Excessively speaking negatively about others is against our Community Guidelines, and may result in a temporary account suspension.

If you are on the opposite side of the situation, and you find that you don't like interacting with someone, you can check out our tips for dealing with this here!

Updated on: 05/06/2023

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