Instagram is a whole new terrain — before it, I never knew what my old coworkers were eating for lunch. And now I do, and my mind is blown. However, it comes with so many new questions — should you look at people’s IG stories if you’ve never met? Does your mom hate you if she doesn’t like all your posts immediately? And, most daunting of all: should you comment on your ex’s Instagram posts? This is such a tricky question that I spoke with experts to get the scoop for you.
The key to figuring out if it’s OK to comment on an ex’s post is communication. "I would highly recommend that you actually talk with your ex to make sure everything really is ok when commenting on their posts, and how you feel about them commenting on your posts," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. If you and your ex are on good terms, it may feel totally normal to comment on each other’s photos, and that’s great. Make sure you run it by your ex, though, just in case they’re dating someone new and they might feel uncomfortable about it. Boundaries are key, so open communication allows you and your ex to respect each other’s space.
Make sure your comments on their post are the type of thing you’d be comfortable reading on your own posts, experts say. "Keep it light, friendly, never critical," Dr. Brown says. Maybe your ex has posted about a new job, and you want to write, "congrats!" If you’re on good terms, that’s a totally normal and supportive comment. Other experts echo this sentiment. "Ask yourself these questions before you ever comment: ‘Why exactly am I commenting and what is the purpose of the comment itself?’" Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. If your comment is intended to lift them up and make them feel good, then it may be totally fine to comment on an ex’s Instagram post.
However, it’s not a good idea to use Instagram comments to get back at an ex. "IG, nor any other form of social media, is absolutely not the place to air out the unfinished business of your relationship," Dr. Brown says. "I highly recommend that exes do not use social media in an attempt to get back at each other or as a way to humiliate." Also, other people might read too far into the comment if it’s not something totally positive, so beware. "As much as you may feel you want to comment, the fact that you are no longer a couple, the fact that it is a public comment, and the fact that it is very limited communication sets up a scenario for miscommunication, misunderstanding, and problems," Dr. Klapow says. It’s totally fine to comment something positive on an ex’s photo, but make sure your intentions behind the comment are warm, not an attempt to get back at them.
If an ex comments on your post, you can communicate your feelings about it directly to them. "If you feel hurt or awkward in other ways about a post, you might want to reach out to them directly and let them know what your experience of the post was," Dr. Brown says. It’s also important to consider the nature of your relationship with them. "If you are friends you might respond," Dr. Klapow says. "If you are amiable but not friends, you just let it go. If you have ill feelings, see them as a threat, or take offense to the comment, then block them." It’s always OK to block someone who makes you uncomfortable online, ex or not, so don’t be afraid to do so. If you’d like to communicate your feelings with an ex about their comments, consider reaching out and ask what the intention behind their comment was. This can help to clear the air and ensure that they understand how to respect your space.
Instagram can be difficult to navigate. Sometimes, I forget that I’m not the only person reading my public comments. If you’d like to comment on an ex’s Instagram, it may be totally OK, as long as the two of you have decided it’s fine. Remember — the internet’s not written in pencil, as they say in The Social Network, so be careful what you write. And even if you don’t comment on an ex’s photos, you can always comment on your BFF’s pics telling them how fab they look!
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