Can You Tell If Someone Declines Your DM on Instagram?

Time heals all wounds.

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As easy as DM “sliding” might sound, making the move to initiate an Instagram direct message conversation can often feel less like a smooth transition across a well-greased surface and more like taking a leap of faith across a bottomless cavern of rejection. And this move can feel even more intimidating when you know that your DM might end up in the limbo that is one’s “Message Request” folder on Instagram, where the recipient needs to accept or decline the DM. If you think your message falls in that latter category, you might be wondering if there’s a way to tell whether someone has declined your DM on Instagram.

If you and the person you’re DMing follow one another, then you likely will not find yourself in this potential purgatory. However, if the person you’re messaging doesn’t follow you back, or if you follow one another but the person has you restricted, then your message will go to the Message Request folder. When a message lands in a user’s Message Requests, they are not notified about the it. Instead, the next time that they open their direct message inbox, they’ll see “1 request” in blue text in the top right of their screen. So, it’s very easy for a message request to sit in someone’s inbox unnoticed. However, there might come a fateful day when your DMee does open their Message Requests, sees your message, and opens it. Phew! At least then you’ll know that they’ve seen your message, right?

Well, dear Message Requester, that is sadly not the case. Unlike messages in one’s regular inbox, Instagram users are able to open a Message Request and choose whether to accept or delete it. If they accept it, your message will enter their main inbox — and you’ll be able to see whether they’ve opened the message. However, if they delete it, or choose to leave it lingering in their message requests, you’ll never be notified.

How To See If Someone Declines Your DM On Instagram

Though Instagram might leave you in the dark on whether your message request has been declined, context clues can shed some light. If you’ve sent a message request and are trying to figure out if it’s been declined, one of the easiest ways to tell is through good old deductive reasoning. Sure, if the person you’re messaging most likely receives a ton of message requests (think: your celebrity crush, local senator, etc.), there’s a chance your request might just go unnoticed in their inbox for extended periods of time. Possibly even forever.

However, if the person you’re trying to reach is most likely not getting blown up over Instagram DMs (your IRL crush, your class president, etc.), and your message has been left with no response or “Seen” notification... odds are, you’ve been declined or left on read. Of course, if your recipient is an off-the-grid type, there’s also the chance that they just haven’t checked their Instagram messages in a long while.

Since the Message Request feature was made to filter out unwelcomed messages (like the kind you get from strangers or spam bots) Instagram has worked to ensure that a user’s engagement with their Message Requests remains pretty under wraps. Instagram doesn’t send a notification if a DM has been declined, so, for the sake of their privacy — and your dignity — don’t sweat it if you find your message stuck in request limbo. You can always save some face by holding down on the message and clicking “Unsend.” Boom. You’re officially freed from the shackles of your DMee’s Message Requests.