How to Politely Reject a Facebook Friend Request

In my very first episode as the Modern Manners Guy, I asked: “Do You Have Bad Facebook Manners?” I got many responses and one related question that keeps coming my way is: how can you politely decline a friend request? So I figured, what better topic for another Modern Manners Guy article?

It can be hard to say no to friend requests—whether they come from someone you haven’t seen since your third grade class portrait or from a kooky relative you wouldn’t even talk to at Thanksgiving, let alone on Facebook.

Never fear–there are accurate, mannerly methods to reject a friend request and no longer come off like a jerk. Here are my top 3 recommendations:

One easy way to deal with an unwanted friend request is to actually go ahead and accept the person but block them from seeing your updates or, even better, you seeing theirs. That way they aren’t gaining a lot of access to your profile and you’ve saved them from rejection. And if you choose not to see their updates, they’ll be “Out of site, out of mind”; it’ll be as though you never became friends in the first place. Just realize that if you block them from seeing your posts, they’ll probably notice. What do you do then? That brings me to tip#2.

These days, potential employers often check out your Facebook page before extending that offer. Even if you nailed the interview and had them practically cracking open the bottle of Champagne before you left, one quick look on your Facebook page could have all of that crumbling down.

Why? Oh, that?S right: your old university pal just published those championship party pics from university where you are striking from the pinnacle of a goal publish–wearing handiest your underclothes and a smile–as a gang of police look forward to you at the bottom.

If you plan to give future employers or other professional connections access to your Facebook page (and even if you don’t), the old “My Facebook page is for professional use only” defense always works. When you get a friend request from someone you fear might embarrass you—or who you simply don’t want to be friends with—let them know that it’s not personal; it’s business and it’s for your career. Try something like this, “It’s always great to hear from you, but I’ve decided to use Facebook for work only.” You’ve established that you enjoy having this person in your life–somewhere–and have blamed your decision on work, which isn’t personal. If they don’t believe you, well then, that settles that friendship.

Another clean repair if you simply like your probably embarrassing pals is to create a separate Facebook account you use for paintings and enterprise only. That manner you?Ll be have a clean Facebook page for professional use, and you?Ll still be able to preserve your crazy pals for your private page.

I?M now not going to lie, when I were given a chum request from my mother, I idea my life was over. I right away reverted lower back to when I become 12, the day my mom substituted for my elegance and gave the 2 largest troublemakers detention for an entire week. Guess who had to go through the outcomes come gymnasium magnificence time? Not her! It was the first time I learned (and felt) what an Atomic Wedgie is like. I?M no longer even going to say the excessive school years. I love my mom and despite her first of all making her name ?Boca Raton? And vicinity ?Helene,? She has yet to embarrass me too terrible? YET!

Moms are one thing; crazy uncles or wild cousins are another. This one can be a rather difficult road to go down. After all, the last thing you need is your mother calling and asking you why Uncle Arnold told her you won’t accept his friend request. Yes, dear old Uncle Arnold, the guy who posts anti-government rants on his page, is part of a group on Facebook to make Texas its own country, and who put his marital status as “If She Would Just Leave Me Already!” Sorry mom, Uncle Arnold is not someone I care to be associated with.

When handling circle of relatives, you need to be greater careful. I purposely made this one last due to the fact you could use a combo of Tip #1 and Tip #2. Face it, they?Re circle of relatives and you can?T get away them. Either block them from seeing what you don?T want them to peer or provide them the expert excuse. In this situation I suggest going with your intestine. If the professional excuse received?T fly come Thanksgiving, suck it up and receive with a block. Who is aware of, speakme approximately Facebook may additionally save you from but some other Uncle Arnold rant.

Do you have a great story about how you handled unfriending or rejecting a friend request? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page so we can all laugh with you. As always, if you have another manners question, I’m look forward to hearing from you so drop me a line at As well, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @ MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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