Today for the first time, straight on, openly, someone denied my friend request on Facebook. Ouch. See I sent a friend request to someone and never got a response (for like a year). I thought, maybe it got lost in the shuffle. So, since we seem to run in the same writing circles, I messaged them asking to friend me, IF and only if they were cool with it. I also said if you aren’t that’s OK cause I know FB is something a little more personalized. When I wrote them that “out”, I really meant it.
Then they rejected me. They indicated that maybe after SHRM12 they would (I guess after they got to know me better). The response was a nice one (this person is nice after all). But it politely declined my invite. Wuh? Holy crap. Really? So after I shook it off and got over myself, I thought about it more clearly.
Disclaimer: This is not a post slamming this person. I have denied requests as well. Also, some really do keep FB limited to personal friends.
A few thoughts:
- Rejection sucks. You can’t change that. I don’t care – even the coolest of the cool hate to be rejected.
- Take adults at face-value. What you see is what you get. This person didn’t accept my friend request a year ago; I shouldn’t have made justifications for it; it just is.
- It is OK to get rejected.
- It is really OK to get rejected if you TELL them they can.
- You should NEVER have to ask someone to be your friend twice. In real life you should never really have to ask them once, friendships aren’t forced, they just are. I learned that lesson in Jr. High. Now, Facebook you may ask twice because the premise is asking for friends. But really, just once peeps unless a door is opened another way.
- Not everything is about you.
- Your ideas will get rejected regularly, cause you have no authority.
- Handle professional rejection calmly and patiently. Being obnoxious about it is just dumb.
- With adult co-workers what you see is what you get most of the time. You shouldn’t have to make too many excuses for certain actions.
- Don’t give co-workers that automatic “out” to your ideas. For instance, don’t position yourself to be rejected. What do I mean. Don’t say, “I really have this wonderful idea for succession planning… but if you aren’t feeling it, or think it is too premature to roll out that is OK”. You’re projecting 12 reasons why it doesn’t have to work.
So how should I have asked for the friend request? Instead of “friend me please….if you want (head bowed down)”, I should have said “I’ve seen your posts and think we have similar HR styles. I’m VP of People for a tech co, Write for Fistful of Talent and the Insomniac and may even be a potential customer. I think we could learn alot from each other so I’m reaching out….”
I very well could have been rejected again, but WOULDN’T have been asking for it.
I have to say, I respect the fact that this person had the decency to respond to my message. Others just ignore, delete, and hide behind the media. Good for this person for having a little courage.
But even if they “like” me better after SHRM, I won’t ask again.