FacebookYesterday I was friended on Facebook by someone I don’t know. We have a lot of mutual friends, so the friend request makes sense, but I don’t like to let people on my personal Facebook page who I don’t know in real life.

This happens often, especially because of all of the speaking that I do, and I always thank the person for the invite and suggest, instead, they become fans of Arment Dietrich, where I spend a lot of time engaging with clients, prospects, potential candidates, and our employees. I know some people are put off by this because it sounds like I’m promoting the company. And, I guess I am. But it’s less to promote the company and more to engage with people I don’t know in a place that feels safe to me.

But for some reason, yesterday’s request is bothering me. I think it’s because his  response was, “thanks anyway”, which makes me believe I left a bad taste in his mouth.

If you know me well, you know I want to be liked by everyone. And you also know I have trouble saying no. So when I perceive I’ve hurt someone’s feelings or left a bad taste in their mouth, I wonder how I could have handled the situation differently. At the same time, I am (in my wise old age) finally learning I need to have some boundaries.

Right now, my boundaries are as follows:

* On my personal Facebook page, I have to know you in real life (which is why, Dave Van de Walle, I don’t have very many friends there).

* On the Arment Dietrich Facebook fan page, I will talk to anyone there, even if it’s negative. This is where we’re building our culture and building relationships with people we might like to work with in the future (as well as people we work with now).

* On Twitter, as long as you don’t look like a spammer, I will follow you back and I will get to know you. My friend Nancy Lyons always teases me because I will talk to anyone on Twitter. It’s true. I will. I love Twitter and the relationships I’m able to develop using that tool.

* On LinkedIn, I will accept your connection IF you tell me how we know one another. The “I’d like to add you to my personal network” invite doesn’t work for me, unless I truly do know you. I never click “I don’t know this user,” but I do often just hit “archive” instead of “accept.”

What are your boundaries? How would you have handled the friend request I mention above?

*Photo courtesy of GeekSugar

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich