Sunday, 21 May 2017 14:19

Yes, I Did Block You On LinkedIn -- And Here's Why


Dear Liz,

I have been a relatively open connector on LinkedIn so far. I have about 300 LinkedIn connections. If I know someone even a little and they invite me to join their network, I usually accept the invitation.

Last year I accepted a LinkedIn connection invitation from a man I met at a business event. We only talked for a few minutes. The next day, he sent me an invitation to connect and I accepted. In retrospect that was a bad decision.


The minute I connected to this man he added me to his newsletter distribution list.


Worse than that, he sent me a form letter that was addressed "Dear new LinkedIn Connection" that explained what he requires of his LinkedIn network members.

In the letter he said that he is happy to make introductions for his connections and he assumes they feel the same way. The whole tone and tenor of the message was heavy-handed and rude. I just ignored it.


About six weeks later I got an email from him asking me to help him connect to some people I know..

He didn't want to just talk to them. He wanted me to tell them to expect his LinkedIn invitation, and he even had the nerve to ask for their email addresses.

I replied to ask him specifically why he wanted to connect with my friends.

I was suspicious. It seemed like he just wanted to sell to them and add them to his newsletter list.

He sent me back an angry email message about how some people (me, I guess) accept LinkedIn invitations but then don't help their connections.

I replied to say that he and I must have different views on networking, and I removed him as a first-degree connection. I felt much better after I cut the cord between us.

Fast forward to last week.

I haven't been in contact with the pushy networker in months but he must have decided to start spamming me again.


Within two days I got three spam marketing messages from him in my LinkedIn inbox. I wrote to LinkedIn Help to ask them what to do.

The person who answered my query was very nice and helpful. She said I could block the abusive LinkedIn user, so I did.

Then he called me at my office!

Thank goodness I was at lunch when he called.

I heard his voice mail message when I got back. In the message he said he would take me off his newsletter list and alert his network that I am not someone who believes in "paying it forward." I played the message for my teammates.

They said "From now on, you won't accept a LinkedIn invitation from any random person you meet for five minutes at networking event!"


They are right.

I asked a friend of mine who has a friend in common with the pushy networker if I need to be worried about him.

She said "No, he is harmless but he is clueless about networking. His friends have tried to tell him to stop treating his connections the way he treated you, but he just doesn't understand what he's doing wrong."

This is the first time I've blocked anyone on LinkedIn but I'm glad I did it.

Now I know to be more choosy in accepting LinkedIn invitations in the future!

Thanks Liz —


Dear Cruz,


It's wonderful that the support person at LinkedIn responded to your concern so well. You will find in the real world and the online networking world that there is a wide range of expectations among the people you meet.

We all tend to think that our view is the normal and proper one, and undoubtedly your pushy ex-LinkedIn connection feels that way too.

He thinks you are impeding his natural right to spam your connections!

Some folks think that networking is all about asking other people to help you.

Some people think nothing of adding every new acquaintance to their newsletter distribution list without permission.

You could have put up with the unfortunate networker's spammy messages in your LinkedIn inbox forever, but why should you do that?

You had already disconnected from the guy — that should have been enough to tell him that his sales overtures were not welcome.

Sometimes you have to block someone on LinkedIn to get them to stop bugging you.

No matter what you do, you will attract friends and fans on the one hand and detractors and haters on the other.

It is nearly impossible to go through life without cultivating some of each! Don't stress about haters and detractors. There are seven billion of us on the planet now.

You don't need all seven billion people to like you.

Your goal is not to please everyone, but to sing your song loudly and proudly and invite people who hum at your frequency to sing along. Everyone else is invited to live a long and happy life without you!

All the best,


Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns.

Source: This article was published on forbes.com by Liz Ryan 

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