how to unfriend on linkedin

How to Unfriend Someone on LinkedIn

How do you unfriend someone on LinkedIn? Good question!

But first:

When Should You Unfriend Someone on LinkedIn?

Answer: Rarely. I have only had cause to remove a few people since I joined LinkedIn several years ago.

It’s a social media platform, so it’s usually good to stay social.

And think about it, you’ve worked hard to build your network.

Ask yourself if you want to shrink your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-level networks by anyone. I don’t, so I only unfriend connections if their behavior harms me or drives me nuts. 

Who to Unfriend & Why

By way of example, one person I removed was a US national who kept sending me messages about finding him jobs in the Middle East.

He probably read my post about how to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn.

But I don’t recruit for any clients in the Middle East, and I don’t recruit in his field.

In fact, I don’t recruit at all anymore. I write executive resumes. I told him this. The messages continued.

So, I wrote a snarky blog post about someone who behaved just like him. However, I started feeling bad about having written a snarky post and took it down. Then, I disconnected from him. He stopped sending me messages.

Another was a person who was scraping my content and reposting it online. I asked him to stop. He didn’t. So, I removed my LinkedIn connection to him.

As you can see, it’s a judgment call. Just know that you give up the person’s 1st and 2nd-level networks when you delete a LinkedIn connection.

How to Unfriend on LinkedIn

If you’re ready, here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the person’s profile.
  2. Click the “More” button to the right of their photo.
  3. Then, click “Remove Connection.”
What Happens When You Unfriend Someone on LinkedIn?

Well, LinkedIn doesn’t send them a message. However, if the person looks at your profile, they might notice you’re no longer friends. That’s why I often unfollow people instead of defriending them.

Doing so tells LinkedIn’s algorithm to stop showing me their posts.

How To Unfollow a Connection on LinkedIn

It’s easy to unfollow a connection on LinkedIn:

  1. Go to the person’s profile.
  2. Click the “More” button to the right of their photo.
  3. Then, click “Unfollow.”

They don’t know I’ve unfollowed them. I keep my feed interesting to me. We both benefit from being able to contact each other through LinkedIn and from sharing our networks.

Thus, if you want to stay in contact, unfollowing is a better option than disconnecting.

The Nuclear Option — How to Block Someone on LinkedIn

Finally, you can block people. I wrote the first version of this post in 2014. Now, it’s 2021, and LinkedIn started letting us block people 3 or 4 years ago.

I block people who market to me via LinkedIn messages and InMail.

Here’s how to block someone on LinkedIn:

  1. Click the 3 dots in the top right corner of their message.
  2. Next, click “Report.”
  3. Then, click, “It’s spam or a scam.”
  4. Next, click, “It’s promotional or spam.”
  5. Finally, click “Block.”

If LinkedIn gets enough spam reports about a member, they’ll shut the account down. I’ve noticed that even though I block people every week, the number of people I’ve blocked never seems to get very big.

Thus, it seems that blocking helps LinkedIn weed out bad actors pretty quickly.

In case you’re wondering, “How many people can I block on LinkedIn?” you get a 1,200-person allowance.

BTW, you can also use the “How to Unfriend on LinkedIn” procedure above and click “Report/Block.”

Can You Tell if Someone Removes You on LinkedIn?

You might also wonder, “How do I know if someone removed me on LinkedIn? Simple, go to their profile and see if you’re still friends. If not, they probably unfriended you.

If you can’t reach their profile, they probably blocked you.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

Updated January 2021

© 2014 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 5

  1. The only time I disconnect from someone is when I figure out that there sole purpose for connecting with me was to blast irrelevant marketing InMail messages to me everyday. These people typically have 0 or 1 connection, invite you to connect in sets of threes (like three people all with the first name starting with the same letter). Besides that, I almost never disconnect with people.

    Hi Kathy,

    Thank you for this. I mark those people as spam. That seems to keep them away too.

    Good to see you!

    Donna

  2. There may be other reasons for removing a LinkedIn connection, but I seldom use them. The problem with removing a LinkedIn connection is that it’s almost like a death penalty that should be used sparingly. It’s permanent from their end, they won’t know they’ve been removed, and they won’t be able to reinstate another connection with you: you’re the only one who can reinstate the connection.

    So I usually think long and hard before removing someone. You never know when you’ll need to be connected again.

    As you said, it’s much easier to hide their status updates so you don’t get plagued with updates from the Uber LinkedIn poster. It’s much easier to add someone back when you need to see what they are posting nd there isn’t that air of finality that you get with removing a user.

    Good post.

  3. Like you, Donna, I think I’ve rarely disconnected from people on LinkedIn–only three I can remember. Two switched industries and started blasting out spammy messages hawking herbal medicines and the like. The third worked for an international organization and mass-mailed (via regular e-mail, not LinkedIn) a long list of people about some diplomatic event. Not really “diplomatic” at all, especially as he didn’t use bcc:–he put everyone’s e-mail addresses right there in the To: field! So when people started complaining, some used “reply all” and the whole list got spammed again.

    Bridges burned? Gladly, but only in these rare cases.

    Karen!

    It’s so nice to “see” you. Thank you for chiming in.

    Donna

  4. Thank you everyone for your words of advice on this topic. I wasn’t hoping to start an avalanche of feelings and “‘tudes” about unlinking from someone, but sometimes it is just very necessary to do and I sort of just wanted the procedure that one can use to do this. Thanks again.

  5. Hi Alexander,

    Sometimes it is necessary. And now you know how easy it is to do!

    Best,

    Donna

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