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There are always some classmates from school etc. who does not understand the difference between a personal and professional life. Like they might be out of touch for 5-10 years, all of a sudden they find my LinkedIn profile, and follow me over there, and comment on the posts. E.g. on a post where a technical certificate is shared, "I called you on your mobile, you are not reachable dude, reply on the message I sent you on chat", kind of comments, that too, written in unprofessional way in local language.

Problem is, these people take it on heart and stop being nice, when any try is made to make them understand, they are not part of my professional life, and it is inappropriate to follow each and every activities I do over linkedIn or any other professional media, when he is not even accepted as a contact.

Any suggestion how to keep such mates away from professional network without hurting their feelings?

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    Regarding the exact comment you mention made on your certificate post. Can you just delete it? If so just delete it. And then email/text whatever the person to say hi. Don't be scared about deleting nonsense posts.
    – Fattie
    Jun 26, 2021 at 17:05
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    On Linkedin can you delete things like that ?
    – Fattie
    Jun 26, 2021 at 17:05
  • @Fattie, good idea. Yes, it is allowing.
    – user118788
    Jun 26, 2021 at 17:20
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    Great! that's all there is to it then. it sounds like "linkedin" allows such stupid posts, so you can not blame the other person. if you can delete "stupid posts" - it's just up to you to do so! enjoy!
    – Fattie
    Jun 26, 2021 at 17:48

3 Answers 3

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If these are actually your friends, they will stop commenting on your LinkedIn posts if you ask them to.

If they don't, they're not actually friends. Just block them and move on.

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    Good suggestion. But, by eliminating one by one, number of 'actual friends' start tending to $0$..
    – user118788
    Jun 26, 2021 at 16:11
  • That's a straw man argument - I never said to remove all your friends, just the people that you're calling "friends" in your question who you have no actual friendship with. Jun 26, 2021 at 17:32
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    @PhilipKendall Some cultures are more intrusive in terms what the demands on friendship are than others. Be careful of giving advice that does not easily generalize. US/UK standards do not apply everywhere. I think the deleting of affected posts is a far more practicable and less aggressive response. Jun 26, 2021 at 19:07
  • I agree with Philip Kendall though. Actual friends wait till their contact requests are accepted, they don't follow profiles before that, and make irrelevant comments on posts visible to everyone. That shouldn't be the culture in any country.
    – user118788
    Jun 26, 2021 at 23:22
  • This suggestion worked for me to get rid of repeated troubles, so accepting.
    – user118788
    Jun 27, 2021 at 16:59
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This is probably culturally dependent as well as individual dependent, but here we go.

Some people never grow up, never enter the ‚professional‘ world and don‘t experience the differences between it and regular life. And even if they do, not everyone understands or has the same understanding as to what professional life separation from home life means.

Particularly that you appear to be old college friends, and their use of vocab according to you is very colloquial, your old ‚mate‘ (which this person isn‘t anymore for you) doesn‘t seem to know that you arn‘t friends anymore and likely still thinks of you in their head as their old friend, they haven‘t learned the new you and don‘t know you don‘t appreciate that old life mixing with the new one. This person likely has an image of the old you and doesn‘t understand why you‘re acting so weird (to them) and continued to push getting into contact with you by whatever means.

You two are at best old classmates who know each other by name, but you‘re not friends and you don‘t need to treat them that way. You need to be direct and upfront and say you don‘t want anything to do with them anymore. That‘s it, don‘t tip toe, be polite but don‘t be afraid to hurt their feelings and make it clear what level of contact you want with this person.

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  • Actually he was in my class in school but we never spoke at that time. Later, once he reached me in my previous company, where he was working in other department, and found out that we are from same school. We spoke at that time, and he was added to my facebook account earlier. I deleted my facebook account 5 years back. It's not like I don't want to talk to him. I have a hectic study schedule, exam coming up, and as seen earlier, he keeps wasting lot time talking bogus. I am not liking this behavior of tracking my LinkedIn activates even before trying to reach me over other personal media.
    – user118788
    Jun 26, 2021 at 16:04
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    @MonalishaBhowmik: You should want to not talk to him. Jun 27, 2021 at 1:36
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From your comment on another answer, I see you used to be connected on FB but have deleted that account. If you're telling him not to contact you via LinkedIn, and you've deleted the social media profile where you were previously in contact, and you're not suggesting an alternative, that effectively is a choice to break off communication with him. That is a perfectly legitimate choice, but it's not clear to me whether it's what you wanted to do.

If you want to stay in touch with this guy, it's probably helpful to tell him how and where he can contact you:

Hi, I keep my LinkedIn purely for work stuff, if you want to reach me to chat you can use [FaceBook/Twitter/email/text message/carrier pigeon/...] instead. Please be aware that I'm really busy and it might take me a week or two to reply to stuff. I'm just not going to have the time to chat very often.

Insert whatever medium and timeframe works for you, though from what you've said about this guy, it might be an idea to choose a medium that makes it easy to block or mute him later if that becomes necessary.

OTOH, if you don't want to keep in touch:

Hi, I'm keeping my LinkedIn purely for work stuff, I'm afraid I don't have the time to chat like we used to.

And then be prepared to delete his comments if necessary. If he wants to talk to you and you no longer have the capacity to talk to him, I'm not aware of any way to handle that without potentially hurting his feelings. But that doesn't mean it's the wrong choice; he isn't entitled to your time and it doesn't sound like you were close. As long as you're not gratuitously mean about it, his hurt feelings are his issue to deal with.

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  • I tried this after reading your suggestion, but he didn't seem to understand. I have bumped into many such people before also, they just don't understand other people's priorities and have no regard for other's time, choice etc. Ended up blocking them finally :(. I told him to wait for some time, will call back once I have time, but he kept on repeatedly messaging, he wants to talk to me now. I got irritated enough and blocked him both on LinkedIn and on my phone :(. I just need to get this thing out of my head now, as I can't afford wasting anymore time feeling irritated and not studying.
    – user118788
    Jun 27, 2021 at 16:50
  • @MonalishaBhowmik Yeah, you don't owe him that time. Sometimes the problem is at the other end of the line and all you can do is disconnect.
    – G_B
    Jun 28, 2021 at 0:08

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