It’s great to get out, network, and meet more people. Some connections turn out to be valuable, while others naturally fizzle out. And then there’s the people who, even when you’re friendly and open, do not want you in their network.
Usually there’s no clear explanation for this. For some reason, they don’t believe they need your connection. It goes along with the fact that some people just won’t like you. And I’m here to admit that I’ve had a lot of trouble accepting that. I obsess over the why, even when I will never know — and the truth is that it’s better not to know. I came across a quote that said “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.” Why? Because what matters is what you think of you.
So, when you have one of those moments when you realize that someone defriended you on Facebook, cancelled your relationship on LinkedIn, or simply ignored your efforts to reach out, remind yourself of these things:
- It’s not you — it’s them. When you’ve made an effort to reach out to someone or to help them in some way, and they disregard you or don’t respond for several weeks or months, that is their problem — not yours. Some people will use you for what they need, then move on. You might hear from them months later when they realize they need you for something. That’s just how some people are. It does not change who you are or where you’re headed.
- Some people are very private. I have some friends who I’m not friends with on Facebook. This is because they like to keep Facebook private, and open only to those they are very close to. Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t reach out to you on this platform or on any social media platform. Some people really have to know you before they let you in, so as long as they’re still connecting with you in real life, continue building the relationship.
- It’s their loss. You will find other, more worthwhile contacts who genuinely want to work with you — and that’s much better. The person choosing not to connect with you is the one who is missing out on your talents and friendship. And of course, if that person ever needs something again in the future, you’ll remember how they treated you. We learned it in kindergarten — always treat people the way you would like to be treated.
- It’s all part of putting yourself out there. Be proud of yourself for taking the risk and trying to connect with all types of people. Most don’t make this effort. Having some people who do not want to connect with you is just a part of the process. It’s like dating — you have to shop around until you find someone who is a good match. Not everyone can be.
Some of you reading this might not think twice about someone not wanting to be in your network, while others of you might be feel hurt by it. There’s nothing wrong with either outlook — we are all different people. For those of us who have a harder time, remember to stay focused on you, not them. Some people aren’t meant to be a connection, but you’ll find the right ones for you. And remember: even if you don’t like someone or she doesn’t like you, always be polite.