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How to Unfriend on Facebook Without Offending

by on May 14, 2013
in Facebook, Computers and Software, Tips & How-Tos, Social Networking :: 18 comments

I have a Facebook friend who constantly is firing off preachy religious or contentious political posts that are clogging up my social stream with stuff I don’t care to read. At the same time, the guy is the dad of one of my son’s best friends and I have to see him on the sidelines of school sporting events, so the last thing I want to do is offend him. 

If this scenario sounds familiar, take heart. There are ways to rid your Facebook News Feed of annoying posts.

First, you can unfriend the person—Facebook will not notify the person you have done so. Of course, if the person starts to wonder why he or she is no longer seeing your posts and searches for you, your former connection will find your profile page and see an “Add friend” box on the top of it, a dead giveaway pointing toward what you've done.

As an alternative, you can tell Facebook to show you fewer posts from a particular person. To do it, click on the little drop-down arrow on the top of something he or she has posted, then choose “Hide.” Facebook then tells you it has hidden the story from your News Feed and gives you the option to “Change what updates you get from (so and so)” or “Organize who you see in news feed.”

If you click on the former, you can uncheck—and tell Facebook you don’t want to receive certain kinds of information about this person—things like life events, status updates, photos, games, comments and likes, music and videos and other activity, essentially everything a person is doing on Facebook. There’s also an option to simply unfollow a person.

If you opt to organize your News Feed, you can put people on an acquaintances list so that their posts show up less frequently there as well as get the ability to share things with friends but not acquaintances. Again, nobody will know you’ve put them on this list.

But what about the people who you really care about—the ones you want to see everything they’re doing on Facebook?

For that, click on the settings cog on the top right of your Facebook page >>> Privacy Settings >>> Notifications >>> Close Friends activity. From there, you can turn on Close Friends activity and choose whether you want to receive notifications about what they’re doing on Facebook or on email, as well.

To make sure the right people are on your list of close friends go back to your News Feed and click on “Close Friends” under Friends on the left of the page (if you don’t see Friends there, you’ll need to click on “More”). Once you’re on the Close Friends page, click on Manage List >>> Edit List on the top right of the page. You can delete people by clicking the X on the top right of their photos, or add people through the List Suggestions area, which is on the right side of the page.
 

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Discussion loading

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Social Fixer!

From Nikki Hayes on May 15, 2013 :: 9:08 am

Not to burst your bubble but there is a fantastic browser add-on available for Facebook called Social Fixer which gives the user many options to enhance, hide and change things on Facebook.  It has something called Friend Tracker that shows both people you have unfriended and those who have unfriended you, its not the primary purpose of the software (which is 100% genuine and has 100s of thousands of users and no its not mine, lol) but I find it useful ;o)

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Want to add... there's also

From Jessica on May 15, 2013 :: 1:25 pm

Want to add… there’s also an iPhone app called Friend Check that tells you all adds and deletes from friends on various social sites including Facebook. smile

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Why are we hiding?

From Karen Langston on May 15, 2013 :: 9:22 am

I think it is funny that we are connected to a social network that gives us options to hide a so call friend because we do not want to unfriendly in case we upset them.

I get some people that blast my wall and Ibring it to their attention why it is not appropriate. If they do it again then I send them a message to let them know I am in friending them.

When it comes to feeds, if I do not like what is showing up in my feed I make the decision whether to limit or simply unfriend. It is nice to have the tos to limit or hide their posts all together but when it comes down to it why are you connected?

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Re: Why Are We Hiding?

From Jude on May 15, 2013 :: 9:18 pm

Karen, I agree. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want anyone to “friend” me if later down road, it’ll be that easy for that person to simply “hide or delete” me, should be or she find the majority of my posts embarrassing, offensive, contentious, controversial or, just plain boring. That person was never a “friend”.

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typos

From Jude on May 15, 2013 :: 9:22 pm

down the* road
should he* or she

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Unfriend vs Restricting Friends

From Kris Plotner 559 on May 15, 2013 :: 9:27 am

There have been a few times that I’ve unfriended a person on my FB list, but I do see quite a few annoying posts that I really don’t want to read or see (I mean who really wants to read about the fine details that you’ve literally done nothing in the last five minutes that you had to post about that? C’mon…) and some use FB as a journal (diary) instead of a Social Networking place. So what I did was I put those ‘friends’ on a Restricted list so I don’t see their feeds and they can’t see mine (only public photos: ex: Cover photos). Unless I’m bored out of my skull, I’ll go back to my Restricted list and read what I want. Makes FB much more enjoyable.

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Sorry, a little Off Topic - Getting Blocked on Facebook

From Joyce on May 15, 2013 :: 10:29 pm

I have recently been getting messages from Facebook that I’m blocked from commenting on public Facebook pages.  Sometimes the page actually asks for comments to enter a contest, etc.  I have no idea why I’ve been blocked since I never post abuse or spam.  Facebook Help does not reply to my questions.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Again, sorry that this is off topic but it’s so frustrating.

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You probably just need to wait

From Josh Kirschner on May 15, 2013 :: 10:55 pm

Facebook will block you from commenting if its algorithms detect suspicious activity or if others report your comments as spam. It’s not clear what triggers the block, but posting comments too frequently (e.g., to enter a contest) can potentially get you blocked, and perhaps even entering comments with the same content on a frequent basis. So be careful with your commenting.

It appears that the blocks clear after a period of time (1-30 days?), but there’s probably nothing you can do to expedite it.

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Re Being Blocked from Commenting on Public Pages

From Joyce on May 15, 2013 :: 11:44 pm

Thanks Josh.  I hope it is resolved soon.  I am not aware that I have done anything suspicious especially compared to some comments out there grin

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Anonymous

From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 5:50 pm

Does anyone know of an extension that hides your log-on and online status for Facebook? One that’s adware and malware free.

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What exactly are you looking to do?

From Josh Kirschner on May 27, 2013 :: 9:56 pm

I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking. Facebook - both online and in the app - allows you to hide whether you’re available for chat in the settings. You can also turn on chat for only certain friends. Other than chat, I’m not sure how someone would know whether you’re logged in.

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My Mom

From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 10:08 pm

It’s not for me but my mom. She wants to log on now and then just to unwind with her Facebook games and not have anyone starting conversations through chat. I tried tweaking the chat settings but when I did I would log on from another computer and still see she was “available” in the chat list. From what I have read (did some Google searches) Facebook removed the ability to be invisible.

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P.S. Turning chat off just

From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 10:12 pm

P.S. Turning chat off just sends the message to your email instead of it poping up through Facebook and your browser. What I would like to see is an invisible log on mode that you can turn on and off easily. She doesn’t want to remove or hide anyones comments/messages/friendship. She just doesn’t always want to feel obliged to reply because they know she is on Facebook.

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Thanks for pointing that out

From Josh Kirschner on May 28, 2013 :: 12:33 am

Facebook really can be annoying at times. What seems to work in my very limited testing is if, rather than turning off chat, you limit your chat to select friends in the advanced settings. That is, have your mother “Turn on Chat” only for you and only you should be able to see she is online.  Though it wouldn’t surprise me if that is a hit or miss proposition.

I love my friends, but don't want to see everything they do.

From Angela Fisher Horn on May 31, 2013 :: 11:23 pm

Just because I want to see my friends’ pix and status updates does not translate into my being obsessed with their latest score on Candy Crush or what they’re listening to on Spotify.

The ability to pick & choose what updates we see from people is one of the few FB features that seems to work well for me. Less clutter in the newsfeed means more satisfaction out of the service.

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Facebook Unfriend Notification

From thefbwall on January 21, 2014 :: 7:37 am

Many times i keep on searching for is their any tip get the notification while any one unfriend me at that time i found a article which help me to get the unfriend notication I think you can also like this once read and try you may also know ,who unfriended you
    Anytime do you feel that you want to know if someone has removed you as a friend on Facebook?
      There is an small browser extension which reveals the people who unfriended me.

http://thefbwall.blogspot.in/

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Title Misleading

From Jadxia on January 27, 2014 :: 6:00 am

This should be titled “how to chicken out of unfriending someone”.

I send folks a polite message, usually saying something along the lines us having grown along different paths or maybe I’m taking a new direction with my life and need to move on.  I wish them well. Even if I find something they’ve done or said particularly repellent, it does me no harm to wish them well and to try my best to FEEL it inside.  I grow as a person that way. 

Sometimes they try to fight to keep me, for no other reason than people don’t like to feel rejected, I think.  But I try not to make it seem like a rejection, and frankly, if a person is so grasping that they feel that they must hold on to you even when the both of you know you have nothing in common, when in fact your posts have become abhorrent to one another, then they have some serious growing to do of their own.  You don’t need that kind of drama-llama-ness in your life anyway.

I came to this post hoping to improve upon my message, in such a way that it is the best, most uplifting and gentle message I could send to a person to show them that I don’t hate them, but that I just can’t be friends with them.  I am one person, I have only so much time, energy, and attention.  My other friends deserve the best of me.  Likewise, it’s wrong to chain another person to you for the sake of “old times”.  For every old friend you cling to, it takes up the space that a new friend, one more compatible to your current situation, could be residing in. 

I don’t subscribe to the notion of “cutting negative people from my life”, because I believe that we should all be helping one another.  However, I do believe that if it becomes clear the relationship is not helpful to either person in any way, than it is best to release them, freeing them up to seek a more beneficial pairing elsewhere.  There is a subtle but distinct difference between a negative, even so-called “toxic” person, and a toxic relationship.

Hiding yourself away does your “friend” a disservice (because in my book, this doesn’t really constitute much of a friendship; people don’t run away from their friends) and does yourself and even greater wound.  You negate your own opinions, values, truths, and feelings just because you don’t want to make a few waves and MAYBE hurt someone’s feelings…yet fail to realize that you ARE already hurting someone.  You are wounding yourself, pretty egregiously I might add.  You are living in fear to BE WHO YOU ARE.  While at the same time, you are not expressing to the other person that they have desires, viewpoints, and interests that you no longer share.

Sometimes being the best friend you can be, is by being no friend at all.

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Re-Emerging onto Facebook

From Bishop Kincaid on April 02, 2014 :: 2:42 pm

Nice & insightful advice, Christina. Maybe you can help me with a somewhat similar “problem”. After a 6-month absence, I’ve decided to re-open my FB acct.  However, I have way too many friends/groups, etc. and would like to restructure with a limit of 20 to 25 friends; and maybe 2 or 3 Groups (a few Groups solicited me but I joined anyway). Some of these “Friends” I can do without and some are very important. Is there some way of re-entering FB anew in this limited way w/o hurting anyone’s ego? Thank You.

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