Moment Of Clarity

Do You Have to Facebook “Friend” Co-Workers?

There is a debate about whether or not one should accept Facebook invitations from co-workers to be “friends.” While some people welcome these invitations, others cringe at the thought.

Recently, someone asked me if not accepting invitations to connect on Facebook from co-workers and business associates would hurt his career. The person went on to explain he didn’t want to mix work with personal life and preferred to keep that Facebook space for family and connect with co-workers on Linkedin.

While I certainly understand not wanting to accept everyone’s Facebook invitation, I would suggest being mindful of two things: 1) how you say no, and 2) the tradeoffs.

For some people, rejection can be a painful reminder of not feeling “good enough” or “worthy” and others may have the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. Some people have had good experiences connecting with co-workers on Facebook and others haven’t. A general rule of thumb is to have a good understanding of what you share on Facebook. Below are some examples of when you should probably NOT connect with co-workers on Facebook. If you:

1)   Talk about, degrade or poke fun at people and some of those people are from your job.

2)   Have strong political, religious, or racial views.

3)   Dislike others questioning your posts or disagreeing with you … on your posts.

4)   Use a lot of profanity or inappropriate language on your posts.

5)   Post pictures of yourself in your underwear.

6)   Post pictures of yourself or comment on other’s posts during work hours.

7)   Share intimate details of your life that are sensitive.

8)   Super concerned about privacy.


Politely saying “no” is an art and even then, people can take it personally. The following is a reasonably safe way to explain why you don’t accept a lot of friend requests: “I only connect with people who are very close to me.” While people may understand and respect your reason, there can be some tradeoffs.


The tradeoff to not connecting with co-workers or business associates on Facebook is that you limit the development of your professional relationships. The reality is that most people initially connect professionally (at work or on LinkedIn), but a lot of those relationships become friendships.

It is through friendships that professional relationships become stronger. Facebook offers a way for people to get to know us before they “know” us because it serves as a bridge for people to learn more about who we are and reach out to learn even more.

For example when you connect with people on Facebook, you see what comes up in their feed. You smile when they have good days and cheer for them when they win battles. The result? You think of them, maybe pass their names on to others, invite them for coffee or send them notes saying hello.

This also works in reverse, which is why you have to be mindful of what you share.

At the end of the day, it’s about what you are comfortable sharing with others. If you don’t want to connect with co-workers on Facebook – don’t. If you feel comfortable connecting then go ahead. Just be mindful of the tradeoffs and make a decision that works for you.

I’m curious to know how you all have handled this dilemma in your own life. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me below! I’m also open to answering your questions.

With love and light …

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!