Now you can cancel your Friend Request simply by going to that person’s page, scrolling down to the very bottom left and clicking on the box that says “CANCEL FRIEND REQUEST”.
Thanks to an anonymous commenter below for the update and congrats to Facebook for finally getting smart on this feature. Now, if only if it could move on a whole bunch of other bad features it has!
Why would you care to cancel Facebook Friend Requests?
Because after you send a friend request, they can check out all your profile you would share with your friends. That’s to help verify who you are if they don’t know you, or let them decide if they want to associate with you based on what you’ve done on Facebook… or told of what you’ve done in life. It’s a bit of a spy privilege they have to be able to see your profile. Supposedly this only holds true for 30 days from when you send your friend request, but 30 days is plenty of time to browse through even the most active Facebook user to see enough of anybody and make some judgment calls on them.
If you’ve used Facebook enough, you have probably sent someone a friend request which they did not accept.
Or maybe you’ve sent it and then changed your mind.
But how do you “undo” it, if you will? How can you cancel that friend request? There is no “cancel”, “undo” or “retract” button.
No, there isn’t.
But what you can do is this.
Search the person in the Facebook search bar. As you’ve sent a friend request, Facebook should be smart enough to list that person high on your search list to make it easy to find. So even if it’s a John something or rather, Facebook should include the John you want amongst all the Johns you know.
Um, that didn’t sound very right, but you get the idea.
Select the person you want to view his/her profile.
Look down the left hand side of their profile that shows up and Click on Report/Block this Person.
From the pop-up menu, just Block them. You don’t need to report them. You might be tempted to if your ego is bruised by them not accepting your Friend Request, but play nice.
Now, you can leave them blocked. But you might also want to leave that window open in case they might like to maybe send a Friend Request to you… which you might want to accept?
However, I would recommend you Unblock them, by removing them off your Blocked List, to return things to the way they were before you sent that Friend Request you just retracted.
If you want to do this, then Click on Account in the upper right hand corner.
Choose Privacy Settings.
Click on Edit your lists under Block Lists (at middle bottom of your screen when this was written).
Click Unblock beside the name of the person you just blocked.
And the world is beautiful once more.
If you want to ignore a Friend Request “nicely”…
What happens when someone sends you a Friend Request which you don’t want to accept but which it can be a bit awkward to ignore?
Well, there isn’t a completely effective way, but maybe try this “plea ignorance” or “blame technology” attempt before smacking reality into someone if they don’t get the hint.
Follow the same “call up their profile, then block and unblock routine” of the person whose friend request you want to ignore.
What that does is remove that Friend Request they put through. It’ll hint it to them a bit that the request disappeared, or it’ll make them try again, which will tell you they didn’t get the hint and that you need to either talk to them and smack a little reality into them, or Block them!
In the meanwhile, though, you can “play ignorant” if they ask you about it in person to say “what friend request”?
When they check your profile, they’ll see the “Add as a Friend” button present, suggesting maybe that request didn’t go through. Or whatever. One great thing about technology is that you can use it to blame all kinds of things
By the way, if someone ever asks you “did you accept my Facebook friend request?”, you might want to take that as a little sign of desperation for something or rather. Maybe they don’t want you, but just to up their Facebook friends tally. However, it seems a little desperate to me and I’d never ask anybody that.
Alas, now that I’ve shared this, I’ve lost a couple of more Facebook etiquette secrets… but it’s all good for humanity.
Other Facebook issue posts on my site:
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 5.7
(which is below Facebook policy’s age for having a Facebook account at 13 years old)