How to Decline an Invitation Without Feeling Guilty Or Getting Caught Telling A White Lie
by Ginni Stiles on 07/02/13
We've all been invited to events that we just don't want to go to. Maybe we don't like the people, or we don't feel like traveling, or we have other things we would rather do (even if it's sitting around doing nothing!). And now with social media, we get invited to WAY more events than ever before. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with potential obligations.
Are you nervous when you want to say no and don't know the best way? Do you go to an event that you don't want to attend just because you couldn't find a way to say decline that you felt comfortable with? Do you feel guilty if you don't go? Do you worry about telling white lies to get out of something and then getting caught or having to keep track of them?
STOP IT! (That's a waste of your energy and life.)
First off, a secret about social media:
You are probably getting lots of invitations which are mass-blasted to everyone the host(ess) knows. They frequently don't really care either way if you can make it to their book reading, art opening, cat psychic party, whatever. They are not so much extending a personal invitation as marketing these events. Do not feel guilty about missing the charity car wash. (Of course, if you want to go to the cat psychic party, PLEASE GO!)
Now for the serious invitations, the personal invitations that require an r.s.v.p. either way:
Ask yourself honestly if you want to go. Listen to yourself honestly. Ask yourself if attending this event will give you energy (of some kind). Question any reasons for going that involve the word "should;" they are highly suspect.
If you decide that you do not want to attend (for whatever reason, and any reason is valid), then decline as soon as possible. Waiting until closer to the event only inconveniences the host(ess) and feeds your own procrastination.
Now this is key: You do not have to give an elaborate reason why you are not going. You do not have to make something up. You simply have to say you cannot make it. You are not available. You also do not have to say, "I wish I could be there" if that isn't true (maybe it is, maybe you wish you could magically be there, but you really don't want to spend the money on the plane ticket). You can thank them for the invitation. You can feel grateful that someone wished for your presence. That is wonderful!
So there it is:
"Thank you so much for the invite. I can't make it. Have a great time!"
[Telling the truth feels awesome.]
I work with people to help them live with a greater level of honesty (hence lower levels of stress). Contact me if you would like a free coaching session to talk about what's going on in your life.