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  • 1.  Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-05-2021 16:50
    I don't know whether it's the holidays approaching or the fact that we are moving towards a more "back to normal" way of life, but I find myself getting anxious about my calendar filling up with plans and obligations, both from a work perspective and a social perspective. I tend to feel guilty about saying "No". I saw this post recently from @thedad on Instagram and it made me laugh. I would love to be this person, but I think it may be a bit of stretch for my personality.
    I Googled how to politely say no to invitations. This article talks about the how "No" has a negative connotation. In thinking about this, I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but I definitely feel like my mentality is that I can only say no if I "have a good reason".  I'm not sure where this thought process originated or why it's so ingrained in me., but I am committing to practicing some of the tips provided  in this article so I'm prepared to politely decline in order to maintain my mental and emotional health.

    Do you have any stories about times you said "No" that were effective that I could try or a favorite tip from this article? Please share your wisdom with me!

    Alison Randall

  • 2.  RE: Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-08-2021 08:56
    When it comes to social invitations -- or any invitation! -- etiquette is your absolute best friend. And the less said, the better.  As the experts state in the article you linked to, just thank the host for the invitation, beg off with no explanation, and then pivot: "Thanks so much for the invite. I'm so bummed I won't be able to make it. Let's get together in the new year!" It really helped me to actually read the etiquette books (Emily Post, Miss Manners, etc.)  on social events and invitations. Etiquette is a framework of behaviors that help make others feel valued and respected. Once you gain a good understanding of that framework, it becomes easier to stay within the parameters. You'll feel better about declining an invitation and the host will not feel rejected. I highly recommend reading an etiquette book (or portions of it) to help bolster your confidence. Happy reading, @Alison Randall!​​

    Maria Mooshil

  • 3.  RE: Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-09-2021 08:15
    @Maria Mooshil I was delighted at your going to etiquette gurus (Post & Miss Manners) for insight!  My mother quoted Emily Post growing up and as a young adult embraced Miss Manners.  Table settings aside (I know exactly which fork or spoon to use for what!), etiquette is exactly what you describe, "..a framework of behaviors that help make others feel valued and respected" and that's what we want to do, isn't it?   Turn people down in a way that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, least of all your for saying, "No."

    What I've learned to appreciate about good manners (etiquette) is that they are utterly reliable when navigating difficult situations - like weddings, funerals and business events. When you don't have to think about "how to behave," a lot of energy is freed up to genuinely participate in whatever it is you're doing rather than giving the energy up to that chatty skeptic in your head narrating events, warning  you of how you're going to or have screwed up.

    @alison randall,  just say "No..." nicely and have a good time.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.


    Colette Martin-Wilde

  • 4.  RE: Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-09-2021 08:06
    I think the perception of saying "no" is always changing.  It used to be perceived that saying no was an insult but now people believe saying no is part of self care because it allows us to do what we know is better for ourselves. 

    As far as saying no or turning down an invitation the most important part is to acknowledge the invitation.  Some people think by not responding or ignoring the invitation they are saying no to the person who invited them, but that is not actually true.  

    Acknowledge the invitation, thank the person or persons for the offer, and simply say you cannot make it or attend.  Don't feel the need to explain your reasoning.  

    Nicholas Fairman

  • 5.  RE: Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-09-2021 08:12
    @Nicholas Fairman, I hear you. I also think the "don't feel the need to explain your reasoning" is always the hardest part for me. Take a recent example - I was invited to a get together on Saturday night, and I'm a little nervous about how my energy levels will be. Instead of responding, "Hey, thanks for the invite. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it." I felt the need to say, "Hey, thanks for the invite. I'm going through some rough times at the moment and am never sure where my energy levels will be. I'm not sure I'm going to make it." It's something I've been conditioned to do, alongside being conditioned to always say yes. I'm working on it. Thanks for the reminder. :) ​

    Stay awesome,

  • 6.  RE: Advice for declining an invitation?

    Posted 11-09-2021 08:50
    @Quinn Drew, If I may suggest it, practice declining an invite without explanation during some downtime. It really helps to have a stock response in your back pocket! And even the "I'm not sure I'm going to make it" leaves too much room for a back and forth exchange.  Keep it simple: "Thanks so much for the invite! I won't be able to make it, but I know you'll all have a great time!" In and out and onward! ​

    Maria Mooshil