How To: Turn down an invitation

Turn down an invitation

With careful wording you can avoid lying and still avoid going to something that you just don't want to attend. Even without a good excuse you can politely decline without hurting anyone's feelings or ending up in an embarrassing situation.

Learn to turn down an invitation graciously with the right response and enjoy your time by yourself, guilt free.

You Will Need

* Manners
* A prior engagement
* Future plans

Step 1: Be truthful

If you're dealing with a close friend, be truthful. If you don't want to go, say you don't want to go. A good friend will understand.

Step 2: Don't offer an excuse

If the asker is not a close friend, say thank you for the invitation. Then, simply say you cannot attend, without offering an excuse.

Don't use a lie as an excuse. Lies lead to more lies, and, if you get caught, it can lead to embarrassment.

Step 3: Stand firm

If the inviter asks why you can't attend, simply answer that you're not free that day. It's not a lie, but it should satisfy their question.

Step 4: Show empathy

Express how you are sorry about missing out on the event.

Step 5: Plan another engagement

Explain how you are excited to see them at a different event, or make other plans for just the two of you.

When Emily Post died in 1960, her book, Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage, was in its 89th printing.

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