Discussion Topic

How to politely turn down an invitation

Posted on 03/23/12, 10:13 am
As I mentioned yesterday some people at work want me to go out for drinks. This is pretty much my nightmare and I don't know what to say to them. I have spent the morning dreading it and panicking. They are nice people but I hate pubs and don't drink much and am not very good at small talk and get very overwhelmed by the whole thing. How do I get out of it?
Showing 1 - 10 of 11 Replies
  • Reply #1 03/23/12  1:05pm
    Lizzie, this is not easy. I have always had a hard time with this type of situation. Can you set a limit on the time? Maybe one hour & then you have to be somewhere else. I hope other members come up with some better ideas. I think we could all use some help with this.
  • Reply #2 03/23/12  5:09pm
    I would just say that you don't drink or say you are just too tired to go out. Good luck!
  • Reply #3 03/23/12  10:01pm
    Could you say that you are trying to deal with some personal issues and it's just not a good time right now. Then let them know that you appreciate their friendship.
  • Reply #4 03/24/12  8:24am
    Oh boy, I've struggled with this over the years and have finally figured out what works for me thanks to the following quote: “Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
    ― Bernard Baruch

    My colleagues are like my family and I had to tell them my truth about Happy Hour and spur of the moment after work invitations. When asked, I just tell them it just isn't my scene and I can't wait to go home to recoup from the long work day. I've been teased a little, but I just laugh with them and am happy that I won't be uncomfortable later. It works for me and people that matter respect it and don't ask anymore.
  • Reply #5 03/25/12  10:16am
    I struggle on this too. What helps me is to decline just as you write in the post title-Politely. I will say Thank you very much but I just am not into pubs or drinking and I appreciate your asking me
    OR will say thanks very much for asking but I don't really feel like going
    OR as mentioned above, say it's not a good time for me
    or I am tired and do not feel like it

    or say well I don't really care for pubs or drinking, perhaps we can do something else that you all like too? Like going out to lunch
    and then I would say thank you very much for the invite

    It has become easier in many ways for me to do this, I just try to be as appreciative as possible and just say that I am not feeling into the event or going

    Wishing you luck with this!
  • Reply #6 03/26/12  5:42pm
    I would just tell them. "Nothing personal, but pubs aren't my thing. But thanks for the invitation."
    Be honest and straight forward.
    More than likely they will take it on face value and not think twice about it.
  • Reply #7 03/26/12  8:57pm
    If you don't tell the truth right away you will just keep getting invations. I agree with Zakki, the people that matter won't care.
  • Reply #8 03/27/12  9:00am
    There's some great advice here. Good to remember.
  • Reply #9 03/27/12  1:54pm
    After re reading this I agree with Zakki-and samrynr you are so right, if we don't tell the truth then we will keep getting invitations. Kluu said it well too

    I am going to take that advice too regarding invitations
  • Reply #10 03/28/12  6:53pm
    A few things I have done is to wait until right before the event and let them know something's come up. (it will be true, your anxiety has come up!) : )

    Or go to the event and have a friend call you 15 minutes after you arrive and leave the room to talk and then go back and say "a friend needs me." Then go home and call a friend who is in need, so you won't have the guilt, that way. Sometimes just making an appearance satisfies the group and then you are off the hook in the future.

    But generally I'd just tell them "I'm not into pubs" unless I'd told them that 10 times already and I was the only one on the outs, then I'd try one of the above.

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