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How to politely turn down an invitation

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?

Replies

Group FounderJanvier
Janvier

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.
RosePark
RosePark

I would just say that you don't drink or say you are just too tired to go out. Good luck!
Group FounderJanvier
Janvier

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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!
kluu
kluu

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
Group FounderJanvier
Janvier

There's some great advice here. Good to remember.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
mechellebelle
mechellebelle

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

This might be late to advice but now that you are aware that this can happen in the future, you are better off preparing your other friends early in advance of your preferences long before they pose the question so that they can judge for themselves to know whether you would decline such an invitation. If you don't hint early enough it's going to feel very difficult turning them down. Just like the way when a lady realizes a guy is hitting on her and she's already is in a relationship, she will hint and the guy will get it assuming he is smart enough.