It was easy to get away with dumb excuses as a child for not doing things, like. "my dog ate my homework". It's been pretty risky to get away with dumb excuses as a young adult for not doing things, like, "I didn't get your text". But are you sick of the excuses and ready to find more mature ways to turn things and people down?
As a struggling introvert that loses her social energy super fast, I'm sick of the excuses. I'm also trying to be a woman of God, so I want to avoid the lies, even if they can be little white or grey ones.
When it comes to social rules and regulations, a lot of things are hard to grasp and unspoken. When you have friends, family members, coworkers, or acquaintances inviting you to things you don't want to go to, it's not always appropriate to flat-out say no.
So how do you come up with a good excuse or reason not to hang out somewhere that won't be a huge lie and won't make you look like a terrible person? Below are some of the phrases I like to use that doesn't make me feel extra guilt afterward, and people don't cut me off with hurt feelings for it.
This is my go-to excuse because it's really the most honest one I have. A lot of times, I'm considering going out, there is work that I could be doing instead. So if at that moment I really don't want to go out, I will likely do some light work while I watch Netflix.
This is a good excuse to use with people who know me and those who don't know how small my social battery is. We can all relate to drained energy, and you don't even have to get specific about if it's your mental or physical energy that is drained.
This is a great general phrase that could be saying you're sick and contagious or could be saying you're feeling lazy and depressed. The only risk with this one is that there will possibly be an immediate follow-up question about what's wrong.
You can answer with any current physical or mental problem you're going through. I, for example, am suffering from allergies on a daily. While it rarely keeps me down so much that I can't function, I'm also never lying when I say my allergies bothered me that day.
Chances are, if you're dreading a hang out with a group of people, you're also going through some negative self-talk in your head. So, it won't be too much of a stretch to say that your energy is too negative to show up at the function.
No one wants to be around a negative nancy, and although you may be able to brighten your mood (or fake it long enough to hang out), you can say that you don't know for sure if you will be able to fight the funk.
This won't work for all my rich folks out there, but I, for one, can often relate to being broke in some type of way when it comes to my finances. I'm not claiming broke to the point where I'm struggling, but middle-class Americans are all BROKE from some perspective!
This is a good excuse for when you have a lot going on, but you don't want to unload all the details on the person inviting you. If you simply say this phrase with a worried look, they will likely be able to relate. It could be work, family, love life drama, health, and so many other things that won't allow you to hang out.
We've all experienced some form of anxiety in our lives because that's a huge part of human nature. I used to have really bad anxiety that still stops me from things here and there, which could be my perfect excuse for not going out.
Social anxiety is a great reason for not going somewhere, but you could also claim health-related anxiety like OCD or PTSD that is stopping you from going to a certain place or at a certain time if you want to stretch it with a white lie.
I want to end on a note that is something like a devil's advocate point of view. These can all be good reasons not to hang out with whomever for whatever reason, but even introverts like me have moments where they regret not hanging out, or they force themselves to go and wind up being grateful they did.
Before delivering your excuse, ask yourself if this is something you really should be excusing yourself from. Is this the type of thing that you drag your feet to involve yourself with but enjoy once you get there?
Is this the type of activity event where the pros will vastly outweigh the cons when it comes to the overall experience? Is this a situation where your presence will help bless someone else or several other people?
Sometimes it's great to turn down things for your own health and peace of mind, but other moments are times when you can really be a light to help shine in someone else's life.