How to Reject an Invitation

Invitations to parties or any such events are always warm and fun. They create a sense of curiosity in our minds about the event. May a times, we have to decline it for various reasons. But, that might not be as easy as it sounds. While doing so, it is necessary to be careful about many things. Being polite and direct are the most important qualities required.


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    Understand the reason. Look inside yourself and use what you find to determine why you do not wish to go. Answer yourself honestly, then choose what's best for you.
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    Continue with your decision. Make sure that this is what you wish to do and that you do not have second thoughts.
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    Consider how this decision might affect your relationship with that person. Do you know them well enough that they understand your reason?
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    Think of an excuse that sounds probable but not too far out of the realm of possibility.
    • Saying, "My wife is in labor" wouldn't work unless she is actually pregnant and is close to delivery.
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    Tell the person that you won't be able to attend the function. There are many ways to inform them.
    • Call them. If you have their number and have spoken to them through phones, then this is the right thing to do. Phone calls reduce the formality and the host might get more influenced with your emotions. Do not drag the conversation though. Try to keep the phone call short and sweet. Following is an example :
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      • Hey Jane, how are you? I just called you to inform that I might not be able to attend the function since I have a prior commitment. I'm sorry, and I hope the function goes well.
    • Notify them through email. If the host is a kind of person who regularly checks their mails, then this might be suitable. With emails, you escape the awkwardness and the nervousness that you might feel while talking to them. Follow email etiquette and inform them properly.
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    • Meet and tell. If you live near the host's house, or meet them on a daily basis, like a college classmate, tell them directly. Tell that you have your reasons and you wouldn't be able to attend. Following is an example :
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      • Hey Noah, thanks for inviting me to the party. I hate to say this, but I won't be able to come because my mom is ill. I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused. You enjoy!
    • Sending a greeting card. Probably the nice and sweet way of letting them know. Buy a greeting card that suits the situation or make one yourself!
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    Do not lie. In any case, it is not suggested to lie or just cook up an excuse. You might be caught, and that might create a dent in your relationship with the host.
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    Thank the person for inviting you. Thank them for considering you, and say that you are touched and very much happy by their thoughtfulness.
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    Be certain. Do not keep them in doubt by telling that you might attend it. Be direct, and tell them clearly.
    • Hey Hannah, I appreciate that you considered me. Very thoughtful of you!
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    Catch up with them later on how the event went. Tell them that you wish you were there, and that you're very happy for them.
    • Hey Sam, so how did the event go? Did you enjoy yourself? I'm sure you did. I wish I was there to give you company!


  • Be reasonable with excuses, not too far-fetched.
  • Sometimes the best thing to do is to be honest and explain that you do not want to go.


  • Avoiding an invitation can lead to failed friendships.
  • Do not reject invitation after invitation, it can become old and expected.

Article Info

Categories: Manners