Do you give an excuse?

Two Young Women in Front of the Computer TalkingHow do you feel about giving excuses? Have you ever paid attention to someone telling you they can’t come to your house for dinner; can’t meet you at the movies, or wherever you were going to meet up? Ever listened to their reasons.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate reasons why we can’t do things. And we should be big girls and boys and tell people when we can’t do something, tactfully of course, and show gratitude for their asking us.

I was listening to a friend telling another friend why she couldn’t make it for dinner. She told the friend she couldn’t come and instead of stopping there she began elaborating on why she couldn’t make it. Of course the friend immediately started telling her all the things she could fix in her situation and then she would be able to come. This went on for 15 minutes, they even tried to drag me into it. Fortunately, I was tired of listening, and told them I had other things to do and left.

Why is it, when someone gives us an invitation and we can’t make it we go into theses excuses why we can’t make it? And why is it when the person receives the reason as to why you can’t make it they feel compelled to come up with scenarios for you so you can work them into your situation and come. It’s down right tiring to listen to these types of conversations.

After this happened over the weekend, I gave some serious thoughts as to how I handle these things. I came up with a plan. When an invitation is extended, and I cannot make it, I will thank the person for the invitation graciously, but decline. I think all that is necessary to say is, “Thank you so much for thinking of me unfortunately I won’t be able to make it, perhaps another time.”

Okay, don’t you think that is sufficient? Alright, so what do you do when they say you have to come? And give you reasons why. They won’t take no for an answer. What do you say? For me, this is my plan. “Thank you so much, that is so sweet, unfortunately, I will have to decline this time, perhaps next time.” Then turn and walk away. I may have to do this several times with certain people, but eventually, I believe they will be trained in accepting my declining and not try to go into a hundred reasons why I have to come. The fact that I don’t stand there giving them opportunities to come up with solutions should put an end to it.

It is great people want us to be with them, they enjoy our company. It’s wonderful to have friends. We should love them and cherish them. But we can’t be with them all the time. Nor do we always want to do everthing and go everywhere they want us to. But we don’t want to offend either, and we don’t want to make ourselves miserable. It make take a while, but eventually they will catch on.

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About Susan Reichert

Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, a magazine for authors.We highlight and promote authors and their books. Married with four daughters. Live in the South. President of a Writers Group.
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