Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sometimes You Don't Owe an Explanation


A couple months ago, an acquaintance I'll call Karen invited me to a gathering at her home. We were never that close but were friendly enough. We just never truly clicked though. It's neither a negative nor a positive thing. It's just a part of life.

Now I appreciated being invited by Karen but I hadn't even seen her in the past year and then it was only for a couple minutes the previous Spring. I really didn't want to go to her party but felt almost obligated because a number of other mutual acquaintances were going. How could I politely decline the invite and what would my reason be? My close friend Jackie was attending but raised a good point:  unless you are family or good friends, you don't really owe them an explanation.

You definitely owe them a reply, an RSVP, a response. But other than "Thanks, I'm very sorry but I can't make it", you owe them nothing more. If it were my sister, or my friend Jackie, I'd owe an explanation out of familial or friendship courtesy. "I'm sick. The plumber is coming over. The cat threw up." But if this person is just an acquaintance, you are obligated to RSVP; nothing more, nothing less. You are not obligated to divulge the details of your life. If they don't like it, they will get over it. Trust me.  And if they do not, that is their issue.

I passed this info onto my friend Mindy who was traveling to a craft convention and asked by an acquaintance if she could carpool the 7 hour drive with her. Mindy is a lot like me and likes her "alone time." She also has a full time job and is raising kids so any time she can get for some alone time she grabs it.

Mindy's acquaintance has her own reliable vehicle. She doesn't even know her that well. Mindy has nothing against her but she was really looking forward to the drive alone, being able to stop along the way, shop as she wants too, etc.

Mindy asked me for my advice on the situation and I told her what Jackie told me. "She is not family nor is she a good friend, so therefore just politely decline. You do not know her an explanation." Now granted, it may make things a bit awkward at the convention if the two ladies run into each other but I'd rather have the temporary awkwardness than have to sacrifice my time for something I truly don't want to do.

Our lives are extremely busy. If I have some free time, I just like putzing around my house, hitting the gym, getting chores done, or perhaps just reading a good book. Even though I am an extremely social person, I don't want or need to go to every party. So if you are an acquaintance, you'll definitely get an RSVP if I choose not to attend, but just don't expect me to give you a specific reason. It isn't needed nor in my eyes, is it necessary.

Oh and by the way, once again I am putting this disclaimer out there that if you think this blog post is about you, you can be 99.99% rest assured that it is not. If you continue to think it is about you, I can recommend my therapist. His name is Max the Cat.
Max, my therapist






Blogger's note:  Except for Max the Cat, the names have been changed

9 comments:

  1. I find it easier to treat everyone the same. The smartest person I know told me this....No is a complete sentence.

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    1. Absolutely Jack! And yet somehow it is so hard to say that simple word. Great advice. :)

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  2. Good advice. Thanks for sharing. my standard no is "I am organizing my sock drawer" of course... it really means that I can find something boring to do rather than share a ride with you. But I save that for good friends like you or John. And then there is always "hell no" but you get the drift.

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    1. Thanks Jack. :) I look forward to stealing you away from your sock drawer. LOL

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  3. I wish you had offered this advice earlier. I have spent years telling people not-so-politely to go to hell. Now I have no friends but I DO love my alone time. Gotta learn how to control my inner voice better. Did I just say that out loud?

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  4. This was fun to read and also helpful. It obviously resonated with a number of your friends as well. It's better to keep things short and sweet when in a similar situation.

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