Skip to main content

How To Turn Down an Invitation When You Don't Have a Good Excuse

Learn to turn down an invitation graciously with the right response and enjoy your time by yourself, guilt free.


  • Step 1: Be truthful If you're dealing with a close friend, be truthful. If you don't want to go, say you don't want to go. A good friend will understand.
  • Step 2: Don't offer an excuse If the asker is not a close friend, say thank you for the invitation. Then, simply say you cannot attend, without offering an excuse.
  • TIP: Don't use a lie as an excuse. Lies lead to more lies, and, if you get caught, it can lead to embarrassment.
  • Step 3: Stand firm If the inviter asks why you can't attend, simply answer that you're not free that day. It's not a lie, but it should satisfy their question.
  • Step 4: Show empathy Express how you are sorry about missing out on the event.
  • Step 5: Plan another engagement Explain how you are excited to see them at a different event, or make other plans for just the two of you.
  • FACT: When Emily Post died in 1960, her book, Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage, was in its 89th printing.

You Will Need

  • Manners
  • A prior engagement
  • Future plans

Popular Categories