“Thanks – but I’d rather not”

No need to lie to get out of something – just be creatively truthful!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

“Hey – I’m having a special do this Saturday, why don’t you join us? First we’ll start off with comparing photos of our children, then onto a solo karaoke contest which will be judged, followed by a serious poker game until the early hours. You in?”

Most sane people would immediately turn down such a invitation to horror but there are plenty of other occasions where we want to politely refuse.

Maybe a potentially dull dinner party and you feel someone only asks because they feel obliged to.

Perhaps a boozy night out which will strip your wallet bare and write off the entire next day – although for many that’s a plus. Each to their own!

Whatever the case, an excuse is needed. And the best excuses have a smidgen, a hint of truth. Otherwise you’d be lying and that’s hard to live with, for most of us at least.

Here are some tried and tested excuses used successfully (we think) by the Gustoker gang.

1: “I think my parents / aunt / grandparents / friend’s cousin’s uncle was hoping to do an online chat then. It’s the only chance we’ll get unfortunately…”

Photo by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels

Why not take advantage of a pesky pandemic? With the entire globe communicating via online chats nobody would blame you for this.

Far better than inventing a funeral, A because it’s true and B because you can use it multiple times.

Believe it or not, people actually do remember if you tell them you went to a funeral and if they start becoming monthly affairs then you’ll be seen as either cursed or Pinocchio.

Plus it is quite possible that someone is hoping to chat to you and maybe that time would be convenient.

2: “Sounds great but unfortunately I’m booked into a (insert hobby) class and can’t cancel…”

Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash

The appeal of this excuse is it’s a rock – solid reason to skip going bowling for 4 hours. No vague illness or family visit, you clearly have a plan that can’t be changed.

Plus, you’re obviously a go-getter so they’ll understand in the future if you’ll be busy again. Conveniently.

The only snag is if you have a conscience then you will actually have to book yourself into the Spanish / boxercise / yoga class. Presto! Not only getting out of something but forcing yourself to do something you want to / should be doing.

3: “Thanks – but I’ll be going to my neighbours place on that day…”

Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

If only your neighbours knew about it! They don’t – yet. But after politely declining the chance to throw away money at some dull overrated restaurant, you’ll soon be inviting yourself to a neighbour’s house.

What neighbour? Any neighbour. For what? Anything.

The beauty of a “neighbour” is that they occupy a different world to other people you know and so paths will never cross.

Think of any excuse to drop in on anyone living remotely close to you and you can then officially call it “going to a neighbour’s place”.

Maybe it’s to share a bottle of wine or a coffee. Buy a cake and give it to them. Borrow a bike pump or something. You don’t even have to enter the house. Just swing by to get some garden tips or look at their car or dog you’re thinking of getting. You get the picture – any excuse.

4: “I’m tied up with the kids, they’ve got a heap of things on…”

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

If you don’t have kids or if they’ve grown up, use grandkids or even other people’s kids. The point being, you’re busy with kids.

This works because you can start with specifics and then fade off – to the listener’s relief.

“Amy’s soccer finishes late then she wants to go somewhere for dinner, plus Jack’s got friends coming or I have to take him…”

Again, sticking to relative truths makes everyone happy. Amy does play soccer and it does occasionally finish late and if asked she would probably love to go out for dinner…etc.

5: “I’m worried about (insert relative) so I’ll be going over that day/night…”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This is a perfectly acceptable excuse if worded correctly and the listener will immediately understand that you never stop thinking of others. (Bonus points if you say it’s an in-law).

Technically, who isn’t concerned about the health of their relatives, even in a very general sense?

As far as you know, your father in-law hasn’t had a typhoid fever shot this year.

Your aunt has never been sick and is perfectly happy living in her beach house. However you do worry that she might be prone to lightning strikes or that she has never really gotten over the death of her guinea pig when she was 11.

Either way, it calls for a visit. By inserting the word “hopefully” between “I’ll” and “be going over” also alleviates any need to actually do so.

Just to be clear – we’re not talking about out and out lying. That catches up with you. First there’s the pressure of remembering and sticking to your little untruth.

“Elton John is so much better live! Glad I went. His encore? Let me see…”

Then there’s the guilt that non – sociopaths feel, causing us to lie awake at night. Mind you, if you have to keep using such excuses and if the same person keeps asking you then the relationship may have to be re-evaluated.

The straight out truth is admirable but not always practical. It’s the system of half-truths and slight exaggerations that keeps people happy and society humming along.

Just don’t be offended if someone offers you a similar excuse and declines an invitation to your karaoke night.

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