Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One of the best things we can do to simplify our lives is to free ourselves from the obligation of attending things we don’t want to go to. Nothing sucks worse than being stuck at a concert that bores you silly, or eating another piece of rubbery chicken at an awards banquet for someone you don’t know. Or even being stuck for an evening with a neighbor as they show you the 5000 pictures they took on their recent trip to the beach (isn’t digital film grand?).
But if you are asked to do something, a brusque “No” comes off sounding rude and unfriendly.
So how do you get around it?
The List of Excuses
The best way to get around this is to have a list of excuses at your fingertips or by your phone. These excuses would be ones that will get you out of plans without sounding rude. These can be imaginary events, or long-standing appointments; the only thing is don’t lie, or you might get caught out later.
One person I know carries this list as a calendar item and moves it forward every week, so that when someone asks, she can check her calendar and have the list right there.
“I Have Other Plans…”
This is my favorite. My daughter asked me how to get out of a birthday party she was invited to. She didn’t particularly like the little girl, and the little girl didn’t like her, but was forced to ask her so as to not cause hurt feelings. My daughter really didn’t want to go, but saw nothing on the schedule to get her out of it.
“Tell Glinda you have other plans.”
My daughter looked at me. “What other plans?”
“Your plans are not to go to the birthday party.” I then told her that she couldn’t communicate that part of the conversation, but she would be telling the truth.
And Don’t Ever…
Whatever you do, don’t offer up a wish to do it some other time, or express regret. You might be faced with a very determined person who will rearrange their schedule to accommodate you.
And you really don’t want to watch 5000 slides of Atlantic Beach, do you?
Photo by marc falardeau