Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Thursday, 17 September 2015

How To Get Out Of Social Engagements Without Being A Dick

How To Get Out Of Social Engagements Without Being A Dick

The Debrief: Friend's party? Nah. Not today. Here's how to say no without losing friends

Whether it’s down to getting old, or winter rolling in, or us having a new epsiode of Don”t Tell The Bride to watch, going out in the evenings doesn’t always seem like a very good idea these days. Sure you can make plans with relative ease, but when it comes down to it, do you actually want to go through them? Nah.

The trouble is, because you’re turning into a serial flaker, no-one’s going to buy your simpering excuses to get out of something last minute. In the long run, they’re just going to end up pissed off at your rejection and not inviting you to the next thing they do. Which is not what you want at all.

You want to be able to pick and choose your social events as and when you please without having to worry whether or not someone’s upset with you. My goodness, we’re terrible people.

Here’s how to manage it.

Hold back when you’re drunk

Like, 90% of my plans get made when I’m drunk becuase I’m stupid enough to think, ‘Yeah, Monday, that’s a good day to go for a boozy and very expensive dinner in a restaurant that’s over the other side of the city.’

Chances are, come Monday, trekking to Wood Green after a stressful day at work to see someone you’re not actually that into, won’t seem as appealing as it did the previous night.

Teach your Drunk Self restraint. Every time you feel like suggesting a plan, don’t. It'll take some trial and error before you get it down to a T, but eventually you’ll have it down pat. Now, how to control the part of Drunk You that thinks that 20 Chicken McNuggets isn’t enough...

Act early, act swiftly

If it’s raining outside or the day after a big party, chances are the person that your evening’s social plans are with, isn’t all that bothered if you cancel on them, either. What they WILL be bothered about though, is if you leave it until 5:45 and then back out so they’ve got no chance to make alternative plans.

In short, you’ll look like a dick. A dick that’s been putting herself through unecessary stress worrying about how to word the rejection text all day. Get your let down in first thing in the morning then carry on with your day.

Don’t say you’re sick (even if you are sick)

Lazy people around the world have ruined this excuse. It’s now such a widely accepted ‘I can’t be bollocksed with this’ excuse that, even if you were knee deep in your own vomit from a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning, people would still think you’re lying.

Instead, just say this: ‘Do you mind if we rearrange this evening, mate/pal/girl? Sorry to be a Larry Letdown.’ Offer no explanation; it just sounds like you’re lying.

Don’t apologise too much

You know how at school you had that teacher who was a massive dick who you wouldn’t ever, ever DREAM of messing around in front of? And then that teacher who was really, really nice, but who let you get away with murder? Which one did you respect more?

Say ‘sorry’ too much when you’re offering your excuses and people will get annoyed at you because they sense you feeling weak and indebted to them. Be curt and just a tad flippant in your apology and they’ll respect your decision to bow out more.

Offer a solution

No-one likes to just be presented with just a problem; they'll react far more favourably when they’re also presented with a solution. Probably because we’re lazy and can’t be bothered to think for ourselves. To say simply, ‘I’m not free tonight’ without promise of rearranging is kind of rude.

Offer the prospect of rearranging the date, but don’t be specific with dates. Considering you’ve spent all day trying to figure out how to get out of this meeting, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to attend the next one.

Don’t. Get. Caught

If you’re turning someone down to go and do something else that’s fun, use some commonsense and avoid social media. A big old picture of you on Facebook doing body shots off a barman in a skeezy club (I don’t know why you exist in a sorority during Spring Break in my imagination) while your best friend’s sat at home on account of you cancelling your dinner isn’t going to go down well, now is it?


And there you go. That’s how to be a truly terrible human being.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

The Problems With Being ‘The Sarcastic One’ In Your Group Of Mates

How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Friends And Start Benefiting From Their Success

Why Do My Coupled-Up Friends Think Single Life Is One Massive Party?

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Friend Ranting And Raving