We need to get better at just saying, “I wont be doing that.” But until we grow up and have a personality transplant, here are some ways to wriggle, worm-like and undignified, through the informal RSVP process…
I’ll just check the diary
This means no. Calling on the diary gods? Then usually it’s a delaying tactic for the no. The softening of the no blow. Particularly when it’s ‘the’ diary, rather than ‘my’ diary. Makes it sound regal. Autocratic. Dictatorly. Which it actually is.
That might work
Obviously, it won’t work. And you have no intention of making it work. You make so many other things work. All the time. You would throw yourself down the stairs rather than even try and make it work.
Let me talk to * insert your no person*…
Ok so you’re passing the no baton. But the person you are summoning has a strong reputation as a no-sayer, and everyone now knows what’s coming.
I could pop in
Oh that sounds fun
I mean. Does it? Will it be? Really? I’d rather stick pins in my eyes. No. The sofa is fun. Bed is fun. Telly is fun. No.
I am so thrilled and touched to be invited, thank you so much for thinking of me…
For all you people pleasers out there, meet “the love bomb without a yes strategy”. You haven’t said yes, but you have hopefully just coated your well-meaning friend with so much love and adoration that they can’t see you slipping your metaphorical coat on and edging out of the door.
I will think about it
For hours, days, maybe years, you will think about why you don’t want to go, and what you can say, what excuse you can give, and what it says about you that your instinct is always to say both yes and no at the same time. That you have no clarity. That you bend yourself into a pretzel shape to make things happen. Because you can’t say a straight no. Just overthink about it a bit more…