If you’ve been asked to hang out but need to pass, it’s good etiquette and manners to politely decline.
Whatever your reason for not being able or not wanting to hang out, as long as you reply and let them know I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Here are some examples of how to politely decline an invitation to hang out the right way:
How to Politely Decline an Invitation to Hang Out: 15 Examples
Here are some examples of what you can say when politely declining an invitation to hang out.
Most of them are casual as ‘hanging out’ usually means it’s friends or family you know well, but feel free to adjust the verbiage to suit your situation:
- “Hey! Thank you so much for inviting me to hang out but I have plans that day so I’ll have to catch you next time!”
- “I’m actually going to be really busy that day so I won’t be able to make it, but thank you for inviting me!”
- “Hey! Thanks for inviting me, I wish I could make it but I’m entertaining family that day, sorry!”
- “Hey! Thanks for asking, but I have prior engagements that day and won’t be able to make it.”
- “Thanks for the invite but I’m already pretty booked that day. Maybe next time!”
- “That sounds like loads of fun and I wish I could come but I have something else going on. Thanks for thinking of me though.”
- “Darn, you asked me on the one day I’m [reason] so I won’t be able to make it. Let me know next time you guys are hanging out please.”
- “Appreciate the invite, it sounds fun but I already have plans, apologies.”
- “I can’t make it on [date] as I have to [reason]. If anything changes I’ll let you know, cheers.”
- “Thanks, that sounds like a lot of fun, but I’ve just got too much on right now with work/family/studying, etc, and need to take care of some things.”
- “I appreciate you asking, but hanging out at [place] isn’t really my thing if I’m honest so I’ll have to pass.”
- “I’m not feeling 100% at the moment and won’t be much fun so I’ll have to pass. I’m sure I’ll be back to 100% next time though.”
- “I already promised [name] that I will [reason] on that day so I’ll have to decline this time.”
- “We had a wild time last time but I’m not going to be able to make it this time due to [reason], thanks for asking though.”
- “I hate to use this excuse but I’m flat broke right now and can’t afford to hang out at [place], maybe next time after payday!”
Here are some examples of how to turn down a wedding invitation;
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Do You Have to Give a Reason Why You Can’t Hang Out?
It can be helpful to give a reason why you’re not able to hang out as it shows that you have a legitimate reason why you can’t make it.
But no matter who is asking, you don’t have to give them a reason if you don’t want to.
Even if you’re talking to the pushiest of friends, if you don’t feel comfortable giving them the real reason why you don’t want to hang out, you shouldn’t.
If you want to get them off your back you could be vague and say something like “I’m just really busy at the moment” or “I’m feeling under the weather.”
You could also say that you’re not feeling social and would rather stay in, or that you have other plans.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision whether or not you want to give a reason and no one should pressure you into it.
The Important Thing Is Not to Make up A Lie
If you don’t want to give a reason or are worried about hurting someone’s feelings, it can be tempting to make up a lie.
But it’s important not to do this as it can come back to bite you later.
For example, if you say you’re sick but then they see you out and about, they’re going to know you lied.
Or if you keep using the same excuses or getting your lies mixed up at a later date, which is always easy to do, you’re going to get caught out.
Honesty is always the best policy, and when you can’t be upfront about it you should defer to being a little vague.
Never Leave Your Friends Hanging!
This goes without saying, but if you’re struggling to come up with a way to politely decline an invitation to hang out, the one thing you should never do is leave your friends hanging.
If they’ve invited you out it’s because they want to spend time with you, so the least you can do is let them know as soon as possible that you can’t make it.
This way they can make other plans and don’t have to wait around for you.
No matter how anxious you are about letting them down, it’s better to say something sooner rather than later – or not at all!
Image credits – Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.