thanks to this forum I've grown familiar with quite a few etiquette principles, like always honoring a prior engagement and not being entitled about others' negative rsvps to one's own event.
But how do you deal with people who don't adhere to these principles?
there is a recent example:
A distant friend is in my home town this week and we had made loose plans to meet up but hadn't set a date yet due to chaotic work schedules on both our parts.
Two days ago, my sister invited me out to celebrate her birthday on Friday. Yesterday, said distant friend told me he had made plans for a great get-together of various mutual friends on Friday and was looking forward to seeing me there. I said I was sorry but I couldn't come due to a prior engagement. Texting ensued:
"What do you mean you're not coming??"
- "It's at the same time as my sister's birthday celebration."
"THAT'S NO EXCUSE!"
I know etiquette isn't about making others feel good, but it's certainly not about making others feel bad, either. However, that's what I encounter on a regular basis. Granted, it's an incredibly easy task to make me feel bad about anything I do, but this is basically MO for declined invitations in my circle of friends.
Do you think there's any way to adress this, short of heartfelt gifts of etiquette guide books?
I ended up replying that I'd been put on the spot by both parties because both invitations were really spontaneous, but that my sister had asked first, and that I hoped they'll have a fun night. Which is probably etiquette-approved enough as a reaction, but it still bugs me...