Author Topic: awkward invites?  (Read 2235 times)

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TaurusGirl

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awkward invites?
« on: November 06, 2012, 12:48:09 PM »
Hi all!

An interesting issue keeps cropping up with family, and I'm not sure how to address it.

As you would guess from my membership here, I am a fan of etiquette. I was raised in a family that enjoys and encourages it. Some friends mock me for my "old fashioned" ways, but they accept my quirks.

One such quirk is about verbal invitations. To me, an invitation would flow as follows: "Hey, your favourite team is playing football tomorrow at 2pm. You should come by and watch!" Unfortunately, many people in my social circle consider the following to count as an invite:"The Browns play tomorrow at 2pm". My partner, The Hawk, feels the same way. I just cannot bring myself to go to someone's home without an express invitation. It bothers me on a level that I can't really explain. 

We've run into situations a few times, where The Hawk's brother has stated that there will be football the following day. We acknowledge that there is a game, and continue the conversation. The Hawk's brother then wonders why we did not accept his invite.

I realize asking someone to change their behavior for me isn't really fair, but in a case like this, would we have any grounds to ask that invitations be worded as actual invitations, and not just statements?

Judah

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 12:54:28 PM »
What you are describing is not an invitation in my world, it's a statement of fact.

Could you try, after hearing a statement of fact, saying something like, "Is that an invitation?" That way everyone is clear.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

WillyNilly

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 01:06:35 PM »
Yeah that isn't a quirk on you. That's straight up not an invitation, period. I mean I say to people all the time "oooh today's Tuesday, new Tosh.O tonight!" I most certainly am not inviting the over when I say it at most I'm inviting a conversation right then & there about the show. I might mention I'm going to see a performance, or go to a Drs appointment, or on a vaction - mentioning these things are not invitations for people to join me.

You might want to explain "being 'welcome' and being 'invited' are not the same thing. We my have been welcome to come over, and we appreciate that, but we weren't invited and therfore didn't know."

GSNW

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 01:36:16 PM »
I'm in agreement with you, OP - I would not take that statement as an invitation, either.  Next time they do this (assuming you want to host), you can reply, "We'd love to watch with you guys, why don't you come over? (Or, why don't we meet at Popular Sports Pub, etc)"

Since they thought their statement was an invite, they will probably say, "No, we were inviting YOU - " ... "Oh, I thought you were just telling me the game is ON."  It's a polite way to point out that their statement was not an express invite.


Deetee

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 01:46:25 PM »
I think sometimes/often people will give invites this way to stave off rejection. It is much more common when people are younger. You are completely within your rights to ignore, but many people expect the invite to be coaxed a bit (not because they are jerks, it's just a bit more indirect and casual)

A: "The braves are playing tommorow at 2"
B: "Ah, that's awesome. I am looking forward to that game"
A: "Yeah, they are great. And they are playing cowards so that is extra great"
B: "So where are you watching it?"
A: "At my place, want to come over and we can order pizza?'
B: "Sure sounds good, I'll bring Bob"
A: "See ya both"

or maybe

A: "The braves are playing tommorow at 2"
B: "Ah, that's awesome. I am looking forward to that game"
A: "Yeah, they are great. And they are playing cowards so that is extra great"
B: "Yeah, I'm going to go to Super SportsBar, you?"
A: "No plans, maybe I'll join you'
B: "Sure sounds good, Bob and I will be there"
A: "See ya later"

Mikayla

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 01:52:50 PM »
What's weird about their wording is what happens when they want to mention the big division rivalry game on Sunday, but don't mean it as an invite? 

I like Deetee's ideas for steering the convo.  Another good idea, the next time they mention a game, is just ask if they'd like to get together to watch it, and see what they say.

rose red

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 02:02:33 PM »
Since this is your partner's brother and you guys know he does this, can you just ask "are you inviting us to watch the game?"  Or the next time he ask why you didn't accept his "invitation," explain how his wording is confusing; that he made a statement, not an invitation.

Deetee

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 02:07:33 PM »
Also, I will add that while I think formal etiquette rules are great for people who don't know one another because it cuts down on confusion, it is contrary to my sense of etiquette to hold people to those standards when you know they don't communicate that way.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 02:32:28 PM »
Also, I will add that while I think formal etiquette rules are great for people who don't know one another because it cuts down on confusion, it is contrary to my sense of etiquette to hold people to those standards when you know they don't communicate that way.

I agree with this. If I know someone doesn't word things the way I would prefer then I do make allowances for that. Maybe one day they will learn to communicate better but I can't count on that so I will change to meet them where they are. Within reason of course.

TaurusGirl

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:54:32 AM »
Thank you all for the replies. The Hawk and I have tried a few of the tactics mentioned, but have discovered a hitch; only sometimes is the information meant as an invite - others Hawk-Bro is just talking about what he's doing the next day. We've had the awkward moment when we turn up, thinking we were invited, only to see the surprise on his face when we're at the door. He is always gracious, but it's uncomfortable knowing that we weren't supposed to be there.
We have tried talking to Hawk-Bro about it,  but somehow even though they were raised in the same home, there is a complete disconnect when it comes to issuing invitations.
When we have Hawk-Bro and his wife over, we issue a "formal" invite, and have joked that we're so old-fashioned that we need the same... Here's hoping it will sink in, or we can find a happy medium.

Deetee

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Re: awkward invites?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 01:31:40 PM »
That does make it complicated. Can't you just ask. "Is this an invite or not?"

I would only suggest this level of directness with a good friend or family member where you are reasonably sure they want to spend time with you and where you enjoy their company and it's just general confusion/awkwardness versus weird passive aggressive stuff.