News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 13, 2017, 07:03:39 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Being quizzed on an RSVP  (Read 2898 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Redneck Gravy

  • Member
  • Posts: 3812
Being quizzed on an RSVP
« on: June 16, 2017, 02:10:48 PM »
I have declined invitations to events in the past and had someone call and ask why I was unable to attend. I think that is incredibly rude but thought I would ask here.  I realize there is Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, etc to reply now days and everyone is much busier but in the past I have actually been quizzed in person and by phone as to my lack of attendance.

If that happened now I would not JADE, just say that will not be possible and move on to the extraordinary warm weather we are having.  I might also say I have other plans but not offer them up for discussion (sitting and reading alone ARE plans).  But really, what would other eHellions have said when asked why they were not attending an event?

On one occasion I had conflicting events but another time I think I just blurted out because I don't want to go, which I then thought was rude of me. 

TurtleDove

  • Member
  • Posts: 7280
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 02:20:46 PM »
But really, what would other eHellions have said when asked why they were not attending an event?

I think this is more about relationships than it is about etiquette. If I tell my sister that my family and I will not be attending my godson's birthday party, I would expect her to ask me why not. If I RSVP no on behalf of my 8 year old to a birthday party for a little boy in her class that she doesn't ever play with, I would find it rude to be asked why she is not going.

No one is "owed" an explanation, of course, but in a great many circumstances I would provide one with varying degrees of detail. In others, I would not. Examples (hypothetical):

I RSVP "no" to my sorority sister's second wedding. She asks me why. I tell her I am so sorry to miss it, but the wedding is the same day as my own child's graduation open house. She understands, all is well! We both send gifts for the other's special event.

I RSVP "no" to a coworker's 30th birthday party. She has invited everyone from the office (along with people from other areas of her life), and she and I have never socialized outside of work before. She asks me why I am not coming. I tell her I am sorry to miss it, but I have other plans (which are simply plans to *not* attend her party). She understands, all is well!

lowspark

  • Member
  • Posts: 5518
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 02:52:02 PM »
POD to TurtleDove's post. "I have other plans" is the reply for anyone who asks why that you don't want to actually answer. Of course, as TurtleDove pointed, out, some people and some occasions, you do want to explain your absence, but when you don't, I think "I have other plans" is sufficient. If they press you after that, just keep repeating, "other plans" or maybe something like "oh, just something personal you wouldn't be interested in" which is a polite way of saying "none of your beeswax".
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

miranova

  • Member
  • Posts: 4090
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 03:27:50 PM »
I do agree that sometimes it certainly is rude to ask "why not?" but that is easily answered by "sorry I have previous plans".  I find that when I invite people to events and they RSVP no, that they generally offer up a specific reason, even though I haven't asked for a reason.  I think a lot of times we feel like we have to explain our no's.  But other than very important life events for family and close friends, no explanation is required.  I do agree with TurtleDove that if you are going to miss your sister's wedding or something, I think an explanation is appropriate, assuming normal family relations.  (non toxic).

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 04:47:13 PM »
One thing I've found works well to make this sort of thing smoother, is instead of just giving the "other plans" line, to redirect to the person's own interest in the event. So, something like,

"Aww, it's not going to work out, but where are you having it? ...Oh, I hear (place) is so pretty."

Or, "I bet GOH is excited," or "How did you pick that theme, it sounds fun."

Assuming you do like the person generally and aren't trying to make a point, it helps to both change the subject and show that you are interested in their plans and feelings.

GardenGal

  • Member
  • Posts: 835
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 06:06:24 PM »
Quote
On one occasion I had conflicting events but another time I think I just blurted out because I don't want to go, which I then thought was rude of me. 

This reminds me of the episode on "Friends" where someone asks Phoebe to do something and she gives them a big smile and says, "I wish I could, but I don't want to."

It's not polite to ask why you can't attend an event, tho as PP have mentioned, for a close family member I would explain why.  Anyone else, "Sorry, but I already have other plans.," and yes, staying home to paint the dog's toenails is a real plan.  ;D
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8908
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 06:29:52 PM »
I have declined invitations to events in the past and had someone call and ask why I was unable to attend. I think that is incredibly rude but thought I would ask here. 

Snip

I do understand why in some situations someone might call to inquire why you declined, usually if the date or details were flexible and they could accommodate your needs. For instance if I invite 2 good friends out for dinner and one said 'I'm sorry I can't" I might ask if the selected night was bad because we could pick another night. Or maybe I suggest going to a movie with my sisters and one says they can't attend, then I might ask if it was they didn't want to see that movie because we could pick another movie. But if you are inviting someone and your plans are not flexible then I do think you should accept the no thanks without comment.

Oh Joy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 09:14:57 PM »
I have declined invitations to events in the past and had someone call and ask why I was unable to attend. I think that is incredibly rude but thought I would ask here. 

Snip

I do understand why in some situations someone might call to inquire why you declined, usually if the date or details were flexible and they could accommodate your needs. For instance if I invite 2 good friends out for dinner and one said 'I'm sorry I can't" I might ask if the selected night was bad because we could pick another night. Or maybe I suggest going to a movie with my sisters and one says they can't attend, then I might ask if it was they didn't want to see that movie because we could pick another movie. But if you are inviting someone and your plans are not flexible then I do think you should accept the no thanks without comment.

I'm kind of along the same lines.  I don't necessarily see the question as a demand of justification, but more of a checking in from someone who wants to spend time with you.  Some follow-up can help with future invitations, like knowing that you don't like to attend weeknight events or kids' parties, and getting a feel whether you also want to see them or if you're just finding a polite way to avoid seeing them.   

Redneck Gravy

  • Member
  • Posts: 3812
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 09:27:04 AM »
OP here - I am referring to more formal type printed invitations to a wedding and a baby shower.  One was to a big costume party for Halloween. 

I hope that if someone close invited me to the movies, dinner or other casual social event I would offer a reason and then be negotiable to changes if they were offered.     

I agree it can be a rel@tionship matter.  My sister once cornered me at a big family gathering about declining to attend a baby shower for her daughter, it would have been embarrassing if I had not about half expected it from her...but I simply said I have a shift that day and I have been unable to change it.  (which was a blatant fib, I just didn't want to interrupt my one day off that week in the middle of the afternoon to get dressed up and go, so I delivered a gift earlier in the week)

SamiHami

  • Member
  • Posts: 4568
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 10:24:29 AM »
"Oh, you aren't coming to Fluffy's cat mitzvah? Why in the world would you miss that?"

"I'm sorry, it just won't work out, but I hope you have a wonderful time!"

"But why? What's more important than Fluffy?"

"I know, it is a shame but I won't be attending. Bean dip?"

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3730
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 12:51:28 PM »
I agree with the other posters who said it depends upon the relationship, and I'd add the nature of the event, too.  A bare "No, thanks" is fine from your best friend for a walk; not for a wedding.

Of course it's rude to badger people.  But sometimes it's more a matter of is-it-the-timing-or-the-event, as others have said, or even "Is everything okay?"

If a close friend or a relative declines an invitation to a wedding or other important event, I agree that a simple "No, thank you" isn't sufficient.  (I stress that I am only talking about close relationships and important events!  If my neighbor declines an invitation to my child's wedding without comment, that's fine; if my brother does, that silence would speak hostile volumes!)  It feels cold and dismissive and as if you are making a point about how meaningless Their Major Occasion is to you.  And so for the hosts not to inquire almost seems like they don't care even to hear about what must be a very major thing -- good or bad -- going on in their close relative's/friend's life.

It doesn't take much to add more to a curt "No, thanks" without having to JADE, anyway, for others.  "Oh, darn, I wish we could!  Unfortunately, we have a conflict."  It makes the other person feel good, so why not?  I would extend that to explaining why you can't attend, if you don't mind doing so -- as in TurtleDove's example of telling her sorority sister that the reason she was declining her wedding invitation was that it was the same day as her child's graduation.  That made her friend understand that she considered the wedding really important, because the conflict was something else very important, not just a "Nah, don't feel like it" or "That's the day I was planning to weed the garden."

And I love EllenS's excellent technique of redirecting to their plans:

One thing I've found works well to make this sort of thing smoother, is instead of just giving the "other plans" line, to redirect to the person's own interest in the event. So, something like,

"Aww, it's not going to work out, but where are you having it? ...Oh, I hear (place) is so pretty."

Or, "I bet GOH is excited," or "How did you pick that theme, it sounds fun."

Assuming you do like the person generally and aren't trying to make a point, it helps to both change the subject and show that you are interested in their plans and feelings.

Thank you, EllenS!  I'm going to remember that.  You always have good advice.

Cali.in.UK

  • Member
  • Posts: 1005
Re: Being quizzed on an RSVP
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2017, 02:24:41 PM »
I also agree that it depends on the person and relationship. I think the situation the OP is describing (I'm guessing) is a relationship where the OP is not very close with the person and/or doesn't feel comfortable explaining why they don't want to attend and just wanted an easy graceful out. There may be a power dynamic as well that makes the follow-up questions uncomfortable. Or if the inviter is a pushy person and the OP does not do well with pushy people.

I've experienced this, for example I love my cousin's fiance but her friends are truly horrid (I don't want to say bad things about them) so I have to be careful when declining events that the nice fiance plans. She really likes to spend time with family so she'll usually ask why we can't attend events, and I know its not her being pushy but I have to make up excuses.

I've definitely asked close friends why they couldn't attend some small events, but I usually only do that if the point of the event was for me to see them. For example, about 1-2 times during the year, I'll have my girl friends over bc we're all busy and don't get to hangout as a group very often. If one person can't come, I'll try to figure out if its a scheduling issue (so I can rearrange) or a personal preference (and then we will have the event without them).

In situations like the above, you just need to stick to your guns and do the bean dip/repeat method. "Sorry, I can't make it." "It's not a good week for me." "I'm really busy this month, but let's plan to get together sometime later in the summer."