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To want an explanation if someone can't attend something?

165 replies

MerryMarigold · 03/11/2018 14:09

Or is 'I can't come' a complete sentence?

It generally bugs me because I feel good friends should explain why. Tobe honest, I wouldn't mind if the reason was "I really want an early night.' I just think giving a reason is how you treat good friends.

What do you think? Is it none of my business or is it more polite?

OP posts:
Loopytiles · 03/11/2018 14:11

Partly depends what the invitation is for.

Eg if you offered to have just me over for dinner and suggested a couple of dates and I declined I would give an answer, but if it was an invitation to a group for a money making venture, eg Me and Em, Stella and Dot, cookware, I would just decline with no reason because the actual reason might offend!

LostInShoebiz · 03/11/2018 14:11

None of your business unless it’s something like your own mother to your wedding.

ivykaty44 · 03/11/2018 14:11

None of your business, your not the boss of these people. The only person I have to explain to why I can’t come anywhere is my boss when I’m sick or unable to attend work

treaclesoda · 03/11/2018 14:12

They don't owe you an explanation.

It might be nice to give one, or alternatively they might be sparing your feelings. No one really wants to hear 'I'm not coming because I don't want to'

PurpleFlower1983 · 03/11/2018 14:12

I would always give a reason from a feeling of obligation to but I actually think ‘I can’t come.’ should be a good enough answer.

user1493413286 · 03/11/2018 14:13

I read another thread where it spoke about encouraging people to say “they can’t come” rather than making up an excuse when it’s that they don’t actually want to

Picklepickle123 · 03/11/2018 14:14

It could be something personal, so I guess not really. It could be an embarrassing illness or perhaps an issue that isn't there's to share (for example best friend is going through a miscarriage) so it's not always your right to know.

I would tell good friends the reason why, but sometimes 'i really can't come, but I would love to be there' kinda implies you genuinely have something more important. Anyway, even if they did tell you, there's nothing you can do about their reasons is there?

Sparklingbrook · 03/11/2018 14:14

I never give a reason, I just say I can't make it.

The more you say the worse it gets especially if you aren't going because you don't want to.

GreatDuckCookery6211 · 03/11/2018 14:16

Is this a text message?

MerryMarigold · 03/11/2018 14:17

I guess that's the thing. You always end up thinking that it must be they just don't want to but can't say that. I may think it's me, but I just have 2 friends that do this and it can be anything from my child's birthday to meeting up for coffee.

OP posts:
TurkeyBear · 03/11/2018 14:17

No one owes you an explanation OP. "I can't come" is a complete answer. Are you always like this?

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe · 03/11/2018 14:17

Generally I'd say no, you're not entitled to an explanation. I suppose if it was your sibling declining your wedding invitation that would be a bit different but for most social invitations "I can't come" or "I have plans that day" is fine. What difference would an explanation actually make?

ghostsandghoulies · 03/11/2018 14:18

I don't ask and don't offer a reason unless it's extremely short notice. Sometimes it's private and the other person shouldn't feel obligated to tell me personal stuff like medical info. I'd rather not know than the other person lie to me.

dottymac · 03/11/2018 14:18

i sometimes lie about why i can't attend something, as i feel that is preferable to saying I can't be arsed, so giving you a reason means nothing!

Alfie190 · 03/11/2018 14:19

I don't think it needs to be justified.

MerryMarigold · 03/11/2018 14:19

Great duck, it would usually occur in message format but has face to face as well.

OP posts:
GreatDuckCookery6211 · 03/11/2018 14:20

I can't imagine being so blunt personally whether in a text/email or in person.

Seems very odd behaviour imo.

mastertomsmum · 03/11/2018 14:21

Usually I would say why if I declined something but I’d not bat an eyelid if someone didn’t elaborate why they could not come.

MerryMarigold · 03/11/2018 14:24

Turkeybear, I don't think understand your question about whether 'i'm always like this'. I guess I'm quite an upfront person and like things out in the open. I don't like 'wondering' or second guessing. I also don't hold grudges so 'i don't want to' for a trip to cinema would be fine or 'i just really want to relax inbed on my day off' would be fine. I wouldn't be offended and don't take offence easily/ never have, except to not knowing . Even then I'm asking if it's wrong of me to feel miffed and seems like most people thi k so.

OP posts:
CantSleepClownsWillEatMe · 03/11/2018 14:26

To be honest Merry it often is because I just don't want to! That's not necessarily about the person issuing the invitation though.

I wouldn't actually say "I just don't want to" of course as I don't want to be blunt to a friend but often giving a detailed reason (real or made up) results in the other person suggesting different ways you could still do the thing they want you to do, tries to pin you to another date etc. If the real reason isn't good enough in the other persons opinion then they keep trying to convince you to go.

I just think there's a lot to be said for learning to accept a declinature gracefully. There's no need to personalise it.

DancingForTheDog · 03/11/2018 14:27

I don't think it's rude to not give reasons and it wouldn't even cross my mind. What difference does it make if they give a reason or not? In one of my social circles, when dates for socializing are mentioned if I say "I can't do next weekend but the following is ok" one particular friend always says "What you doing next weekend then?" I'm happy to tell her but I don't offer the information.

ShirleyPhallus · 03/11/2018 14:27

"I can't come" is a complete answer. Are you always like this?

Two hits to Mumsnet bingo right there!

OP I think this is one of those things that sounds fine on MN but in real life sounds quite odd. “I can’t make it” just sounds blunt. The only way it would sound ok is to say “sorry, I can’t make it. Would the following Tuesday work?” Or similar.

But then this is MN, where people feel personally aggrieved at even being invited to a wedding so who knows what other responses you’ll get!


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Shoppingwithmother · 03/11/2018 14:28

YABU. You are presuming that people will want to do what you want them to do.

They are alllowed to have their own priorities, which you may well not share, but it’s up to them. If they tell you a reason, you may be offended eg “why don’t we go out on Saturday?”— “No thanks, I’m watching Strictly”. Or “come to DC’s birthday party” —“no thanks, the thought of it brings me out in hives!”

In general, if someone wants to do something and regretfully can’t, they will say why and maybe try to arrange an alternative date. If someone just says “I can’t” then they probably just don’t want to. But they don’t have to want to, and don’t owe you an explanation as to why. IMO anyway...

DayManChampionOfTheSun · 03/11/2018 14:32

In my experience, when someone invites you to something but you don't want to go, they will always try and persuade you otherwise and lay on the pressure until you give in. For example, a few weeks ago I was asked out for drinks with a mate, she asked me on the Tuesday for the Friday. I was already fantasising about the Friday evening being just me, dp and a takeaway, it had alrwsdy been a long week at that point! I said I couldn't because I was having a night in with dp and then had loads of messages throughout the week asking if I had changed my mind.

It's like these people have monopoly on your time of you haven't already made 'plans' and annoys the crap out of me.

Now I will just say I can't make it without reason.

On another note, I hate it when people try to trap you into making plans, instead of asking 'would you like to go out Friday evening' they just ask, oh any plans for this Weekend? Then when you say no, they jump on you to go out and you can't make an excuse.

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe · 03/11/2018 14:33

Shirley I doubt many people would only say "I can't make it" unless it's a very quick text response. Usually it's along the lines of "Sorry I wont be able to make it, hope you enjoy the night/event/whatever". I still don't give an explanation.

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