How to Come Up With an Excuse


Unless you have a legitimate excuse, you'll have to devise a realistic reason to turn down an invitation or get out of a task you'd rather not complete. Learn to deal with the situation in a way that helps you say, "No" without hurting your friend's feelings.

  • Keep it simple. Give someone a rambling, complicated reason why you can't go out to dinner and it will be obvious that you're making it up as you go along. Sticking to a basic but specific excuse will also make it easier to remember when discussing it later.

  • Make it plausible. Devise an excuse that revolves around an activity that your friends know you or your family members love. If you enjoy fishing, for instance, you can always say you're heading out to the lake for the weekend.

  • Place the blame on someone else. There won't be a comeback when you explain that you have to stay home, for example, because your spouse has to work late, your parents are making you go to your aunt's house for dinner or you can't find a babysitter for your sick children.

  • Contact the person as soon as possible if you're canceling an invitation you'd previously accepted. Call or talk to her in person rather than sending an email that she may not read in time.

  • Offer a backup plan to avoid hurt feelings. If you'd rather not see a movie this weekend, use your excuse and then ask your friend if she'd like to go out to dinner the following week instead.

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