Saying 'no' to things is an important life skill that a lot of us haven't mastered yet. I will even admit that I have a problem with saying, 'no' because I don't want to disappoint and find it awkward. Not being able to say, 'no' which means we are saying 'yes' to too many things that sometimes we find ourselves without money, energy, or time to actually follow through with those plans. And when THAT happens, the best move can be cancelling.
How do you cancel those plans?
- Be upfront- The easiest thing you can do is just be honest about cancelling. Don’t make up a sick pet or work emergency, just be as open as you feel comfortable being about needing time to yourself because it’s harder to take that personally.
- Don’t overdo that “sorry” text- Apologizing more than once can make it worse and stick to a simple “I’m so sorry, can we reschedule dinner for next week?” which is always better than “OMG I’m the worst flake ever, do you hate me?”
- When to lie or not give an excuse- If you’re cancelling on someone you don’t feel comfortable talking to about your need to stay home and avoid human interaction, a white lie can save the awkwardness. Or if you’re not a fan of fibbing, try just not giving an excuse, like, “Hey, I’m so sorry but I can’t make it tonight” and try to reschedule.
- Give enough notice- If you bail on someone who’s already on their way to meet you, it’s too late and you’d be a jerk. Try to think about how annoyed you’d be if someone cancelled on you and act accordingly.
- Don’t make it a regular thing- If you become a serial canceller, your friends will get the message that they don’t matter, so don’t let it become a habit.