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Old 12-08-2021, 11:06 AM   #21
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Obviously this is not about FIRE.
Perhaps not the financial side of FIRE, but this forum is jammed with threads about the lifestyle aspects. Many of us who have been here a while, have already figured out the financial part of our lives, so it's good to have something else to talk about.
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:12 AM   #22
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Perhaps not the financial side of FIRE, but this forum is jammed with threads about the lifestyle aspects. Many of us who have been here a while, have already figured out the financial part of our lives, so it's good to have something else to talk about.

Yes. It makes me think about a comment by an NPR host on the eve of his retirement:

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Iíll have time to accept all the invitations Iíll no longer receive.
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:16 AM   #23
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IMHO, there is no way to "firmly but politely" decline invitations to social events, repeatedly, and not hurt people's feelings.
Even with the best will in the world, here is no way to move through life without hurting some feelings, no matter how extroverted, sociable, and well intentioned you are.

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But you have to realize that you can't control how people will react and what they will think about you, and you shouldn't be bothered by that. You should be as honest as possible while still being pleasant and polite, and let the chips fall where they may.
+1
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:48 AM   #24
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IMHO, there is no way to "firmly but politely" decline invitations to social events, repeatedly, and not hurt people's feelings. But you have to realize that you can't control how people will react and what they will think about you, and you shouldn't be bothered by that. You should be as honest as possible while still being pleasant and polite, and let the chips fall where they may.
Absolutely true. You are not responsible for others peoples feelings!
Being an introvert, I have learned the art of a polite decline and thank you for the invitation, and it is enough.
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:55 AM   #25
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duplicate
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:57 AM   #26
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We decided some time ago that we were hardly about to risk our health for the sake of someone else's hurt feelings. Close family or otherwise.

Passed on a close family wedding for that exact reason. We were aware that a fair number of attendees had a different view to covid than we did. As did many other invitees who also declined.

DW is simply not interested in spending time with any of her non vaccinated friends or relatives.

When you are in the hospital on a respirator or suffering from long term covid effects it is a little too late to wish that you had not attended a function or gathering.

Besides, where we live there is still two household guidance for social gatherings. Easy out.
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Old 12-08-2021, 01:50 PM   #27
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Blanket thanks again to all! I try to never get caught off-guard, but after one or two attempts to get us out, I would definitely tell the truth, albeit nicely.
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Old 12-08-2021, 02:16 PM   #28
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I have never seen this as difficult. If there is an invite we choose not to attend, we just say "thank you, but we have a prior commitment".

No lying here, the "prior commitment" can be anything we choose, and no need to share.
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Old 12-08-2021, 07:46 PM   #29
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I have never seen this as difficult. If there is an invite we choose not to attend, we just say "thank you, but we have a prior commitment".

No lying here, the "prior commitment" can be anything we choose, and no need to share.
Yeah, I hate to lie, but watching my favorite show on DVR IS a commitment! Only issue is that some folks won't give up asking in the future. We've only had to be blunt a couple of times. Most folks get the message after you've turned them down 3 times.
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Old 12-08-2021, 07:50 PM   #30
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Just say no.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:05 PM   #31
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Honesty seems to work well for Larry David.....
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:02 PM   #32
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Larry David is great! I suspect that's he's almost the same in real life.
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:35 AM   #33
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"I wish I could, but I don't want to."

OK, that was snarky, but at least it's honest!
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Old 12-09-2021, 05:14 AM   #34
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Glad to see this thread as I have a difficult time with this too. I was just thinking about this recently. I'm an introvert and home body with some extroverted and "foodie" friends. I live alone so don't have the excuse of spending a quiet evening with my spouse, etc. I just want to spend a quiet evening with ME, my book, and my cat, but that doesn't cut it with some people. Or they pity you for being alone and think going out for fun is the "solution." Um, no...
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Declining invitations
Old 12-09-2021, 07:40 AM   #35
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Declining invitations

Our unwritten decision tree is:

1) DW and I try not to commit for the other one until we can decide jointly.

2) If we both want to go, we go. Simple.

3) If only one of us wants to go, we either A) both suck it up and go, or B) evaluate the impact or not of the absent spouse. If one sucks it up for the other one, itís a chit.

4) If neither of us wants to go, we usually just donít, by finding ANY credible excuse to get out of it.

What is harder for us is:
1) A particular couple who, nevertheless, cannot seem to be organized enough give us any advanced notice that they suddenly want to go out with us, or want to come to our house when we arenít prepared. Weíve gotten pretty firm that they need to give us a heads up, but they still usually donít.

2) Going to someoneís home for a meal theyíve obviously worked hard to prepare, and then wondering if we should reciprocate. Iíve evolved to not worrying about it, which is probably rude. Itís difficult for all the cross-chemistry among 4 humans to be good enough to want to repeat, even if it would reciprocate a kindness.
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Old 12-09-2021, 09:39 AM   #36
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If the home-made meal was truly good and elaborate, and the company was good, it is worth the rather large expense of a good restaurant to reciprocate. That is how I feel, anyway.

I know how much goes into giving a really good meal to more than a couple of people.

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2) Going to someoneís home for a meal theyíve obviously worked hard to prepare, and then wondering if we should reciprocate. Iíve evolved to not worrying about it, which is probably rude. Itís difficult for all the cross-chemistry among 4 humans to be good enough to want to repeat, even if it would reciprocate a kindness.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:38 AM   #37
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This. No is a complete sentence and there is no reason to offer an explanation. If someone pries you can simply say we have other plans - even if the plan is to stay home.

Don't be surprised if the invitations dwindle down over time though - so don't hold it against them if they don't invite you to next year's event.

Or the opposite. If I do get together with them, the first thing they talk about is making the plan for the next time we get together. Hey, I don't do this monthly, every 6 months is just about right for me. Or if we time this pesky pandemic right, I won't see you for a whole year!
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:26 AM   #38
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IF we was asked why I would have no issue telling the person why. I would not consider lying about it. Much easier to be straight up about it. Why make transparent excuses?

The family wedding that we turned down had many cancelations....all for the very same reason. I think they got the memo.

We had an out of town visitor (fully vaccinated) coming to our home for a few days. Her plan was to spend time first with other relatives who were anti vaxxers, anti maskers, anti science, really anti everything in a nearby city.

We asked her to change her plans and visit us first. We were very open about the reason why. Not just us, but we were expecting our grandchildren a few days later.
We were very upfront about it. She understood completely and changed her plans to visit us first.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:02 PM   #39
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As an invitation reply, there's always, "You can't handle the truth!" though it is likely to put a stop to further invitations.
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Old 12-09-2021, 12:15 PM   #40
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What's tough is the situation in the Larry David sketch above. "Come to dinner tonight!" "Oh, sorry, I have other plans." "What about tomorrow night?" "Or the next?" etc. You get cornered.
I can see that I'm pretty anti-social! Part of the problem for me, besides being and introvert, is that I am an extreme morning person and fade rapidly by late afternoon, so loathe evening activities. Makes me a lot of fun---NOT.
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