Sometimes we are lucky enough to have free time, and we make that known when we announce “YES! I don’t have to work tonight.”
We’re not thinking when we let our friends know that we are completely available that night, knowing we might want to make plans with particular people or just want to relax and do nothing.
If that is the case, the question “can I join you?” becomes a dreaded question to answer, and can change friendship dynamics forever. How is one supposed to respond to that? If you say “no,” the friend will obviously take it personally. If you agree, the idea you had in your head has now been altered and awkwardly duct taped together with the friend involved.
I get it, if a friend says “no” when you try to organize plans, it hurts a little. It also hurts if a friend is clearly dodging, giving you a solid answer.
Even if they reluctantly say yes, now you have to make that decision of pulling out of the plan because you can tell they aren’t into it, or going through with it and dealing with the awkwardness.
There is only one time this question doesn’t pose as a problem, and that’s if all parties are enthusiastically open to get together, which isn’t always an option.
The only way to neutralize this tension is to deliver a valid excuse that is relatively socially acceptable … even if it is a lie.
Some examples include that you’re not feeling well, you’re doing something with family, or one of the many others that just happen to pop into your head.
The pain and insecurity caused by these white lies that aren’t fooling anyone are so unnecessary and undesirable, compared to friends just being honest with each other.
Everyone occasionally forgets to consider that sometimes people want to be on their lonesome, or spend time with particular people, and there is nothing wrong with that.
You just have to think back to similar times in your life where browsing Netflix in a snuggie really did sound more appetizing than going out to the movies with your buddies. Individuals should have the right to take a deep breath and say “no” to undesired social interaction without feeling guilty.
With that in mind, don’t take it personally if someone decides to sit out on plans, they’re just taking control of their time.
You should too.
Special to Imprint