What’s the best way to decline invitations to parties and other such social events? I am usually pleased to have been invited, but at the same time very reluctant to actually go. I also don’t want to offend anyone. Over the years I have tried various ways of declining such invitations but I still feel uncomfortable. Any suggestions?
Do your friends know of your difficulties? If they do, then why not just go along for a little while. I'm sure they'd like to see you and would not be at all offended when you need to make an exit.
I'm usually the first to leave social events - especially if the environment is noisy and I'm getting fatigued by it all.
There is an old saying - those who matter won't mind and those who mind don't matter.
Ah, yes, I should have specified. These are people who don't know about me and who I am not interested in telling (although I'm not keeping it a secret particularly). You're quite right - knowing friends will tolerate me leaving early, although I don't actually like to do that because they're friends! So I tend to just be up front with them and not go at all but meet them separately.
Is it worth letting a few close friends in on it so they don't just think you're odd - at least they could understand the turmoil in your head when an invite comes and the reasons why you don't attend.
You know, I think you’re right. Thank you.