How can we say “no” to invitations without hurting the inviter’s feelings? Research reveals the better way to choose the most suitable “reason” when refusing invites.

When we invite people, we want them to be part of something special in our lives. This is why we feel upset when they turn them down even if they have valid reasons. So what’s a better way to say decline an invitation? According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the solution is to say, “I don’t have the money”. We don’t have full control of money, so this “reason” is more acceptable to the inviter. Time, on the other hand, is something we have equal access to; we all have 24 hours in a day. When we say “I don’t have the time”, it feels more like we choose not to go.

Still, the fact that it matters to us when we reject an offer could be a positive thing. It shows that our relationships with other people are important to us.