Not attending? Reasons or excuses? | INFJ Forum

Not attending? Reasons or excuses?

rainrise

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Mar 21, 2009
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Is needing space or alone time in itself an acceptable reason to not attend social events or participate in other circumstances where you're accompanied by others?

Sometimes, i find it hard to explain to someone that i won't be attending a gathering whether it be because i have in previous similar outings been drained, i don't feel energetically inclined, or that the event itself is not integrous to my values (even though i may deeply care about the people who invited me or who will be attending).

These reasons may not seem as relevant as not being able to attend because you have another gathering you accepted prior to that one, you're not feeling well (you're ill), you cannot attend because something else is more pressing (you need to work that day), etc.

I guess it may be because these reasons, when misunderstood, make it sound like you've got better things to do, that you're making a polite excuse to hide your apathy.

I don't like to resort to giving a false reason, but i have done so in the past as a means of saving their confusion (e.g. is space really that important to you? how is that you get drained and most people don't?) and emotions (e.g. if this event is not integrous to you, does that mean we're not integrous? what makes your values above ours?).
 
I don't like to resort to giving a false reason, but i have done so in the past as a means of saving their confusion (e.g. is space really that important to you? how is that you get drained and most people don't?) and emotions (e.g. if this event is not integrous to you, does that mean we're not integrous? what makes your values above ours?).
I truly think people cannot understand or even believe if you try to explain yourself^. I always get these kinds of questions too... they always make it like a personal attack
So I just lie

Actually this happened to me yesterday! My family went to a dinner and the host called my house... I answered. I was so surprised she asked me why I didn't go with them (she asked in an offended way) since I don't even live here anymore, so I don't think she even knew who I was. I ended up just mumbling some words, which she couldn't hear... and then finally I ended with "there's no space in the car."

There are also family friends who come to the house to help doing renovations and I always try to lay low... in case they start asking why I'm not attending church with everyone or any other annoyance they come up with. To the world, I like to show myself as non-existent.

Answering machine/voice mail is a life-saver!
 
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Sometimes N-primary types don't really have reasons. They just skillfully pretend so. :)

Happens to me all the time. It would have been easier to just say something that sounds reasonable and has nothing to do with my real excuse. But instead I always try to be completely honest, and eventually nobody gets my explanations, and I end up confused. "You'll see the problems multiply..." - cheers with Policy of Truth.
 
I will lie because most people will never understand and explaining it to them drains me further...
 
Why would you feel guilty for taking care of yourself? Is it me or do INFJs do best with a small group of close friends?
 
It is a totally valid reason. I actually will be up front with friends and tell them just this, as a reason for me not wanting to do anything. New friends often don't get it right away, but once people get used to me they understand and just know that it is "me" to pull something like that, and they won't look at me bad for it either. There are sometimes where friends won't understand it, but I just get adement about it and will eventually cut them off if they fail to understand.

You shouldn't feel even the slightest bit guilty for feeling this way, and wanting to use that as a reason. Besides, why lie about something that isn't needed to be lied about?
 
Dont worry. I think all of us do this hehe.

I always give some half truth excuse if I dont want to go go out eg: "I'm woking" except that I'm working in the morning and that they are asking me out at night hehe.

or if I'm too lazy I'll just say : I dont wanna go.

If they ask why, I'll reply I just dont wanna go LOL
 
Is needing space or alone time in itself an acceptable reason to not attend social events or participate in other circumstances where you're accompanied by others?
It's enough reason for me. I usually give a general reason that makes sense to people. I will tell people I am tired and need to recuperate, or that there is work I need to get done. My alone time consists of either relaxing or trying to get something done, so those reasons generally cover the truth of it as far as others are entitled to know. I try to say the least necessary, but am reassuring in terms of smiling and being polite about it.
 
If you cant attend something because you need alone time I would be very offended if you refused to attend something I put a lot of hardwork into preparing. The invitee not being at the function takes away from the event as a whole. You would be basically actively ruining my event by not being there, and that reason would be the worst to give.
 
thank you for all your responses!
 
If you cant attend something because you need alone time I would be very offended if you refused to attend something I put a lot of hardwork into preparing. The invitee not being at the function takes away from the event as a whole. You would be basically actively ruining my event by not being there, and that reason would be the worst to give.
This speaks to the issue of context. It is different if there is an invested relationship in which there is something to attend that effort has been put into. That's rather different than dealing with people in general. The amount of effort is primarily an issue if there is a relationship and mutual effort contributed over a longer context. Maintaining a balanced "give and take" is an important issue as is respecting other individual's needs even when they are different from one's own needs.

We all have limited time and energy and have to allot it where we can. Alone time is necessary for a true introvert to function. If you say "yes" to people that you are not invested in, then you may well have no energy left for those that you would rather prioritize. I think everyone has a limit that falls short of the requirements of other people. This is sometimes more true for the extrovert because more people expect socializing from them. Everyone has to say "no" to someone, and only you know how much energy and time you have to offer. Each person does have to take care of their own boundaries or they will become depleted, actually sick, and unable to attend anything.

My sister has severe fibromyalgia which causes entire body migraines and the loss of control of her arms at times. She gets lots of pressure from people for various socializing and is conscientious to comply, but even her health issues are not understood or accepted by others simply because they cannot relate to them. She once dropped a dish full of food at a function because she lost muscle control. People rarely show sympathy. For this reason and for some personal reasons, I strongly hold the position that a person has a right to their own boundaries and to take care of their personal needs. (When others don't respond to my invitations of whatever sort, I try to respect that and if they are consistently unable to respond, then I find someone else who can.) Other people have the opportunity to think the best and understand, or to pass judgment based on limited perception. After reasonable accommodation and a simple, polite explanation, their reaction is outside one's control and basically their problem.
 
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If you cant attend something because you need alone time I would be very offended if you refused to attend something I put a lot of hardwork into preparing. The invitee not being at the function takes away from the event as a whole. You would be basically actively ruining my event by not being there, and that reason would be the worst to give.

My god I hope that was a joke.

This is a good example of why stuff like social events drain me.
 
This speaks to the issue of context. It is different if there is an invested relationship in which there is something to attend that effort has been put into. That's rather different than dealing with people in general. The amount of effort is primarily an issue if there is a relationship and mutual effort contributed over a longer context. Maintaining a balanced "give and take" is an important issue as is respecting other individual's needs even when they are different from one's own needs.

We all have limited time and energy and have to allot it where we can. Alone time is necessary for a true introvert to function. If you say "yes" to people that you are not invested in, then you may well have no energy left for those that you would rather prioritize. I think everyone has a limit that falls short of the requirements of other people. This is sometimes more true for the extrovert because more people expect socializing from them. Everyone has to say "no" to someone, and only you know how much energy and time you have to offer. Each person does have to take care of their own boundaries or they will become depleted, actually sick, and unable to attend anything.

My sister has severe fibromyalgia which causes entire body migraines and the loss of control of her arms at times. She gets lots of pressure from people for various socializing and is conscientious to comply, but even her health issues are not understood or accepted by others simply because they cannot relate to them. She once dropped a dish full of food at a function because she lost muscle control. People rarely show sympathy. For this reason and for some personal reasons, I strongly hold the position that a person has a right to their own boundaries and to take care of their personal needs. (When others don't respond to my invitations of whatever sort, I try to respect that and if they are consistently unable to respond, then I find someone else who can.) Other people have the opportunity to think the best and understand, or to pass judgment based on limited perception. After reasonable accommodation and a simple, polite explanation, their reaction is outside one's control and basically their problem.


Of course if a person has a medical condition that is definitely excuseable.
 
No, why would it be a joke?

Because most of us don't have enough social energy for everyone. That and I know I won't go to something if I'm in a bad mind set.
 
Because most of us don't have enough social energy for everyone. That and I know I won't go to something if I'm in a bad mind set.

Mhm... too true. And I don't know about the rest of you but a bad mood is written all over me in facial expressions, body language, etc. Unfortunately, due to my health issues it's nearly every day.
 
Of course if a person has a medical condition that is definitely excuseable.
Agreed. The point of bringing up that example is to show that even a legitimate reason is dismissed if it is something another cannot understand or relate to personally. If someone feels entitled to have another person do something, they tend to dismiss any reason that will prevent that person from complying.

It is not possible to please everyone. No matter how often a person complies, or whatever the reasons they don't comply, there will be people who feel entitled to have them respond and who will become angry if they don't. It is all subjective. If the goal is to please all people, then plan to fail because it isn't possible. Instead, it makes sense to know personal limits and to plan with these in mind. There is no shortage of people in the world. It's easy enough to find other people to attend events or fill whatever social slot.

The issue brought up earlier that putting energy into an event entitles the person to have someone attend is deeply contextual. In order for that to be a legitimate reason to expect a response, there must be some kind of give and take relationship established or an initial agreement. To show an example of effort without an agreement of some sort, just imagine someone you had no romantic or even friendship interest in, put a great deal of effort into planning something with the expectation you would attend. If you simply had no desire to get involved with this person and said "no", they might become angry that you rejected their effort, but their entitlement existed only in their imagination. In contrast, an established relationship in which there is a give and take, and much effort has been invested by both parties, there is an issue of balance in which dismissal of effort can become a sort of violation. It is important to make the distinction because the principle of hard work and effort is not by itself connected to entitlement. Context is everything in this case.
 
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I truly think people cannot understand or even believe if you try to explain yourself^. I always get these kinds of questions too... they always make it like a personal attack
So I just lie


Answering machine/voice mail is a life-saver!

YES!!

It had got to the point with me now, where people gave up asking me a loooong time ago ;)

There are my select few friends who I LIKE hanging with and when I am not into it, I can be honest with them and they understand and love me unconditionally enough to not be offended. They just understand that I am just that way... They are: 1 INFJ, and 2 ENFJ's. They are AWESOME and the bestest ever!
 
I don't explain it. Mostly because I don't want people asking me questions, as they're wont to do.

"What do you mean you want 'alone time'? Is something the matter?"

And then I'll get a whole bunch of text messages from my friends, who don't usually contact me very often, casually asking me what's up.

I usually just say I have plans that day, or that I'm doing something with the family. If they ask me long in advance, and I just know I'm not going to feel like going to the function, I thank them for the invite, and just say I'll have to give them an answer closer to the date because I don't know what my work/assignment schedule is going to be like. And then give 'em an answer a week or two ahead of the event.

Mind you, I think it's rude to agree to something and back out at the last minute. That's when simple "alone time" becomes "I promised a friend and now I'm flaking out." That's just being dishonest.