There are days when all you want is just to be alone. This may happen few and scattered times or may occur more frequently than normal. On such days meeting up with friends or going to an event feels like a big deal; this is normal behavior. According to psychologists, our personality traits may have a big role to play in this. This article explains why you feel this way sometimes and how you can use good excuses to not hang out.
Does Your Personality Affect Your Social Life
Psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to identify the unique personality traits in humans. Extroverts are people who enjoy being around others. It is believed that they draw their strength from hanging out in groups or social events. They tend to avoid being alone and may be considered to be a ‘people person’ or ‘life of the party.
On the other hand, an introvert is considered to be the opposite of an extrovert. Although they may enjoy hanging out in groups or socializing with others, they may not do this frequently. They draw their strength from solitude and will more often than not be found alone, enjoying their own company. When socializing, they may only be able to enjoy this for short periods.
The interesting revelation of the study on personalities is that everyone exhibits both personalities. Some people may be more of an extrovert while others might be more of an introvert. This can be distinguished by observing their behaviors in social settings. Their personality type is referred to as either an ambivert or an omnivert. While an ambivert might portray both extrovert and introvert personalities at all times, an omnivert will display the extremes of one personality at a particular time.
Don’t Feel Like Hanging Out? How Do You Get Out of it?
Since we have established that your personality type may influence when and how you prefer to socialize, let us explore some good excuses to not hang out.
- Medical Emergencies
This might be the most full-proof excuse to get out of a social event. The list of medical emergencies is long, making this excuse unlimited.
- PMS/Cramping: This is a great excuse since it is an inevitable monthly occurrence. The pain and emotional effects that accompany menstruation cannot be taken for granted. Some people may experience extreme abdominal cramping that may be debilitating. Other people may experience extreme mood swings making them unpleasant to be around. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hi dear, I woke up with the worst cramps today. I am sorry but I will not be able to join you at the pool party. Please pass my apologies to your sister.”
- Migraine or Headache: A headache or migraine is as unpredictable as they come. One minute you are fine and the next you are doubling over in blinding pain. Stimulus like bright lights and loud noises may make a headache worse. This makes having a headache a great excuse for not hanging out. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey John, my migraine just isn’t letting up. I have taken some pain medication and I hope it will die down. If it doesn’t then I will not be able to join you for golf today.”
- Running Stomach: It is not fun to be out and about with an unsettled stomach. If you need to use the bathroom every 10 minutes then it’s probably not a good idea to be out in public. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hi Lisa, I ate some bad seafood yesterday and I can’t stop running to the bathroom every 5 minutes. I am sorry but I won’t be able to join you for the hike today.”
- Flu: Having the flu is an uncomfortable situation. With a runny nose, congested chest, and on and off fever, you are probably not in the right condition to socialize. In addition to the fact that the flu is contagious, it is a great excuse not to hang out. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I think I am coming down with the flu, I don’t think I want to be out and about tomorrow. Pass my apologies to mum.”
- COVID-19: This has to be the most valid excuse not to hang out at the moment. You could be infected with the virus, have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus, or are simply paranoid about getting infected. A COVID-19 excuse is unbeatable. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey guys, I tested positive for COVID yesterday. I am sorry to miss out on the camping trip but I have to quarantine for 7 days.”
- Nausea: Food poisoning, allergies, or illness might cause one to vomit uncontrollably. This is highly uncomfortable and unpredictable. A slight smell or taste may aggravate the condition. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I have been throwing up all day. I think it’s something I ate. I am sorry but I won’t be joining you for dinner today.”
- Pregnancy: Being pregnant is a beautiful experience and sometimes the best excuse not to hang out. Be it that you are too tired, too nauseous, have swollen feet, too emotional, or have outgrown all your outfits, pregnancy can provide the perfect excuse to miss out on anything. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey Kyle, funny story. My baby bump grew so much over the past week, nothing in my closet fits me anymore. I don’t think I can make it for dinner today.”
- Work Emergencies
This is another all-time winner when it comes to giving an excuse not to hang out. Depending on the type of work you are involved in, a work emergency can come in handy once in a while. Whether it’s covering a shift for someone, repairing a broken down piece of equipment, or going into surgery, work emergencies are rarely frowned upon. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey buddy, can we reschedule lunch for next week? Something came up at work, hope you can understand.”
- Family Emergencies
The complexities of a family dynamic are unique to everyone. Emergencies in the family may come in all shapes and forms. Some common family emergencies include a sick family member, a family member who has been involved in an accident, or a death in the family. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hi Gigi, I am rushing my daughter to the hospital, she’s having an asthma attack. I won’t make it to the barbecue. Please pass my apologies to Gracie.”
- Mechanical Issues
You are ready to leave the house and your car won’t start. This is a perfect excuse to miss out on the fun. You will probably need a tow truck to collect the car or a mechanic to have a look at it. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“My junky car won’t start! I am waiting for the mechanic to come over and look at it. I don’t think I’ll be joining you today.”
- Double Booked My Day
If you are a busy person, this may happen to you often. You were invited to an event a month ago and agreed to go to another happening on the same day 2 weeks later. Flaking out on meeting up with your friends or a birthday party may not be great but inevitable. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Ooooh no, I forgot about Lola’s christening that’s happening today. I can’t afford to miss it. She’s my only niece. Can we reschedule the lunch date?”
- Wardrobe Malfunction
The worst thing that could happen to you is suffering a wardrobe malfunction. You have been planning to attend a party all week and have already picked out the outfit of the day. Disaster strikes and your outfit is ruined and you have nothing else to wear. This is a perfect excuse not to attend the party, don’t you think so? Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“You won’t believe what just happened! My jeans ripped smack in the middle while I was getting into the cab. Sorry babe, let’s do dinner another time.”
- Home Emergencies
In a home, you might experience several emergencies like a burst water pipe, a leaking gas pipe, a broken window, or a faulty electrical installation. These types of emergencies usually require immediate attention. A worthy excuse not to attend any social event. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey, Don, the water pipe in my basement burst. There’s water everywhere. I am going to have to miss the party and get this fixed.”
- My Phone Died
So you had a busy day and forgot to charge your phone, it happens to all of us. This is a valid reason to miss out on any unplanned event. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I am so sorry for missing the party. My phone died and I only saw your message today morning.”
- Oops I forgot
Sometimes life happens and we forget about things we had booked in our diaries or planned to do. This is understandable and would be a valid excuse to miss a hangout session. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Was Jamie’s performance set for today? I forgot about it. Please tell him I am sorry I can’t make it. I will take him out for pizza next week.”
- Pet Sitter Issues
If you are an animal lover then you know how difficult it can be to leave your pet’s home alone. Most pet owners need to engage the services of a pet sitter every time they need to leave the house. If a pet sitter is not available to watch your pets then attending a social function might be difficult. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey Dorit, Teddy’s been fussing all day and I can’t get a sitter. Remember how he trashed the house last time I left him home alone? Please go on without me. I will come by next week.”
- Babysitter Issues
The same applies to young children. If the guardian or parent does not have alternative options for a babysitter then it is highly unlikely that they will be attending any social events that day. Young children cannot be left home alone without supervision. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I couldn’t get a babysitter tonight. I am so bummed out to be missing girls’ night out. Please have fun on my behalf. Kisses to everyone.”
- Bad Weather
The weather plays a significant role in our ability to socialize. If it is too hot, too cold, too windy, or rainy, then one may not be inclined to leave the comfort of their home. A sudden weather change may completely ruin a perfect event and its attendance. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“This rain isn’t letting up. I don’t think I will make it to the barbecue today. I don’t want to catch a cold. Pass my apologies to everyone.”
- Lack of Transportation
Depending on where a social event is taking place it might not be possible for everyone to get there. This is especially true for someone who does not own a vehicle or have access to a taxi service. It might be an inconvenience to other party-goers to ensure the individual is picked from or dropped back home. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I don’t want to put anyone out by having to drop and pick me up. Maybe we can hang out next week at Scoobies.”
- Frenemies and Exes
Everybody knows somebody that they don’t get along with well or that they fell out with. There is an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend around the corner somewhere that you do not wish to be around. It is highly uncomfortable when this person is a mutual friend to yours or you roll in the same circles. If they are attending a social affair that you have been invited to and you do not feel like interacting with them, this is a great excuse not to hang out. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I guess you heard that Frankie and I aren’t together anymore and I know he’ll be at the party with his new girlfriend. I don’t want to cause a scene when I see them. I am not going to make it to the party. Sorry for the short notice.”
- Emotional Rollercoaster
Certain days you wake up and you are just not yourself. You may be feeling extremely anxious or sad or just plain moody. On such days all you want is to be left alone. Going to an event when you are going through an emotional phase may not be a good idea for anyone. This is a good excuse to stay home or flake out on a pre-planned social engagement. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey, woke up feeling out of it today and I don’t think I can be around people today. I am too moody, I’ll just end up being a party pooper. Can we do drinks next week instead? My treat.”
- Bad Hair Day
Whether you are hooking up with your family, friends, or colleagues you always have to look your best. Having a bad hair day does not make it easy to feel good or look nice when you need to. Be it a bad haircut, frizzy hair, or a back-fired hairdo, a bad hair day can get you out of hanging out. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I can’t go out looking like this. My hair looks like it’s been through a lawnmower. I am sorry babe, we are going to have to reschedule this date night.”
- Can’t Go Out, I Am Grounded
As a teenager, it must be rough when you get grounded and are not allowed to take part in social activities. Being grounded means you cannot leave the house for social reasons probably because you broke some serious rules at home. This is a legitimate excuse not to hang out with your friends. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Can you believe I broke curfew last week? Well, I am grounded and mom won’t let me leave the house today. This is so unfair. Can I make it up to you next week?”
- I Don’t Have Permission
Whilst you may not be grounded, you may need to get permission from your guardians or partner to attend a social event or hang out with your friends. Getting permission to go out may depend on several things including the type of event, time of the event, duration of the event, people attending the event, and many more. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“Hey, I am not going to be able to hang out tonight. You know how dad gets when he hears about nighttime events. Maybe we can get some ice cream tomorrow and you can catch me up.”
- I Am Overstimulated
As earlier discussed, our personality types influence how we socialize. If you are an introvert, omnivert, or ambivert there are times when you may feel like your socializing cup is empty. These personality types have a limited period for socializing before they need to get back to their cocoon and recharge. Here’s an example of how to use this excuse;
“I overdid it last week. I can’t be around people today. I need some alone time to recharge. Hope you understand. Maybe we can get together next week and catch up.”
- The Truth Will Set You Free
When you run out of excuses, always remember honesty is the best policy. There will be times when you just do not feel like hanging out and there is nothing wrong with admitting this. A good friend will understand if you tell them that you honestly do not feel like hanging out.
Etiquette When You Decide Not To Hang Out
Missing out on a planned social event or an impromptu hangout can be excused once or twice. Making it a regular theme can however be frustrating for your friends, family, or colleagues. There are a few etiquettes and social cues that should be considered when you are intending to miss out on an event.
- Timing: give your excuse or reason for not hanging out in advance. It is appropriate to give at least a 24-hour notice to the host that you will not be attending. This helps them better plan for the event. However, in case there is an emergency and an advance notice is not possible, just make sure to inform the host as soon as you can.
- Appreciation: getting an invite to an event is a great honor. Even if you will not be attending it is courteous to thank the host for inviting you.
- Apologize: there is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning a social event. If you plan not to attend it is only right that you apologize to the host for not attending.
- Reschedule: depending on the type of engagement, there may be the need for it to be rescheduled. Courtesy dictates that if you give an excuse to not attend an event you should offer to reschedule or make up for it.
Lying to the people you care about is not good practice but sometimes it’s the only thing you can do to avoid hurting their feelings. Choosing not to hang out with your friends, family or colleagues can cause permanent damage to these relationships. If you choose to do so, just remember to use the right excuse, be polite, apologize and thank them for inviting you. A good excuse can get you out of a lot of tight jams. Just make sure that you are not always giving excuses not to hang out and that you are not overusing the same excuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why don’t I want to hang out with my friends?
Not wanting to hang out with your friends may be caused by a variety of things including your mood, your personality, and other external factors. This is normal and may happen without notice.
- Can my pet be an excuse for not hanging out?
Yes. If your pet cannot be left home alone or if it is unwell and needs to see a vet, then this can be a legitimate excuse to not hang out.
- Can I use the same excuse not to hang out every time?
As valid as an excuse may seem, using it all the time to get out of hanging out may not be a good idea. This is especially true if you use the excuse with the same group of people all the time. It would be easier to just be honest than keep using the same excuse over and over again.