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I’m part of a software development team and the people engagement team in our company. This week has been extremely exhausting with both of my development work and people engagement work being really demanding. I managed to work through those but I believe that I am already burned out. Due to this, I am looking forward to the weekend so I can rest.

The problem is, friends/colleagues have organized an event after work tomorrow, Friday night. They have organized this since last week. They sent out an invitation via email and I didn’t reply since I was still unsure during that time. Now, I am convinced that I do not want to join due to my current state, both physically and mentally. However, friends and colleagues are trying to persuade me to come. I’ve said no but they are really persistent.

I am really grateful that they invited me but I am just so tired that I just want to go home as soon as possible tomorrow and rest during the weekend.

How can I effectively communicate that I can’t join because of my current state?

  • Can you add a location tag? Responses should consider the culture of the recipient; I'd propose something very different for a Northern European than for someone in Central America (for instance). – baldPrussian Oct 4 '18 at 15:04
  • have you avoided any past events frequently ? – user21996 Oct 4 '18 at 15:14
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    This is the "one off" instance of another related question, a few key differences but hopefully it proves useful interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/15358/… – Jesse Oct 4 '18 at 15:43
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If you really don't want to join them because you are too beat up from the work week, then make sure you communicate that. It is entirely possible that your co-workers think you are making up an excuse to not join in on the fun.

If you are usually up for these events, but just not this week, the best thing you can do is explain that, and suggest an alternate day or event that would work for you.

The important thing to get across is that The problem is not them. Generally this will make people much more inclined to see your side of things and stop pressuring you.

On a side note, take care in how you refuse an offer like that. If your voice has a tone of uncertainty, like you insinuated you had earlier in the week, then people will be more inclined to pressure you, because they think they can win you over. Be firm in your convictions, and people will back down more often than not.

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In general I always vote for Honesty. In this case that would be Cubemaster's approach.

Your coworkers know you and if you directly and honestly tell them that you like the idea of the event, but just need some rest they should understand. Lying with some made-up excuse works, too, but it bears unecessary risks for awkward situations. Like if someone somehow found out you have not been at X place you mentioned in your excuse.

Be direct

Sorry guys, I am very tired. I need some rest and simple relaxation at home. Work's been exhausting this week. Have fun! You can count me in for next time, though.

The last sentence just applies if you are usually very interested in events like this.

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One thing I have found that is very effective for me is to take the focus off of the event in question and place it instead on some other occasion. For example, you could say something like

"I would really like to attend the event Tomorrow, but I had something come up early Saturday morning and I have to make preparations. Let's plan something for next Friday!"

If they press for more info, just be polite and deflect with something like

"It's health related, I don't really want to get into the details"

In reality, this is honest because you are making an appointment with yourself to manage your stress (mental health). Coworkers and friends don't always need to know all of the details of what you do to take care of yourself. As an introvert, I have found this type of deflection to be very useful when trying to manage which work related events I actually have the energy for.

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