A quick question regarding RSVPing etiquette

Say you’re invited to a company Christmas party. You don’t want to go, so you politely respond and say, “Sorry, but I won’t be able to make it. Hope you all have a great time, though!”

That’s sufficient, right? I’m not under some sort of social obligation to justify my response, am I?

Nope, not at all. Your response was just right.

Nope. Usually I write something like, “I regretfully have to pass on your very kind invitation as we have other plans that evening.” but don’t elaborate unless it’s a close friend.

If they press (“Aw, c’mon, you should come! It’ll be fun!”) you can go as far as, “Sorry, I’m busy that day.” They don’t need to know if you’re busy reading to the blind or busy staying at home and relaxing that night.

What Cat Whisperer said.
As I am doing all the prep work for a work office party this week, all the host wants to know is how much food and beverage to get. I had to chase down 20% of the invitees – please just answer, people!

I’m always up-front. Each year when people ask me why I’m not going to the corporate Christmas party, I tell them that while I’m paid to be friendly to my cow-orkers for 40 hours a week, I don’t see the need to put in that overtime for something that’s so clearly unrelated to my job description.

I think that they think I’m joking. I have no idea why.

“No, thanks, I can’t make it” is a complete sentence.

As others stated, it’s not necessary to state a reason to decline. However if you’re management it’s usually considered “good form” to show up at the Christmas Party, unless there is a reason such as religion that prevents you.

Often the higher ups will use this time to see how well you interact with the line employees, so when I’m in management I always went. When I was a wage type employee I never went

Because, otherwise, it is a rather jerkish thing to say. You just basically said I hate your guts.

Nope just that I don’t want to spend any time around them that I don’t have to.

Which is true. I’m sure some of them have redeeming qualities as human beings, I just couldn’t say which ones or what those qualities might be.

I wish I had your guts. My coworkers seem to be convinced that they are invited to my wedding reception. I’ve said that I can’t afford to invite everyone, so they are convinced I’m inviting them to the dance after the reception. While I wouldn’t mind some of them coming (some are nice people), my boss is the evil incarnate and if I saw her, it would ruin my day. I want the happiest day of my life to be the happiest day of my life. And it won’t if she’s there. I want to tell her, “You know, I can’t stand you. I’ll be nice to you while I’m on the clock, but so help me God if I ever saw you outside of work.”

Is that an American thing? In all the weddings I’ve been to, I don’t know anyone who’d invited more than one or two of their (usually ex-) co-workers.

I do know people who’ve invited themselves to weddings, and those who’ve been quite specifically uninvited after they invited themselves.

I had a phone message from an acquaintance once telling me that she hadn’t received an invite to a mutual friend’s wedding, so it was late notice but that she’d be staying with me next weekend. I called back to say that she wouldn’t be staying with me, then called the friend to let him know of the prospective crash. He called her back to let her know that she hadn’t been invited, but they’d catch up next time they were in the acquaintance’s city.

See, people like that are why you shouldn’t feel bad about saying, “Sorry, can’t make it.” and leaving it at that. People are savages.

… which is rather insulting to most people.

“Sorry. My goiter will be acting up on December 19, so I’ll be unable to attend.”

Seriously, what’s wrong with being polite? “Sorry, I won’t be able to make it.” It’s even shorter.

Because people are insistent on know ing why.

After the Christmas party notice comes out, I’d get asked 4-5 times a day whether I’m going to the Christmas party and, when I’d say “no” - initially just that, after the first couple of weeks it devolves to a “gods, no - who in the hell would want to go to something like that?” - the inevitable question is “why?”.

The answer is that we have nothing more in common than a paymaster and that spending time in your presence is somewhere between passively and actively unpleasant. If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.

The why is “because I have another committment that night”. You do. You might be busy picking your toenails, that’s between you and your toenail lint. Basic politeness.

Yeah, sheesh. A basic rule of etiquette is that even if someone is rude to you doesn’t mean it’s okay to be rude to them.

Your coworkers are indeed being rude by pressing the issue, but you don’t have to respond in kind.

Just say you have other committments or a family event or something. Lather rinse repeat.

Then again, maybe they’re bugging you about it because they have a pool going on how long it will take you to say something assholish.

“Woo hoo! 11 tries before he insulted us! I win!”
“Dang. I thought he’d hold out longer. I picked 16.”

I’m guessing they assume they’re invited because you’re talking about your wedding in front of them at work. It’s a long-standing etiquette rule that you do not discuss a party in front of someone unless you intend to invite them.