Weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties, graduation parties, holidays, and other special occasions should fill you with excitement rather than dread, according to experts. Through inappropriate behaviour or the instigation of drama, an annoying guest can jeopardise the enjoyment of the event. If you are concerned about the behaviour of bothersome relatives, you may choose to exclude them from your gathering. Before you decline an invitation, think about the ramifications of doing so carefully and rationally. After that, engage in a sincere discussion with your relative. Additionally, knowing how to deal with common scenarios that may arise when dealing with obnoxious relatives may be beneficial.
Method 1 Choosing a Course of Action
1. Recognize that you may be branded as a “bad guy” in some circles. If you are rescinding an invitation that you previously sent, keep in mind that doing so may not endear you to the person who sent the invitation or to the other guests at the event. To withdraw an invitation after it has been sent out is considered poor etiquette in most situations.
Your decision will almost certainly be met with hostility by the individual. Depending on the circumstances, this could even jeopardise your relationship with them or others.
2. Consider the advantages and disadvantages. Due to the possibility of negative consequences from withdrawing an invitation from a family member, it is important to carefully consider your reasoning before doing so. What has the individual done to earn the right to no longer be invited?
Have you recently had a disagreement with the person and are choosing to withdraw the invitation due to feelings of guilt? Has there ever been an incident that made you question their ability to act in a proper manner?
Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of not having this person present. A pro may be concerned with “avoid[ing] a commotion after they have consumed too much alcohol.” A con might be something along the lines of “they’ll make a big deal if you don’t show up.” Examine your list to determine if cancelling the invitation is the best course of action in this situation.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to cancel an invitation in all cases. The best course of action in some cases will be to decline the invitation rather than accept it.
3. Inquire for assistance. Making the decision to not invite a relative is a difficult one, and it is not one that should be taken lightly. It may be beneficial to talk about the situation with a close friend or other relative in whom you have faith. Make contact with this individual and ask for their opinion.
It is possible that you will say, “I am seriously considering not inviting Rachel to the barbecue.” When I heard about the saga she caused at the Andersons’ gathering the other week, I knew I didn’t want that kind of commotion at my own gathering. “What are your thoughts?”
4. Determine whether or not a different arrangement would be preferable. Before you make the decision to completely uninvite someone, consider whether there are any other methods you can use to manage their behaviour while still allowing them to attend.
For example, if your relative has difficulty maintaining control over their behaviour while drinking, you might restrict their access to alcoholic beverages or completely remove alcoholic beverages from the menu for all guests.
In the case of two relatives who are at odds with one another, you may be able to accommodate both in attendance by separating the two families. Seat them far apart from one another and designate a point person to ensure that contact is strictly prohibited.
Make a decision about whether or not you want a relative who has a habit of cursing, telling inappropriate jokes, or otherwise stirring up trouble to agree to change their behaviour for the event. For example, you might say something like, “Hi, Joel. I know you have a hard time keeping that potty mouth under control, but there will be some conservative guests in attendance who will not be comfortable with curse words.” Are you able to be conscious of your language? If that is the case, I would greatly appreciate it if you could attend.”
Method 2 Being Upfront with Your Relative
1. If at all possible, have the conversation face to face with the other person. If you come to the conclusion that the only way forward is to uninvite the individual, make sure to do so in a diplomatic manner. In-person communication would be the most courteous method of accomplishing this. Inviting the individual to meet with you privately is a good idea.
You could invite them out for lunch or a cup of coffee and have a conversation with them. “How about you and I go out for coffee on Tuesday?” you might say to Uncle Tom. I need to speak with you about something important.” It is possible that choosing a public location will reduce the likelihood of your relative becoming irate or making a scene.
Make a phone appointment with your annoying relative if they live out of town so that you can speak with them. It is best not to uninvite guests via email or social media platforms. Make every effort to approach the situation in a mature manner, even if it is difficult. This will increase the likelihood that you will be able to maintain your future relationship with this individual.
2. Be forthright in stating your reasons. Preparation for the discussion should begin as soon as possible. Review your list of advantages and disadvantages. Create a script to guide the conversation and run it through a few times before you meet with the group. When you’re having the conversation, try to be courteous while also being firm. Avoid using ambiguous language. Explain your reasoning in a succinct and straightforward manner.
You might say something like, “I’m glad you decided to meet with me, Uncle Tom.” This is a difficult decision for me to make, but I know it is the right one. Due to the fact that you and your father are still at odds, I believe it is best if you do not attend the wedding. My fiancé and I really want the event to be calm and low-key, and we’re hoping for that. And you and your partner haven’t even been able to stay in the same room without arguing recently. I trust you have grasped the situation.”
If this individual has previously been in trouble for their behaviour or has a history of inappropriate behaviour, it is likely that they will respect your decision.
3. Please do not apologise. Saying “I’m sorry” sends the message that you’ve made a mistake and gives the impression that you are taking responsibility for their bad behaviour. Don’t feel bad if you have to decline an invitation to a relative because of their behaviour. Even though you are not responsible for the actions of other adults, you are responsible for the overall satisfaction of the other guests at the event. If you’re concerned that the person will ruin the affair, don’t hold it against yourself if you decide to exclude them.
You could say something like, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings,” instead of saying, “I’m sorry.” This demonstrates that your decision was made with the best of intentions while also demonstrating that you stand by your choice.
4. If they react negatively, maintain your composure. Your loved one may have a negative reaction to this situation, which you should be prepared for. If they are not invited, it can feel humiliating to them, so please be understanding. Don’t take anything they say as a personal attack on you. Simply maintain your composure and offer your assistance.
You could say something like, “I can tell you’re upset, because your face says so. I had no intention of hurting you, but I believe this is the best course of action.”
Method 3 Handling Common Issues
1. Inform them that you have a limited number of guests. Sometimes a relative may have been unintentionally invited to a gathering. Perhaps you made a mistake when creating an event on Facebook and accidentally selected their name. Alternatively, it’s possible that you mentioned an event in their presence and they assumed they were invited. Whatever the case may be, you may be able to concoct a plausible reason for having to turn them down.
“Jessica, I accidentally clicked on your name when I was setting up the page for Samantha’s baby shower,” you could say. Even though it would have been nice for you to attend, we have to keep the guest list to a maximum of 15 people. Please accept my apologies for what has occurred.”
2. Please accept my apologies on behalf of someone who spoke on your behalf. It is appropriate to express regret for any invitations that have been extended without your permission. You might say something like, “Hey, Derrick. Ronnie informed me that he had brought up the party with you the previous week. That was something he shouldn’t have done. Our guest list is extremely limited in number. Please accept my apologies for the confusion.”
Even better, you could suggest that the person who made the mistake take care of the situation himself or herself. “I saw Regina the other day, and she’s under the impression that she’s been invited to the party,” you should tell them. She has a tendency to overindulge in alcoholic beverages, and I am concerned that she will cause a commotion. “Could you please remove her from the invitation list?”
3. Those who invite themselves should be dealt with firmness. Some family members automatically assume that they are welcome to attend any event hosted by their relatives without checking with them first. Perhaps they did not receive a formal invitation but still intend to attend. Allow them to come to a gentle stop.
For example, you may overhear your cousin discussing what she will wear to your bridal shower and decide to intervene. You might say something like, “Oh, Candice, I had no idea you were planning to come.” The shower that will take place next weekend will be exclusively for coworkers. Nevertheless, I would welcome the opportunity to get together with you at a later date, simply for the two of us.”
4. Other guests may decide to skip the event, so be prepared. The worst outcome of refusing to invite one guest is that other guests refuse to come as a show of solidarity with the uninvited guest. Determine how important their presence is to you before attempting to persuade them to attend. However, do not allow yourself to be coerced into inviting an unwelcome guest to your event.
Maintain your resolve, even if it means that a few people will not support your decision entirely.
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