18 Excuses To Not Hang Out With Someone (Good & Bad)

Have you ever been invited somewhere but you weren’t feeling it? We all get into those situations where we have to devise an excuse to get out of plans.

Excuses To Not Hang Out With Someone

Having a couple of believable excuses is useful when you aren’t up to hanging out. But be careful. You don’t want to make a habit of lying to your friends. And some excuses could hurt feelings or come across as insensitive.

In this article, you’ll look at excuses that tend to work when you want to stay in versus ones to avoid. Some excuses keep it friendly but straightforward. Others can damage trust with buddies. Read on to prepare your excuse arsenal before the next invite you’d instead pass up.

Good Excuses To Not Hang Out With Someone

1. I’m not feeling well

It’s understandable they’d have to decline an invite politely when someone’s sick. Your friends won’t pressure you if they think you’re not well.

It’s best to say something like, “I’ve been feeling rundown today,” or “I woke up with a bad headache.” This excuse can help you navigate turning down plans without bailing on someone.

2. I have to work

Having a work shift is an excellent excuse that can take precedence if you don’t want to make plans to hang out. 

Say something like, “I just got scheduled to work that night,” or “My boss needs me to cover an extra shift.” Friends will understand if your job has to take priority.

3. I’m running late/got held up

Pretending something came up that made you late is a believable reason to avoid hanging out when you’d rather stay home. Use this as an excuse when going out with friends feels challenging.

Get specific instead of just saying you’re running late. For example, “I got stuck waiting for a tow truck” or “My little sister locked herself out of the house.” 

4. I have an early morning

Having to get up early the next day is a foolproof excuse your mom or dad would be able to say yes to. Use this when it’s someone you don’t want to spend extra time with.

Say something like, “I volunteered to open the shop tomorrow,” or “I have a big test I need to study for tonight.” This excuse gives you a genuine reason to avoid hanging out without hurting feelings.

5. Family emergency

Pretending a family member has an emergency can work, but it is one of the more complex excuses to pull off. Use this as a last-minute reason to get out of plans if you’re going through a rough time and don’t want to go out.

Get specific instead of just saying there’s a family emergency. For example, “My grandma was rushed to the hospital” or “My little cousin got lost at the mall.” This urgent-sounding excuse can help you avoid hanging out when you need some alone time.

6. I’m exhausted

Saying you’re worn out is a great excuse to get out of going out when you don’t feel like hanging out. Use this excuse when you don’t want to be rude if someone is going somewhere that doesn’t interest you.

It’s best to be honest and say something like, “I’m completely drained today” or “I barely got any sleep last night.” Friends won’t pressure you if they think you’re too tired. This excuse validates your decision to decline an invite instead of bailing on someone politely.

7. I don’t have money to go out

Not having spare cash can be an excuse when you must take precedence over making plans to hang out. Use this excuse when you don’t want to spend time or energy to socialize.

Say something like, “I’m trying to save up for something,” or you need to save in general. Most people understand if finances have to take priority over non-essential outings.

8. I already have plans

Pretending you double-booked yourself is a believable excuse to avoid plans when you’d rather stay home. Use this excuse when hanging out with people feels like a challenge.

Coming across as regretful that you already made other arrangements can help when you need a reason to avoid hanging out.

9. I have to study

Having a big exam soon is a foolproof excuse even parents would support you using. Say you need to cram for a physics test or finish a major project that’s due if going out doesn’t interest you.

Rather than saying, “I don’t want to go,” disguising it as schoolwork responsibility that cannot wait gives you a genuine-sounding reason to decline that no one can argue with.

Bad Excuses To Not Hang Out With Someone

1. My car broke down (too easy to offer solutions)

Lying that your car won’t start can seem like a valid excuse to get out of plans when you’re not interested in going. But it’s too easy for friends to offer fixes like giving you a ride.

Whatever the reason you want to avoid hanging out with family and friends or attending an event, making up elaborate lies often feels like a lot of work compared to being honest.

2. Using too many excuses (raises suspicion)

When you keep listing reasons why you can’t go, it can seem suspicious — as if you’re trying hard to avoid the problem.

Instead of saying, “I’m not up for it tonight,” stringing together excuses makes it look like you don’t want to hang out with that friend or significant other. Stick to one excuse that seems believable. Multiple excuses usually raise doubts.

3. Not responding (hurts feelings)

Ignoring the plans you made with someone is one of the worst ways to cancel plans without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Always respond to reschedule or politely decline instead of ghosting friends. Using an excuse to get out of going gives a reason versus leaving the person wondering if you’re blowing them off.

4. Agreeing to go but not showing up (very rude)

Saying you’ll go and then not showing up is extremely rude. Your friends took the time to go and waited for you.

Always use an excuse to cancel ahead of time if you know you won’t follow through and show up. Leaving friends hanging hurts people’s feelings and damages trust.

5. Food poisoning (too dramatic)

Claiming a sudden illness like food poisoning often seems overly dramatic compared to saying you’re not up for going out. It also raises suspicion if you seem fine shortly after.

Instead of lying about health issues, be honest when you don’t feel like honoring plans. You can politely raincheck for another time rather than make crazy excuses.

6. I’m too busy (dismissive)

Using “busy” makes it sound like you don’t have time to hang out with the person rather than saying you’d rather not go.

Come up with a more specific excuse that cancels your plans if you are afraid, to tell the truth about not wanting to go somewhere.

7. I’m too tired (overused)

We all get tired often, so this excuse can sound insincere and overused instead of a valid reason to cancel plans.

It’s usually best, to be honest, if you’re afraid to tell someone you don’t feel like making time to hang out instead of lying to people about being too tired. Come up with a more convincing excuse or politely decline the invite.

8. Faking a family member’s death (insensitive)

Making up a story about a loved one dying is highly insensitive. Don’t ever lie to people about serious matters like death or illness.

It’s better to directly say you’d rather not commit to plans instead of lying about traumatic things to get out of going places with someone.

9. Pretending you just got dumped (too much potential drama)

Claiming you suddenly got left can make people overly worried about you and lead to dramatic conversations. Making up excuses about traumatic things often backfires by creating more potential drama.

Final Thoughts

Having a few believable excuses to avoid hanging out can be helpful. But don’t damage friendships with insensitive excuses or by lying too often.

Consider if there are kinder ways to politely decline invites before resorting to elaborate stories. And know that occasionally wanting to stay home instead of constant social plans is reasonable self-care, not rejection of loved ones.

With some thoughtful preparation for saying “no thanks,” you can spare hurt feelings and enjoy needed alone time without excuses.