• Sometimes you just don’t want to go to the work event
  • Use believable excuses to bail on the event and do your own thing
  • Be consistent and over time, others will start to “get it”
It’s been a long fucking week. Multiple projects with overlapping deadlines and maybe even a few late-night sessions were part of the mix. It hasn’t been an easy week - as usual.

It’s finally Friday and you can see the finish line. You’ve only got to work through a few more hours in the afternoon and then you can disconnect from work. You’ll be free from all of the bullshit - at least for the weekend.

Just as you’re trying to finish up a few key tasks for the week, one of your coworkers comes by your desk.

“Hey, we’re having happy hour after work today to celebrate Jen’s promotion. You gotta come out and join us for a few drinks!”

You’re tired as fuck and the last thing you want to do is hang out with your coworkers. But, at the same time, you know Jen and want to show your support for her.

So, you respond, “Maybe, I’ll think about it.”

Then, as you re-focus, get in the zone and start knocking out the few last important emails, you get cc’ed and roped into a frenzied group email dialogue for the happy hour.

There’s a ton of back-n-forth banter, teasing and joking around. But, you’re not jumping into the fray. You’re quietly sitting on the sidelines just letting the buzz and excitement of the group carry on without your input.

The only thing you’re thinking of is how to get out of this work social event so that you can just go home, have some well-deserved me-time and chillax - preferably alone.

Realistic Excuses To Bail Out Of Work Social Events

There’s nothing worse than having to go to a work social event when deep down inside you’d much rather just be somewhere else or doing something else.

Most of the time, we don’t have the courage to just flat out say no to the person, right in their face, so we often resort to giving a wishy-washy answer so that we can get them off our backs.

The problem with this kind of non-committal response is that it leaves the door open for them to keep berating us to join the party and not be a loser.

You gotta be up-front, clear and stand your ground so that they know that you can’t be swayed.

Here are a bunch of realistic and believable excuses that you can use to get out of your next unwanted after-work event.

“Sorry, I can’t make it. I’m helping out my kid tonight on their school project.”

This is a great one to use because every parent has gone through this with their kid a bunch of times in the past. Pretty much every single diorama that has been made was done mostly by mom or dad with the gluing dabs by the kid.

“I would love to go but I’ve got an appointment booked months ago that I can’t change.”

There’s always some high-demand service that everybody can relate to whether it’s a hairdresser, massage therapist, etc. Just say that it was nearly impossible to get this slot and you’re not backing out of it.

“My family is having a remembrance event for a deceased relative that I can’t miss.”

Nobody will try to talk you out of a family event like this, especially if you put on a serious face to go along with it. You can only use this one maybe once or twice a year. So, be smart about it.

“I would love to go but I’m working on this project tonight at home for tomorrow’s meeting.”

This works especially well if it’s a well-known project that you’re leading. If you really want to put them on defense, ask them if they can come over and help out. You’ll definitely see them walk away fast.

“I’ve gotta take [pet’s name] to the vet because something’s seriously up. It’s been nothing but barfing.”

Many people have pets so this is something relatable. Using Fido as your excuse is a perfect way to get out of the event. Then, you and Fido can just chill together in front of the TV at home.

“I’ve got some stomach issues that I don’t want to get into. It’s TMI stuff. I’m out for the event.”

This is a great way to use your own health as a way to miss the event. Most people don’t want to know the details because that’s TMI. So, this can work in your favor.

“My babysitter just bailed out on me so I’ve gotta stay home.”

Every parent has experienced at least one babysitter that wasn’t reliable. And when they don’t show up, it screws everything else up. A nonexistent babysitter is your perfect scapegoat.

“I’m fed up with everything related to work this week. I’m done and I’m out. I just want to be alone. Maybe next time.”

Sometimes, the straight-up brutal truth can work too. Just be sure to hold your ground about wanting to be alone because most will counter this excuse with drinks as a way to blow off steam.

“It’s date night tonight with my wife/husband and I’m prioritizing that over this work event.”

When you and your partner are busy working parents, it’s next to impossible to find time for yourselves like you had when it was pre-kids. Most others will be able to understand this one.

“I’ve got a date that I’ve been looking forward to and I’m not flaking out on this one.”

Dating isn’t easy. Period. Many people that have been married for a while may not remember, but when you express your ongoing plight, they’ll get it. Be prepared for their counter reply of you bringing your “date” to the work event.

“I’ve got personal prayers to do as part of my religion.”

Very few people will overstep the boundaries of religion and try to coerce someone to ignore their religious practices. In this case, your “personal prayers” could just be watching Netflix at home.

“I’m driving my grandparents to [wherever] that day.”

Everyone respects their elders and the need to help them out when they need it. Explaining that you’ll be a chauffeur for the day will be believable.

“My kid is sick again and I’ve gotta stay home and watch him/her.”

This could actually be a legit reason for many young parents because children get sick a whole helluva lot when they’re growing up and building their immunities. Every parent has gone through this.

A Few Tips To Make It Easier

A lot of times, you may end up feeling guilty about bailing out on the work event. But, you shouldn’t for the simple reason that you just don’t feel like going and that you’d be happier doing something else, even if it’s just cyberloafing on the couch at home.

This is all about you and your happiness priorities - not theirs or the company’s. Don’t ever lose that sight of this.

Be Prepared

You don’t want to be caught off guard when Sally comes strolling by your desk asking you about the work event.

When you find out about the event, think it through and if it’s something you don’t want to attend, have your excuse lined up in your head, ready to go.

Maybe, even put a time block on your calendar so that it conflicts with the work event.

Be Polite

Remember, your coworkers are asking you to come out and join the event because they like you and want to hang out with you. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be badgering you about it to begin with.

So, don’t be a dick about it when you respond. Just be polite and say that you’ve got other plans.

Be Consistent

This is one of the key things to do. As more of these kinds of work events come up and people begin to realize that you have other higher priorities in life outside of work, they’ll slowly start getting a good idea of where you stand relative to work social events.

With time, people will eventually leave you alone when it comes to asking you about joining the work events.

Get Out Of Work Events & Just Do Your Own Thing

You spend the majority of your waking hours at work with the same people every damn day. So, it’s okay to not want to hang out with them after work too.

Yes, there will be some exceptions like maybe the annual company holiday party or your work BFF’s birthday or promotion. And when it’s only an occasional thing, it’s totally manageable.

However, when it starts becoming a weekly thing for every little reason to just party, then it’s too much. All of the promotions, retirements, new business deals closed, birthdays, farewells, welcomes, marriages, etc. start to really add up.

It’s totally understandable to want to just get away from all things related to work, even when it could be a fun social thing.

So, when me-time is more important than happy hour, be ready with your excuse to take a pass on the event.

Feel Better,

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