Introverts: say "No" and stay home!

A recent study published by the American Psychological Association determines that declining an invitation is A-OK.

Have you ever agonized over "Do I really have to go?" because the answer appears to be "Probably not." Folks who worry saying "no" to an invitation will cause social drama or stress are overthinking it, according to this new study. Just be polite, and everyone will assume you've got other commitments.

All that said, in the present work, we find that people tend to exaggerate the negative ramifications that arise from declining invitations to participate in fun social activities. In other words, invitees—those who are invited by someone to do something— overestimate how negatively inviters—those who extend the invitation—react to invitation declines. Drawing on research on introspection (e.g., Pronin, 2008, 2009), perceived perspective taking (e.g., Goldstein et al., 2014; Long & Andrews, 1990), the actor–observer bias (e.g., Jones & Nisbett, 1972; Pronin & Kugler, 2010), and related areas, we find that this misprediction is driven, in part, by invitees overestimating the degree to which inviters focus on the act of the invitee declining the invitation as opposed to the deliberations that went through the invitee's head prior to declining.

I also have adopted the "Irish Goodbye" as my favorite way to exit a party. I've recently instituted rules that say 1) I must stay for as long as it took me to drive to the party (Los Angeles struggles!) and 2) as soon as I start thinking I'd rather be home, I go there.