Declining an invitation
I have a situation, someone invited me to eat dinner with them, but I am not interested. If I were speaking with an english speaker, I would simply say 'nah, im not up for it'. But I know that I cant say this to a Chinese person. So my question is, how can I express this idea while meeting my three goals?
1- Let him know I don't want to go
2- Do so without sounding like a complete dickhead
3- do so without dodging the question.
Also, I have an aversion to lying, so this means that I am not willing to tell him that Im too busy, when it isn't the case. In fact, if he thinks this, then he may simply ask again in a few days, and I haven't solved the problem.
Any help would be appreciated
calkinsMay 03, 2011, 03:38 PM
I have one question, and please don't take this the wrong way. Are you and/or is he gay? It makes a big difference if he is asking you on a date or just to dinner as friends.
PurrfecdizzoMay 03, 2011, 03:50 PM
No, its cool. I don't think he is pursuing a date. I think his primary motive is to be with a free English teacher for a couple of hours.
Ah yes, I have run across similar situations. Perhaps you can take advantage of this as well. Ask him if he would be willing to split languages, first hour in Chinese, second hour in English. Even if his English is far better than your Chinese, stick to the gameplan. There may be some awkward moments, but those are great opportunities for learning Chinese. Make sure you settle on speaking Chinese for the first half - who knows, maybe he just wants a foreign friend and speaking English isn't important (unlikely, but you never know). He is asking you, so he should have no problems adhering to your conditions! If he says no, there's your out.
humanitad-chinaMay 03, 2011, 03:51 PM
Say you're busy recently, and you cannot go. Don't forget to smile. But this should be done when they ask. It's not good to cancel after you already agreed.
If it's the person you want to avoid, declining twice will do the trick. I've never known anyone to ask more than twice (to decline once is usually enough). It's a loss of face if they ask over and over again and always get rejected. Also, as long as you give a polite excuse (ie - BUSY), then you save them face.
If you want to be friends with the person, then you should invite them within the next month.
If you want to avoid stuffing yourself for health/weight reasons, say that recently you are a little 不舒服 and do not eat in restaurants. But you'd be happy for tea. But this is not a good excuse to use if it's the person you want to avoid... They might then be knocking on your door to 拜访。
Don't create a big story. If you are firm, they will not be persistent.
begin with: 不好意思！
humanitad-chinaMay 03, 2011, 04:04 PM
those english teacher dinners can be Excruciating, huh? I've had (usually boys) ask me "how do you say this in english" for hours at a time. Even had one prepare a list of topics... Oh, i have learned this lesson too many times... I'm pretty forward nowadays, especially with students. If I answer in English, I use a simple "no, thank you," (with a BIG smile) without any excuse. If I use Chinese, then I go with the more 委婉 excuse。
The simple "No Thank you" is dangerous. I had a girl directly ask me once "Do you just not want to come?" I laughed and toyed with the idea of saying, "That's right." But I said I had something to do. I actually think she was taken aback by my direct answer. thats enough on and on from me...
bodaweiMay 03, 2011, 10:59 PM
'I have a situation, someone invited me to eat dinner with them, but I am not interested.'
Wow - I've never had this. I've turned down invitations to cultural events, weekend trips away, even a holiday in Bali, but never turned down dinner when someone else in paying. :)