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Today's column

Posted by Robin Abrahams  February 3, 2013 10:16 AM

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... is online here. A sample, in which I advise not giving a reason when you decline an invitation to a large event:

1) Reasons can be argued with. And some people will--often the very people whose events you most want to avoid, coincidentally enough.

2) Reasons will be argued with (inside the inviter's mind). Even if the other person wouldn't dream of trying to strong-arm you into attending her child's bar mitzvah, she won't be able to keep from mentally evaluating your excuse relative to her invitation. You could hurt someone's feelings and not realize it.

3) Sooner or later, you'll have an event that you simply don't want to attend or a reason for not attending that you don't want to disclose ... If you've been giving friends and family excuses for your absences all along, it will look suspicious when you don't.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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