n de latest episode of Successionprofessional side character and Waystar Roy Co-board member Sandi Furness discusses how she declined Connor Roy‘s wedding invitation when she mumbles the somewhat throwaway line, “That was such a sorry no.”
Of course, we know this is complete nonsense, but it’s such a well-placed, understated way of saying, “I don’t want to come to your wedding because I don’t like you or your partner enough to spend my precious time on.” ,” that you just have to marvel at it. The rudest stupidity in the world packed into a neat little digestible bite.
The perfect decline is an underrated, underused and priceless art form. It’s not easy to turn down an invitation to something big like someone’s wedding or a milestone birthday and leave a completely unscathed relation. Far too many of us have accepted invitations to events when we’ve sunk two glasses winefound ourselves in a nice mood and the person asking is sitting right across from us, so staying away from their eyeline won’t quite do the trick this time.
It is not my habit to suggest that as a society we should take notes on decency Succession, of all things, but maybe Sandi Furness was on to something. Here’s how to steal her style and slay unwanted plans with subtlety.
Show remorse, but not a nauseating amount
“A Sorry No” is so masterful because it’s just delicate enough to almost make you believe Sandi wanted to come, but not so much that you’d ask. won’t you just say yes? This is the fragile center of the Venn diagram in which you must deftly position yourself.
Too many times I’ve turned down an invite and said I’m “discouraged” about not making it, only to find alternatives to my excuse, or reason why I should actually join, as if the inviter believes that I, the invitee, really am stupid not to be there. Some people really can’t take a hint, so make sure you don’t go too hard: “I’m sorry”, not “I’m so sorry”, then “I can’t make it that day” and finally, “but have a great time.” Simple, vague, forgettable You have successfully slipped through their net.
The backward double book
This is a personal favorite and perhaps the only viable way to say no to something as big as a wedding. As everyone knows, it is one big say no to a wedding if you have no real reason (such as another wedding, or if you broke your leg). But the day the “Save The Date” text arrives, or the RSVP arrives in the mail, you’ve got what you need: the day of the year when you’re suddenly, inexplicably, irreversibly busy.
“Oh how nice that your wedding is on May 5, but unfortunately I will be in the Maldives with my whole family that week,” you can say, or, “What, you’re getting married on June 24? Rats, I’m following a six-day intensive diving course in South Africa!” What they don’t need to know is that you booked these events 30 minutes after receiving your invite, and you purposefully didn’t purchase travel insurance so you can’t change your flights.
NB: This is a free card to get out of jail and, unless you’re wealthy at the Succession level, obviously can’t be reused very often. But if you’re in a huge huff, book that bizarre bucket list activity you’ve always dreamed of and don’t look back.
Choose your bail
If you’ve burned someone badly before — a missed wedding, a forgotten birthday — make sure they remember that and they take note. However, the art of decline is just that, an art form: not only can’t you refuse too often, you must also have a history of decline or your friend will be crushed beyond recovery after mentally making space for you.
Do you think Roman Roy will show up at every event he’s invited to? Would Shiv be there for your baby shower? No, because they’re busy, nasty people, and as such you don’t expect them to be there, so when they come it’s a pleasant surprise (well, maybe not when Logan shows up). Make yourself a desirable addition to events, not a necessity, and your release will be much better received – after all, you can’t disappoint someone if they already have no hope!
The honest approach
Maybe I’m just saying this because I like to vicariously watch people blow their lives up, but sometimes the bomb has to fall. You’ve just read about 800 words of guidelines on how to reject a partner without getting in trouble, which means it may be worth exploring why you’re so anxious to avoid a particular event or friend.
If you were real Succession-born, would you flat out tell your friend why you don’t want to go to their event. If you really hate your boyfriend’s fiancée, it might be worth having a word before the wedding, rather than heading off on their big day for an impromptu Antarctic expedition. If you’d rather stay home than go to someone’s birthday party, say it: maybe they still love you after all. And if you find yourself canceling on a partner several times in a row, you may never want to see them again!
Our days are numbered and I’ve spent too much money on gifts, dresses and bad drinks in substandard pubs to show up anywhere I don’t want to be these days. I’m sorry, but it’s a sorry no from me.