How to Graciously Say No to Social Interaction (and What to Do Instead!) | Do Say Give

How to Graciously Say No to Social Interaction (and What to Do Instead!)


What is a gracious way to decline a social invitation or gathering right now? Even from family members. We’ve got “what to say” in this post!

It is so hard to say no to friends and schoolmates. Teens are wanting to hang out with their peers. Grandparents want to see their grandchildren. But if we are to really “social distance” we need to say no to unnecessary social interaction. James Denison had a great article saying we should really call it physical distancing instead.

So how can you graciously say no? 

When declining an offer, I like starting with the phrase “I know you’ll understand” because rarely will someone push back when you make that plea. Then add, “we are social distancing right now to protect (our loved ones/ our medical community/my aging parents). 

What about family members who want to get together? Parents and in-laws that want to see their grandchildren or want to kindly help care for them because they see you’ve got your hands full? 

Tell them you are saying no to them out of love.

I watched a talk by Tim Keller last night and he said, “We are loving you by declining your offer.” Love that.

So what can we do with friends and grandparents instead? 

  • Sing and wave outside grandparents’ windows and vice versa!
  • Facetime! Did you know you can have a Facetime party? Get all your extended family on a big Facetime group!
  • Have grandparents read to them on a daily Facetime session or involve grandparents somehow in the school work (smart!)
  • Decorate sidewalk with chalk for a morning surprise!
  • Start an extended family group text – fun to involve teens and tweens that have a phone!
  • Zoom conferencing with friends, family and classmates!
  • Use walkie talkies to talk when they drive or walk by (make it fun!)  
  • Practice the art of letter writing! Grandparents would love it and the correspondence would be a sweet memory from this hard time! 
  • Practice phone manners. How about a good ole fashioned phone call with Mimi? Let each child have their own private call. 
  • Send a cute postcard. 

We have this FREE download from Joy Creative Shop! 

For ideas on what to do for the elderly and people in nursing homes, see this post. What are you doing to remains social during social distancing? Share below!

And please keep posting pics of what you are do, say and giving at home! Use hashtag #dosaygiveathome to give other people ideas at tag @dosaygive! 

Bubble c/o Grace and James Kids. Use code DSGFS for free shipping. 


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