Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

English how to respond when colleague rejects invitation

What can you say in English when you invite a colleague out after work and the colleague rejects your invitation?

What can you say so that you can still maintain the connection?

Today we’ll start with a quick role play.

A: So Michelle hey I am going to be in NY at the end of the month for a conference. Can we get together for a coffee on the 25th at noon?

B: Oh Lindsay I don’t think I can make it that weekend.

A: Oh okay Michelle. No problem. We’ll do it another time.


When you invite a colleague out you are sticking your neck out.

You are taking a chance.

If the person doesn’t agree to meet up with you, the way in which you respond is crucial so that you don’t ruin your connection and professional relationship.

We already did an episode on how to invite your colleagues out to work so today’s episode is a great follow up to that one.


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Respond to their rejection with a comment:

Two purposes of making this comment: 1- you are trying to maintain the connection and 2- you are putting out feelers to figure out if they actually want to go out but they are really just busy or if they don’t want to hang out and they are making an excuse.

It will be obvious based on how they react to your comment.


What comment should you make?

1- “Oh that’s okay. Maybe we can do it another time or some other time”

This is useful because if they really want to hang out they might suggest another time. This is also a response that people look for in the dating world.

Be aware if you hear the word “sometime” without any specific, for example, “yeah, maybe sometime” then that probably means that they aren’t interested in spending time with you and you should at least wait for them to extend the next invitation.


2- “No problem. I just thought I’d throw it out there. Hopefully at some point we can make that happen.”


3- “Okay well good luck with (the thing they have to do). I will see you in the office/talk to you at work.”


Remember, don’t be afraid to invite your colleagues out.

Review episode 701 and learn those phrases then go make some plans.


What questions do you have from today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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