Last updated on October 31st, 2023 at 12:47 pm

How to tell someone you don’t want to hang out

It’s difficult trying to figure out how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out. But we want to help. Also, there’s probably been many times in your life when you don’t know how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out. People outgrow each other for many reasons and it’s a very normal experience, especially if you’re undergoing significant transformations in your life.

Remember, we’re all on different paths, and sometimes it’s ok to tell people you’d rather not hang out. Or, at the very least, if you’d like to continue a relationship with someone, tell them you might be available another time.

Lastly, before you tell someone you prefer to not hang out keep a few things in mind … 

Be honest with people you’re not interested in

In fact, honesty goes a long way and it’s more appreciated than you might think. Instead of saying “maybe” or “I’m not so sure.” Don’t be afraid, to be honest, and straightforward in your answer. Make sure whoever is asking you to hang out understands that you mean no and you’re not interested in meeting up. This takes practice and confidence, but everyone can get to that level.

be honest with friends

Give short explanations if you don’t want to socialize

It’s usually polite to give a small explanation about why you don’t want to hang out. This can soften the blow the other person might feel and help them understand why you’ve declined. However, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. For example, instead of a blunt “No, I can’t hang out,” you could say, “Ah, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to hang out today. I appreciate you thinking of me though!” This can work in many situations when trying to understand how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out. 

If they’re upset because you don’t want to hang out then that’s also a clear sign they’re not emotionally mature. You want to be around people who are empathetic and not take things very personally. 

You can use alternatives to saying “I don’t want to … “

Sometimes we don’t like the activity or social request someone is offering us. Also, maybe you’ve outgrown your friends. So, if you’re interested in hanging out with thing person, instead of saying, no, you can take some control and offer an alternative social event that you’re comfortable with. This shows that you’re interested in hanging out but maybe not at the coffee shop that was just recommended. For example, “Hey, I like your idea to meet for coffee, but I think you’d really like the café in the park nearby. Want to try that?”

Saying “maybe” is OK … but set boundaries too

Saying maybe isn’t saying, “I don’t want to hang out”, however, maybe you just need some time to think about things or take a look at your calendar to make sure nothing conflicts. Telling someone “maybe” is fine to say to someone because it’s easy to say, “Thanks for asking, but let me get back to you later today.”

saying no to friends

Keep your stance on not hanging out

After you say “I don’t want to hang out,” keep that as your final answer. By giving in and changing your answer to “yes,” people may be able to get you to eventually agree to things you don’t want to do.

Now, let’s get to the 50 examples on how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out! Or, watch the video.

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How you can tell someone “I don’t want to hang out!”

50 examples

Some people think denying little requests opens up your schedule to say yes to the right opportunities. Let’s go over 50 ways you can deny or delay people asking for your time.

Safe ways to tell someone you don’t want to meet up

1. Hey, I have something else going on.
2. Sorry, I have another commitment.
3. Unfortunately, I’m not able to today.
4. I’m afraid I can’t hang out this week.
5. It’s a super busy day, I don’t have the bandwidth for that right now.
6. I’m flattered you asked me, but I can’t meet today.
7. Thanks for thinking of me. But, I’m not able to hang out with you.
8. I already have plans. Maybe next time!
9. Ah, sorry, thank you, it sounds lovely. I’m not free.
10. I’ll get back to you later, I’ll have to check my calendar.
11. Let me ask my partner if we have anything going on later.
12. Hmm, let me think about that first, and I’ll get back to you afterward.

It’s OK to tell people you just can’t

13. I might have to take my kid to practice that day.
14. It’s not a good day for me.
15. Thank you for the invite, but I’m focusing on work, so I’m gonna have to say no. Sorry!
16. Recently I have had a lot on my plate and I want to focus on myself. Thanks for understanding.
17. I can’t help you out here. I appreciate that you’re thinking of me, though! Good luck.
18. It’s gym night for me and taking my exercise goals seriously. I hope you can understand.
19. I’m so sorry. I’m not feeling social today, thanks for understanding.
20. I’d be happy to get coffee tomorrow instead of drinks tonight.
21. My partner and I have plans but maybe we can get together another time.
22. That sounds really fun, but I can’t make it that day—hopefully another time.
23. Can I take a rain check? I’m not feeling too social today.
24. Would we be able to meet another day? Next week is better for me.
25. I appreciate your time, but no thank you.

Candid ways to tell someone you don’t want to hang out

26. Thanks for thinking of me, but I have too much on my plate now.
27. No thanks!
28. Not today, thanks.
29. No thanks, not for me, thanks.
30. I’m afraid I can’t help today. Maybe another time. I have to get going, talk later!
31. I’m not really into [insert thing you’re not interested in], but thanks for asking!
32. Unfortunately, I have too much going on today. I might be able to hang out another time.
33. I’m flattered but I’m not available to hang out.
34. That sounds fun, but I have a lot going on at home and can’t hang out today.
35. I’m not comfortable hanging out.
36. Oh, sorry, it’s not a good time for me. I’ll let you know if my schedule frees up.
37. Sorry, I already have plans. I hope you understand.
38. No, I won’t be able to fit that into my schedule this week. Maybe another time.
39. When work is a little less overwhelming I might be able to meet up.

Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re busy

40. I’m focusing on personal things now.
41. The timing isn’t good right now. Keep me in mind for next time.
42. I’d love to go but I’m not available. Let me know how it goes though.
43. I enjoyed our time together but I don’t want to continue this. Thanks for understanding.
44. Thanks, but I’m not interested. Have a good day.
45. No, sorry. I need to prioritize my family right now.
46. I’ve been feeling too busy at work lately. I will have to decline this time.
47. I don’t want to hang out today. I’m going to stay home.
48. How thoughtful of you, but this time I’m simply too busy with work.
49. I don’t think I can be the friend you need me to be. I’m focused on other things.
50. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. It won’t work out this time.

Ok, these are the 50 examples of how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out. Let us know if you have more! 

Keep in mind, and always remember to prioritize yourself because you can still set boundaries with people and still have a fun social life. People who are emotionally mature, or well-adjusted people should be able to take rejection or be told, “I don’t want to hang out.” It’s OK to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them.

So, put yourself first and learn to how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out.

What other people are saying

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How to tell someone you don’t want to be friends


In our post, “50 ways how to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them”, we talk about different ways to essentially tell someone you want to move on from the relationship. Check it out here.

Now, here is a quick excerpt about how to set boundaries or when you don’t know what to say at first.

Don’t give an explanation

In addition, giving someone an excuse may seem like a polite way to say no, but it sets you up for the possibility of someone invalidating your reasoning.

Try to plan your “No” ahead of time

Also, it can be difficult to tell someone you don’t want to talk to them. So, try to plan it before you meet, because preparing will help significantly.

Use an alternative way to tell someone “No”

You don’t have to meet someone in person to set a strong boundary. Sending a text, a phone call and even writing a letter is a good way to say, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” This gives you more control over the situation

A list of statements you can use when, how to tell someone you don’t want to be friends:

  1. I don’t think it’s working out anymore and I’ll see you around. 
  2. I’m feeling differently about the friendship recently. 
  3. It feels like we’re not good friends anymore.
  4. Let’s talk about our friendship. I’m not feeling it recently.
  5. It’s upsetting how our friendship has been, I’m ready to move on.
  6. We don’t have anything in common anymore.
  7. I think it’s time we move on and I’ll see you around.
  8. I don’t want to be friends anymore.
  9. We’ve been drifting apart and it’s hard to be friends.
  10. We don’t have much in common and it’s not fun to hang out.

It’s OK and very common for friendships to end or drift. Telling someone you don’t want to be friends is mature and offers closure. Lastly, there is no painless way to end a friendship, so, there might be some negative emotions and resentment from the other person. But, you got this. 

What you can do right now

Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “How to tell someone you don’t want to hang out.”

But, you’ll feel more confident, and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.

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