[Survey Result] Is It Rude to Ask Why You Weren’t Invited?

Whether you weren’t asked to come to graduation, party, or meeting, you can feel left out in that type of situation. Understandably, you would want to know why you were not invited.

However, is it rude for you to directly ask that question? This article will discuss the results of a survey done in the United States, which show that the majority of respondents think it’s rude to ask.

Is It Rude to Ask Why You Weren’t Invited?

In our survey of 102 people in the United States, 55% of respondents thought it was rude for a person to ask why they were not invited. The remaining 45% consider this a legitimate question.

[Survey Result] Is It Rude to Ask Why You Weren’t Invited?

People have their own reasons why they might not want to invite someone to an event. Many of these have nothing to do with the person in question. However, the individual who feels left out might not immediately think of all these reasons and they might feel unwanted or forgotten. [1]

Almost an Even Split

It’s important to note that while statistically, the majority of respondents thought that asking was rude, a significant number of respondents also thought that it wasn’t rude. In other words, these respondents may be looking at the importance of seeking clarification. They may also be thinking that it’s important to communicate feelings clearly or understand why something happened instead of making assumptions.

The 45% who don’t think it’s rude represent almost half of the population. They might think that the long-term or short-term damage that can take place in a relationship when there are misunderstandings or unresolved hurt, can be avoided by asking simple questions.

Some of these individuals might even think it’s rude not to invite specific people to an event. For example, if someone is getting married and doesn’t invite their best friend to the wedding, that might be perceived as rude. If the best friend isn’t aware of any conflict between them, they would want to understand why they weren’t invited to the wedding.

Faulty Presuppositions

Sometimes people assume an invitation wasn’t sent to them when that wasn’t the case. For example, two people might have access to the same email account and an invitation might actually have been sent to that email address.

However, for their own reasons, the first person who read the invitation might decide to delete it and not share the information. In that case, the other person might never know that an invitation was extended to them.

It’s never a good idea for someone to assume that an invitation wasn’t extended to them. There are several cases where an invitation was extended but someone else makes a decision to not share that invitation with the relevant party or prevent them from receiving the invitation.

In that case, asking why they weren’t invited would lead to the truth. It would be revealed that they were in fact invited but somehow they didn’t get the invitation.

There are other faulty presuppositions that people can make. For example, a friend might not invite you to a party because they know that the main dish will be something that you’re highly allergic to but others enjoy. However, you might think it’s because they’re upset with you. Similarly, they might not invite you because they’re aware that you already have a prior commitment at that time.

Harboring Hurt

When you aren’t invited to an event, it can hurt a lot. This is especially true for children. They might not understand the various reasons why someone might not have decided to invite them to a special event.

For example, it might not be immediately clear to a child that an event is for adults only. They might not understand that the entertainment, discussions, and even food provided, might not always be suitable for children.

Sometimes it’s possible to address your feelings in a healthy way without asking directly why you weren’t invited. If you don’t want to be perceived as rude, you could gently ask if there is any reason why an individual might not want you to be at a specific type of event or represent a company in a particular setting. Someone who has hurt feelings over not being invited could also let the organizer know that they enjoy events of a particular nature too because sometimes it might be assumed that they don’t like certain activities.

People have their reasons why they might decide not to invite someone to an event. Those reasons often seem good to them. In many cases, those reasons also seem logical to them.

They might feel it’s rude to have their decision questioned. For example, someone may have two friends with who they’re close but those friends might not get along with each other. If the person happens to encounter one of these friends first, they might just invite that person on a whim.

After that, they might decide not to invite the other person in order to avoid conflict. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t enjoy the company of both people. The decision of who to invite might just have been taken by chance because they encountered one person first.

Similarly, even something as simple as logistical difficulties can influence a person’s decision to not invite an individual. They might only be allowed to cater to a specific number of people at a particular venue. Similarly, they might know that a person might find it difficult to get to the event and they don’t want to put that person out of their way, so they just don’t invite them.

Sometimes event organizers just feel uncomfortable explaining why they didn’t invite someone. That’s why they might feel it’s rude to ask. Everyone doesn’t make decisions in the same way and they might not always arrive at the same conclusions about what is best. The organizer makes their own choices about everything related to their event, including who they invite.


References:

[1]: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201112/the-neuroscience-rejection

Matt

Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.

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