Declining an invitation

by Trish

Dan and Matt are in their early 20's and live at their respective homes because they have high-functioning autism. They each have very circumscribed interests---Dan likes movies and blogs about it, and Matt likes multi-player card and video games. Dan recently moved to town and is trying to make friends. Matt has a handful of friends from childhood that he has managed to hold onto and is comfortable with. Dan and Matt's mothers met through a common aquaintance and thought the two of them might be able to be friends and so set up a meeting and movie date for them. Dan enjoyed it, but Matt felt he had nothing to say to Dan. Now Dan has e-mailed Matt and asked him to meet and go to a movie. Matt does not want to meet up with Dan because he feels they have nothing in common and did not enjoy his last get-together with Dan. Matt wants to be polite and reply to Dan, does not want to hurt his feelings, but would rather not get together with Dan. How can Matt reply to Dan?

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by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Trish~

This is a common situation among all people and I do not feel that the fact of their autism need play a part in this discussion.

When declining an invitation, one must always try to spare the feelings of the other party. Of course, Matt should not come right out and tell Dan he did not enjoy their previous engagement, but he can decline vaguely. As an example, simply tell Dan that he has no free time at the moment. Or that he is involved with other people that take up most of his time. This way, if Matt happens to run into Dan somewhere, neither of them will feel uncomfortable. Or if this is too difficult for Matt, he can ask his mother for advice since she knows all parties involved.

Good luck to all concerned.
Ms Practical Etiquette

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