• Handling Breakups

Invitations: We don’t like them and they don’t like us

Published: October 14, 2015 | By | 9 Replies Continue Reading
Two families don’t like each other but one keeps up the charade of a “friendship.”



We have family friends that I don’t care for and they don’t like us either. They keep inviting my family and me to events, which they know I have no desire to go to. Then they say to everyone, “Well, we invited them but they always say no.”

They really don’t want us to come either but they do this so they look like they’re trying to mend the relationship and we’re just being difficult. What do I do?

Signed, Leigh


Hi Leigh,

Stay the course. If you don’t like these people, try to ignore their comments and just continue to say no to their invitations. Why get more involved with them?

Unless you are misinterpreting their intentions, it sounds like the other family may feel some social pressure to invite you/your family to these events but if they consistently are rebuffed, I suspect they’ll back off eventually.

It’s unfortunate if this family is inadvertently bringing attention to the acrimony between you. I’m sure that no one is comfortable with that.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


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Comments (9)

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  1. Tara says:

    Hi Leigh,
    I can relate to this situation. And I think you have done well to decline the invitations and I can understand the frustrating part of them vilifying you and putting themselves as the victim/martyr role. It is difficult to navigate when mutual family members and friends are involved as I can imagine through the mutual environment you may hear the tactics of ‘villain vs victim’ game play?

    The invitation is about whether you want to go or not. Not whether you ‘should’ go out of fear, obligation or guilt. An option is to address this directly, privately with the person who keeps inviting you especially if they are playing the ‘villain vs victim’ game involving other family/friends you interact with. This is not to manage your image or what others think, it would be more with the purpose to address the ‘conflict’ directly and come to an agreed solution.

    I wish you luck in navigating as I can imagine this isn’t easy if there are mutual family/friends involved.


  2. T says:

    If you dont really like this other family, then whats the big problem?. It doesnt really matter what they do or think of you. Who cares what people say behind your back, that’s something you simply cant control. I have ended friendships where people werent happy, and I even got abused and nasty stuff said back to me. I just ignored it and moved on.Just keep declining.

  3. Amy F says:

    This can be a nonissue if you continue to decline the invitations. I’m not how you know they know you have no desire. You can always tell them you’re not interested in future invitations, but to me that’s unnecessary and could cause them to react in negative ways like talking about you or worse. I’d stay the course, but keep my expectations realistic. They will invite me and I will decline and I will not be phased when I get invitations.

  4. Maddie says:

    They may indeed want you there. You may be attributing motives to them that do not exist. Invitations to social events are a nicity. Perhaps they are extending an olive branch. Could it be you are too harsh in this instance? Why not, just once, cheerfully accept an invitation with grace, show up with a smile, be pleasant, and let bygones be bygones?

    Just a thought. I don’t see anything wrong with their behavior on the face of it.

  5. LauraSL says:

    It sounds passive aggressive like they want to play the victim to look like the “better party” to others. I actually have a similar situation with an extended family person. Last year she unfriended me on Facebook, which was fine by me, I just wasn’t going to be the one to pull the trigger. I already had her on a restricted view. However, a few weeks later she invited my family to Thanksgiving at her house 🙂 LOL. She knew we wouldn’t attend, but she wanted to be able to say “Well, I invited them…”

    Just keep saying “No thank you, we’re busy.”

  6. Patricia says:

    Really, you are on a social group where people have no friendships and are looking for companions and fellow groups to hang out with and you are upset because you do get invited….GO and be with people.
    Obviously your group of friends want you and your family to be there. Go have fun with them and you may be surprised of what you will find.
    Even tho you think that the other family doesn’t want you there, you could be wrong. Maybe this is there way of showing that they want you there. If not, who cares, go anyway.
    One day these invites may go away and you will be complaining about not getting invited.

    • Maddie says:

      Exactly. Many people get invited nowhere and feel very isolated.

      From her letter, I can’t see the bad behavior.

  7. tanja says:

    In this case, you may not know for a fact that the do not like you guys. In this case, what I would do is if I wanted to go to the event, I would go and if I did not I would not. For me, it would be less about who invited us but it would be about what kind of function it would be and who else would be there. Then, based on that I would feel thankful for the invite and go. If it is a big event, I would not have to talk to them but it would be fun! If it was with just them for dinner, then I would assume that they do like us and would perhaps say no because then you are forced to talk to them.

    But, if it is a fun event, why not. Would love to be invited to all these social events…..if that is what it is.

  8. Ben says:

    A wise old friend told me that when you do not respond to people you do not want to be associated with they get tired and do not contact anymore. No one can control what other people do but we can control what we do. This method has worked for me. There are people I would like to tell off but what good would it do? No good. You can be grateful that you are not acting disingenuous by asking them to your functions just for show. You can also be grateful that your gut is on target. Your gut never lies. Stay strong…

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