How To Say “No Thanks” To High Tea

These days, it’s easy to become over-scheduled and over-committed.

Many of us suffer from the disease to please, so when someone invites us to a special event or even a mundane outing, we tend to say yes while either cringing on the inside or mentally shuffling engagements around to make time.

How To Say “No Thanks” To High Tea

If you’ve never been to a High Tea, it could seem a little daunting at first.

The Host/Hostess often puts a lot of effort into offering a variety of sweet treats such as homemade scones and cakes, fancy sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres and a selection of delicious teas, all served on special platters and tea sets with lovely accessories.

In reality, High Tea is like an informal supper, rather than the overly elegant or intricate tea party that Americans assume the British conduct for royal or important visitors.

Another element to High Tea is the fact that some people who go to the trouble of preparing the event might expect you to dress up, which can elevate it to expectations that can outweigh the associated pleasure involved with a simple afternoon tea, and could have you hoping for a more casual coffee date instead.

Some Reasons Why We Loathe to Say No

  • Many of us have been conditioned to be people-pleasers
  • We think it’s rude, ungrateful or disrespectful to say no
  • Not wanting to hurt people’s feelings
  • The compulsion to avoid any kind of confrontation

Hints and Tips for Declining Graciously

The first thing to remember is that you are never beholden to someone simply because they invited you.

A way to feel better about saying no is that there are times when people might invite you simply to be polite themselves; maybe they invited someone else who might tell you afterwards, making it awkward for all of you.

It’s all about how you decline, which can make a difference between being rude and apologizing profusely, which is unnecessary and can pave the way for even more guilty feelings.

What you must not do is make excuses that can easily offend, like saying “Oh, I don’t like tea parties” or “I’m on a diet” or even “All that sugar and fat?!”

Always remember to be polite, yet firm. The reasons you might be declining can vary, such as distance or the people attending, but simple answers that advise your unavailability should suffice, such as:

“Hey, thanks for thinking of me but I have a prior engagement.”

“Oh, I’d love to, but I can’t make it this time. Can I get a raincheck?”

“That sounds wonderful but I’ll be out of town.”

You get the idea. If the excuse is trivial, you might come across as snooty or dismissive and if you lie, you could be caught out later on which could open up a whole new can of worms.

What if You’re Just Not Interested?

After all is said and done, if you really don’t want to go and they continue to invite you time after time, let them down easily by telling them that it’s really not your cup of tea, but remember to be gracious while doing so.

Saying, “You know, I’m really not that kind of tea drinker but thanks so much for thinking of me” is better than continually declining. On the other hand, if you’ve never been to a High Tea, it might be fun and it could be a great way to get to know people.

Plus, there’s always the chance you’ll try a new tea that could become your next favorite cup.