Methodology to politely excuse yourself, without bullshit (Vidéo & podcast)


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Umbert knows a lot of people in Paris, and often receives several invitations for an event on the same day.

This doesn’t bother him because, fortunately, he knows how to decline politely if necessary.

Now days, everybody tries to improve his business or career, so a lot of events are organized, and you may receive a lot of invitations.

In the same way as saying “thank you”, knowing how to apologize is an important aspect of the New Etiquette.

Some of your acquaintances may insist, even try to « close » ! 

That’s why knowing how to excuse yourself, even apologize, is very important so they won’t be offended.


« Let’s excuse as far as common sense allows it », Anne Baratin, French poet

« Tâchons d’excuser tant que le bon sens le permet », Anne Baratin, poète français


In this article :

1) Methodology on how to apologize

2) Declining an invitation

3) Everyday excuses


1) Methodology on how to apologize

  • 1 Apologize as soon as you can. The more the time passes, the less your apologies will be accepted.
  • 2 Prefer to do it face to face, otherwise use Skype or FaceTime. Avoid writing on social networks or text.
  • 3 Don’t blame the other person. You are trying to solve a relationship problem, so don’t start with a fight !
  • 4 Listen : carefully, you have to show empathy to be trusted. The other person should understand that you care.
  • 5 Validate : repeat the problem with your own words, to show that you understand the person concern. At this time you’ve just stop the drama.
  • 6 Apologize : tell the person that you are sorry if you did something wrong that has hurted him/her. Be authentic and sincere, it is very important. Never lie, she will figure out later anyway. You are responsible for what she feels.
  • 7 Silence : the person should tell you if she apologize or not. If she doesn’t, restart the process.
  • 8 Even if she accepts your apologies, real forgiveness may take time … But once done, the relationship should be stronger.

2) Declining an invitation

You can use the same process if you want to decline an invitation.

For exemple :

Umbert is invited next week, the same evening at Alexia for her birthday, and at Paul for a dinner with friends. 

He will go to Alexia and FaceTime Paul immediately to apologize : “Paul, I know you’ve done a lot of wrk to organize this party, unfortunately I won’t be available for your dinner and I regret it. ”

Silence …

Paul answers : « I understand Umbert, no worries, thank you for telling me right away, I hope that we’ll see each other soon . »

Umbert : « yes for sure, let me call you next week so we can organize a get together with some friends arriving from Mumbaï, that should be fun. »

If an invitation has been sent to you by email or mail, write a thank you card, and send it the next day.

3) Everyday excuses

Now that you know the process, train at home, so you can use it immediately, all the time.

Here is where it may be useful :

  • Umbert is late and jostling a lady in the street : “Madam, I’m so sorry, are you all right ? Is there anything I can do ? » Silence … 
  • Arriving late at the restaurant, he tells his friends “Please forgive me I’m late, I hope I haven’t waste you time ? Silence … Let’s enjoy this moment together” 
  • When Umbert asks a service to someone, for example when he asks his way, or an information to a salesperson, it is always necessary to start by saying “Good morning, I don’t want to disturb you, could you ….”

With this Methodology to politely excuse yourself, without bullshit, Umbert can organized is schedule as he wants, or as he can.

Being famous, and receiving a lot of invitations is nice, but not easy.

But having none of them would be worse.

Fortunately, Umbert knows that he can count on his many acquaintances and invitations to entertain himself.

He is incredibly happy to meet them during his monthly Weekends in Paris.


What must be remembered : do apologize as soon as you can, understand the other and be sincere, then you’ll be fine.


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Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris