When should you refuse an invitation?

I was at a wedding party last weekend which was great fun for all.

Apart from one guest.

The ex-girlfriend turned up, which was a bad move on her part. I could have understood it if she had come in looking gorgeous with Ranbir Kapoor on her arm, but when she arrived it was obvious that the new boyfriend had traded up.

We all love a good party, but sometimes it’s better to stay at home.

Here are some invites you should decline with grace, before ripping them up.

1. To speak at a conference on a subject you know nothing about. Yes, you want to raise your profile, but if you can’t answer a question sensibly, you will look like a fool. When speaking in public it’s important to know your stuff.

2. To pitch for a client that has a terrible reputation, and who you know in your heart has no intention of appointing your agency. Life is too short.

3. Awards that you haven’t entered. It’s not fun watching your competitors pick up prizes.

4. A liquid lunch with an ex-hack who has lost everything because of the demon drink. It is sad that they are desperate for company, but being their drinking companion is not going to help.

5The 18th birthday party of your boss’s son. Or any 18th birthday party for that matter.

6A golfing day with a journalist who is a scratch player. Why put yourself through the humiliation?

7. The office opening party of a competitor. Unless they have got a much worse new office than yours. Then you can go to gloat.

8. A team lunch to an all-you-can-eat buffet in a local Chinese restaurant. You know you will eat far more than is good for you. You see enough of the team at work anyway.

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