Somewhat a propos of my recent maunderings - someone here recently invited me to a dinner supporting an anti-choice organization.
Once I got over my initial reaction (RBG forever, burn it down!), I tried to decide if I wanted to decline or explain.
This is not an original thought, but: an explanation presumes an obligation. You don't explain to the cashier why you shopped at Store Y instead of Store Z. You don't owe them the energy or the emotion. You don't owe them the opportunity to judge your reasons.
I started writing a whole response that started, "Well, I just don't think...." and then I thought, why am I weaseling? I don't know this person that well* and I don't owe them an opportunity to be hostile. Embrace the robot feelings! Lead with NO!
(Small towns being what they are, I actually said 'Thanks, I'll have to pass on that.')
Do you have a favorite way to say no with minimal offensiveness? (I have plenty of favorite ways to say no with maximal offensiveness...)