18 good excuses to get out of plans without hurting anyone’s feelings

So, here is the thing, there are some things we may have agreed to that do not align with our goals, and at the last minute realize that we need to opt out.

Girl on call - Excuses to get out of plan

Sometimes, you said yes, when you really wanted to say no, other times, you really wanted to meet up with plans, but your health failed you, a more important plan came up, or you simply desired to stay tucked up in your comfort zone.

Whatever the reason may be, coming up with good excuses to get out of plans is our best bet, but how do we come up with the perfect excuse that wouldn’t rub off in the wrong way?

How do you make an excuse that doesn’t hurt the other person?

I hope this post answers your questions and provides you with ideas of what to say when canceling a plan.

Good excuses to get out of plans immediately

Here are some excuses that you might use to get out of plans immediately:

I have a previous engagement that I can’t miss

Making plans to meet up with friends and family can be a great way to spend time together, but sometimes other commitments arise and it might not be possible to make it.

For those times when you need an excuse to get out of plans without hurting anyone’s feelings, saying that you have a previous engagement that you can’t miss is a great way to let them know without going into too much detail. This can help to avoid any awkward conversations regarding the real reason behind canceling the plans.

I have a lot of work to catch up on

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to catch up on, telling the other person that you have a lot of work to catch up on is a perfectly legitimate excuse.

This can also be a great way to avoid plans if you don’t want to commit because of other commitments or simply feeling like you need some time for yourself.

While this can work, if you are unable to use this excuse, be honest with the other person and explain why you can’t make it.

I promised someone else that I would do something with them

Sometimes, making plans with two people at once can be a tricky situation. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to be honest with both parties and explain why you can’t fulfill both commitments.

Being upfront and honest can help to preserve the relationships you have with both people without making one feel less important than the other.

Do not use this as a last-minute excuse to get out of plan as it would appear as though you are prioritizing one person over the other. 

I have a family commitment that I can’t miss

A family commitment is one of the more reliable excuses to get out of plans.

You can use a family reunion, gathering, or just a general commitment to excuse yourself put of a plan. It’s hard for people to turn down this excuse as it’s usually seen as a valid reason.

I need to take care of something at home

Claiming you need to take care of something at home is a common way to get out of plans. It is important to remember that you should only use this as a last resort, as it is now a common way to avoid social interaction.

If you use this excuse, make sure you are honest about why you need to take care of something at home and provide enough information so that the person you are making the excuse to feels respected and understood.

This can be anything from doing the laundry, doing dishes, organizing the living room, or even just taking a nap.

I have a lot of studying to do

If you are a student, using your studies can be one of the easiest excuses to get out of plans.

Not only can this excuse be used with friends, it is also a valid way to get out of plans if you have other commitments that day.

I have a doctor’s appointment that I can’t reschedule

The old standby of having a doctor’s appointment that you can’t reschedule can be a viable option.

It may not always be the most convenient excuse, but when used correctly, it can be an effective way of getting out of an unwanted commitment.

I have a lot of cleaning to do around the house

Having a lot of cleaning to do around the house is a great excuse to get out of plans and take some time for yourself.

This can also be a good time to get your house spick and span and enjoy some much needed rest without feeling guilty about skipping plans.

I have a personal project that I need to work on

This excuse comes in handy when someone wants you to work on something with them, but you are not feeling like it.

While you may not have any personal project at hand, this can make the perfect excuse to get out of the plan immediately.

I have to attend a meeting that I can’t miss

You can use this excuse for both social and professional engagements. Not only does it show that you are responsible and organized, but it also allows you to avoid the awkwardness of having to come up with a convincing reason you can’t make it.

I am already engaged in another plan

Whether you need to skip out on a family outing or a night out with friends, pretending that you already have other plans can be a great excuse.

Just make sure that you don’t lie too often and keep your excuses as realistic as possible. That way, you can avoid any hard feelings and make sure that everyone understands why you had to bow out at the last minute.

For example, “I’m sorry, I have a [schedule conflict] and I don’t think I can make it. I hope I can make it up to you soon.”

Last-minute excuses to get out of plans

I’m not feeling well

A common excuse to get out of plans is claiming to not be feeling well. You can use a minor headache, a stomachache, or something more serious.

While it’s a simple solution for canceling plans, I suggest you don’t use your health as an excuse to skip meetings or plans. Instead, you could just be open about not wanting to leave home or commit to the plan.

I have a lot of errands to run

If you’re looking for a way out of an unwanted plan, try telling your friends or family that you have a lot of errands to run. This is a great excuse because it implies that you have important business to take care of and no time to spare.

You can also use it as an excuse for any activity that you don’t want to do. Just make sure you convincingly express your busyness and be sure to plan ahead – so that when someone asks what errands you need to run, you can name a few off the top of your head.

Someone in my family is ill and needs me at home

If someone in your family is ill and needs you at home, then there is no shame in having to cancel. Even if you are not the primary caregiver, it is still a good excuse to get out of plan.

It is important to put family first and always prioritize their well-being over social engagements. Taking the time to be there for a family member in need is one of the most important things you can do.

I’m feeling exhausted today

This excuse comes in handy when the thr day is far gone. You can say you are exhausted from work (even if you aren’t) or too tired from chores – whichever works best for you.

You can fix another day or time and offer an alternative activity that involves less physical effort, or simply being honest about not wanting to go out.

Something unexpected came up and I need to take care of it

This is a very good last minute excuse to get out plan because absolutely no none can tell what happens next.

If something comes up that’s out of your control, your friend will probably understand. After all, stuff happens.

While this excuse may help you avoid an uncomfortable conversation, it can also leave your friends wondering what exactly is so urgent that it needs taking care of right away. If possible, try to be more specific in order to give them peace of mind.

 I totally forgot

“I totally forgot” is a classic excuse used to get out of plans, but it can be difficult to pull off without appearing insincere. To make this excuse work, you must be convincing and provide as many details as possible; for instance, try to recall what you were doing when you remembered you had another commitment.

Apologize for the inconvenience and make sure your explanation is believable. While this excuse may not always work, it can be a good way to get out of plans if it’s used properly.

I’m really sorry, but I have to cancel

I understand the need to make excuses so we do not hurt anyone or appear insensitive, but sometimes, the perfect excuse is no excuse. With this, you do not have to lie or exaggerate a situation.

While the other excuses can be useful, it is important to be honest and communicate openly with others, especially when canceling plans. If you need to cancel plans, it is best to be upfront and honest about your reasons, rather than trying to come up with a lie.

It is also important to be respectful of the other person’s time and schedule, and give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule.

Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  1. Communicate openly and honestly with the other person about your reasons for needing to cancel or reschedule.
  2. Offer to reschedule for a different time that works better for you.
  3. If you cannot reschedule, apologize for any inconvenience and thank the other person for their understanding.
  4. Try to be understanding and flexible if the other person needs to cancel or reschedule as well.

Valid reasons to get out of plans

Like I said, it’s always better to tell the truth, so whenever you feel you need to make an excuse to get out of plans, consider the possibility of being open and truthful instead.

Rather than make excuses, you can open up about the real reason for opting out of a plan. Here are some valid reasons you may need to cancel a plan:

Family commitments

Family is everything. It’s okay to get out of plans to be with your family. Just be open and let the other party know on time why you wouldn’t make it.

Studying for exams

Sometimes, studying for exams takes precedence over socializing. Just be honest with your friends and explain that you need more time to focus on your studies.

Doctor’s appointments

If you have a doctor’s appointment that you cannot miss, let your friends and family know as soon as possible in order to avoid any disappointment.


If you need to take care of some cleaning before an upcoming event, let your friends and family know in advance. This way, they won’t feel left out or like you are avoiding them.

Weather conditions

If it is unsafe or unfeasible to go ahead with the original plan, explain this to the other person. State that you are sorry, but it is not worth risking your health or the safety of others.

Important deadlines

Explain why the deadline is so important and ask if the other person would change their plans so that you can still participate.

Things happen

No one is perfect and sometimes things just happen that we cannot control. If this is the case with your plan, be honest and explain how events have unfolded since agreeing to it. If possible, try to find a way for both of you to still meet up and enjoy yourselves.

Make time for yourself 

It is essential that we take care of ourselves first. Too often, we sacrifice our time for others without even realizing it. Remember, self-love is not selfish.

Date availability

If you find yourself unable to keep your original arrangement, citing an already-planned engagement can be a valid excuse to get out of plan. Simply state that you cannot make it and provide a suitable replacement date.

Travel arrangements

If you are traveling for work or pleasure, let the other person know as soon as possible so that they can choose another time to meet up.

Work or school commitments

If a work commitment requires you to cancel your plans, explain the situation and apologize for having to do so. For example, “I’m so sorry, but I have to work late/early because of a project that needs my immediate attention. I hope I can make it up to you soon.”

Prior engagements

If you have prior engagements that you must attend, explain the circumstances and apologize. For example, “I’m sorry, I have a prior engagement that I need to attend. I hope I can make it up to you soon.”

Health issues

Sometimes, health issues can impede plans. While it’s important to take your health seriously, it’s often difficult to know when to call off plans and take care of yourself. For your sake, avoid pushing yourself and get out of plan until you are strong enough.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t be afraid to take the time you need to recover and reschedule when you’re feeling better. Explain the situation and be open as possible.


In the end, getting out of plans is a delicate situation and requires careful consideration to ensure that all parties are respected. It is best to avoid using excuses that are overly elaborate or far-fetched, as they might hurt relationships.

It is important to be honest and upfront when you need to cancel plans and to be aware of how your words may affect the other person. So, I suggest you try to be as truthful as possible.