The quick answer is no. 

However, have you been in a situation where you were friends with someone because – you thought you “should” or because you had mutual friends or you didn’t want to be rude – but if you were being honest with yourself you didn’t feel a connection to this person?

It’s not that you don’t like this person. It could be you have different communication styles or different senses of humor. Sometimes it’s a timing thing. For instance, one of you is married and the other is single or one of you has children and the other does not, etc.

I see this happen often with women. Many women feel like they need to be friends with everyone. They say yes to invites when they want to say no. They believe it’s not nice, or unkind to not be friends with everyone.

But, this is not true. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. Sometimes there are going to be people you meet that you do not connect with. It is okay.

It doesn’t mean you are not a nice person. You can still be kind, compassionate, and empathetic towards others and not be their friend.

I know it’s something I have done many times in the past. I wanted to be liked by everyone, so I would try and be friends with everyone – even when there was no connection.

As I got older I realized that it was not rude or unkind to say “no thank you” to invites. I felt free, to be honest with myself, and to respect my time and my boundaries. I was also respecting the time of the other person.

Recently I caught myself starting to say “yes” to invites because I didn’t want to appear rude or mean. Then I remembered that I can be kind, compassionate, and empathetic AND say “no thank you.”

Here’s a quick practice you can use if you find yourself saying “yes” to invites when you want to say “no thank you.”

Pause – take a deep breath in and out – tune inwards and ask yourself, “Do I want to spend time with this person, or am I doing this because I don’t want to be rude?” And trust the answer you receive. . .

Be patient, it may take some practice to follow through on the answer you receive – especially if in the past you immediately would say “yes.”

The most valuable gift you can receive is an honest friend.” Stephen Richards