There comes a point when I get sick of spending so much time with a friend. How do I reject hanging out with someone without hurting their feelings? Is it ungodly for me to not want to spend so much time with a person?
If it is a sin to need a break from people, then I am on a greases chute straight to Hell. Luckily it isn’t. It’s fine. It is not a holy pursuit to let people to inflict themselves on you endlessly.
If you are an introvert, you need some time alone to recharge. You might just need to recover from a condition that we in our ministry in Chicago call “people-itis”, or you might just be on your last nerve with this particular friend. None of those things are ungodly or mean that you are a bad person.
Several times in the gospel Jesus “withdrew to a solitary place.” Even Christ himself, savior and perfect lover of all mankind, needed a break occasionally.
There is no need to feel guilty about needing a break from people, or a person in particular. You, of course, want to go about that without hurting anyone’s feelings if at all possible. And not feeling guilty about the decision will help in that, because you won’t feel conflicted and bail out of the whole thing, and then explode at someone later on.
The key, as in many uncomfortable situations, is to keep it simple and not act out of emotion. Don’t get try to weave a tale of business, tiredness, and your dog being sick with canine psoriasis. Just say “Actually, I’m going to stay in tonight. Let’s do something this weekend.” They don’t get their feelings hurt, and get future plans. You get some quiet and time to watch Netflix in your pajamas. Everybody wins. Nothing sinful or unholy about it.
-Matt from The Bridge
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