What would be your reaction if your friend suddenly calls you and says - “I am coming over to your place for lunch, be prepared.”
You can react in two ways - if that friend is close to you, you would give a positive reaction or it would make you feel weird. We are comfortable with the idea that the host would invite us and only after that we can go to their place.
In our society, ‘self-invitation’ is not common. However, there is a borderline where we can self-invite and where we cannot.
The self-invitation with interesting experience
“I don’t have to count how many times I have self-invited myself, not to parties but to others' houses for a casual visit! I have to interact with a lot of people for professional purposes.
“Many of them build nice friendly relations with me, going beyond professional boundaries. And I just keep getting myself invited to their home for a ‘vuri voj’ (feast) you might say,” shared a journalism graduate from Dhaka University (DU) who is currently working with a National English daily, while speaking about his way of self-invitation.
However, these invitations mostly remain invitations as Saiful fails to go. But many of them insist on him to their home for dinner or lunch once he takes a self-invitation, which is his habit.
In most cases, socially interactive or extroverted people invite themselves to anyone’s place or program. Saiful shared an interesting experience of his regarding self- invitation with a close junior of his named Ahnaf Abid, who studies at Milestone College.
Saiful narrated, “Once when I went to Uttara, I called him with the intent to meet him and have chitchat on a cup of tea. As usual, I said ‘Tor bashay ashtesi, khabar bebostha kor!’ to make fun but he took it seriously.
“As I refused later and asked him to come down at the tea stall to meet me, he came with her mother after a while and took me to his home! But, I’ll be honest, I had a good feast that night!” he laughed.
Even though he is one of a kind who invites himself to others places either to just make fun or seriously, he personally thinks it can create an awkward situation.
“Although I’ve developed a habit, there is no way self-invitation can be normalised. It often creates awkward situations when the person asked for an invitation neither can turn it down, nor give it a go.
“Only if you feel really close to someone, you can do this for socialising and in most cases, they will be happy to let you in their house,” he added.
The self-invitation which turned out to be great
Sometimes a small approach of self-invitation can bring people close and make the friendship strong. Even, it can make an unbreakable bond with the ‘not so close’ one.
Tasmim Farhana Anika, a 3rd-year pharmacy student at BRAC University, shared an event that further helped her and her group of friends to find a genuine friend.
“In one of my group tours, I experienced self-invitation from one of my classmates. We decided to go to Chittagong to visit one of my friends' ‘Nanubari.’ Since it was more like a family trip, we wanted to keep it as cosy as possible. Meanwhile one of our classmates who were not very close to us self-invited herself on the trip. At that time if we said no, it would probably seem very rude and she might get hurt; so instead we said yes unwillingly.”
“At first, honestly we were uncomfortable. I was thinking about 2how the trip would end up, whether my group mates and that friend would get along or not. But surprisingly the trip went fantabulous,” Anika continued to narrate her experience, “Also the family members who were present on that trip could not say that she wasn’t a part of our group.”
The aftereffect of that trip was more beautiful as that one friend became a part of her friend’s group.
“After that trip, all of us became so close to each other and we share such a nice bonding now that I wonder sometimes what would happen if she didn’t self- invite her for that trip. Probably we would miss the opportunity to have such an amazing friend like her!”
Even though she found a friend through it, she still possesses mixed feelings about the concept of self-invitation.
“I think the approach for self-invitation should be normalised by breaking the stereotypes because it may turn into a positive experience and it helps to remove self-hesitation as well. In my opinion, nothing is wrong with self-invitation but while considering it, people need to use their own common sense appropriately depending on the varied situation.
“Like my friend group is an all-girls group, now if an unknown boy would come to invite himself for a trip, that approach would not be appreciated.”
The self-invitation which was unwanted
“Going to a running program is another way to get self-invitation. Once we were celebrating Batch Day with friends at TSC, several juniors from the department joined the program.
“It's not that they were unwanted. But we actually wanted to spend the day ourselves. So self-invitation is not good in all cases,” said Tanvir Ahmed, a DU graduate and a senior officer of a Government Bank.
As per his opinion, there should be a rule of thumb.
“It is just like if you want to go along with someone if s/he is not irritated, you can go for a chat or hang out with her/him on your own initiative. Here is the rule of thumb, if s/he has the same feeling towards you, it will happen. Everyone is not expressive, so the most expressive one will approach first,” Tanvir explained.
He also portrayed a different view of him regarding the treat-giving culture in universities.
“Giving treats to university juniors by their seniors fall under self-invitation. The juniors forcibly take the invitation often.
“It's actually a sweet thing, it makes the relationship between them more beautiful. However, I will not suggest normalising it. But such approaches should be made considering place-time-plot.”
Many people consider self-invitation impolite, insincere, or immature. They believe that if someone has not been invited to an event, they should not raise the proposal to come.
Even if it's acceptable occasionally, it's not something anyone should do on a regular basis or take for granted as a way to socialise.