I met some people and we had a shared hobby, so we started meeting on a regular basis to share information and enjoy our common interest. As a group we made decisions about what we would do and not do, when we would meet, how often, etc. However, over time, the group changed and there was no longer a single focus; it became much more of a social event than a study group. There are many members now and they are having fun.
As the group changed, I found it no longer met my needs. This was okay with me. My interests changed slightly and I wanted to spend my time concentrating on new projects by myself. I stopped attending. I let others know of my decision and that, while I might drop in once in a while, that they should not count on me to be there.
I am not interested in being more than an acquaintance with these people. Members of this group want me to return, and I appreciate this is a compliment, but I am not interested. Some people have become quite persistent, trying to talk me into coming back to the group and questioning my reasoning for no longer participating.
I would like to be able to respond calmly and gracefully, perhaps with humor. I think that if I can keep the conversations light and pleasant I will feel better and that it will deflect the scrutiny I am receiving. Do you have any suggestions for what I can say that is socially acceptable, honest and will discourage people from trying to change my mind?
The funny thing is, the more they try to convince me to return, the less I like them and the less I want to return.