Thursday, March 12, 2009

Personal Space...?

"What is the best way to excuse guests to leave your home after a gathering? Or is there no proper way? I often have moms and kids over for play groups and enjoy having ladies over for dinner parties. But even if I specify a time frame with the invitation, the guests often over stay their welcome. I often find myself thinking, "okay, you've been here for two hours and I have things to get done."

This can be difficult, especially if you have several people over. Here are some of my suggestions:
  • Even though you may have set a time frame, you can't expect your guests to remember that, so as the time draws to a close, thank everyone for coming, tell them what a nice time you've had visiting with them all, and that you can't wait until you can do it this, "Well thank you all for coming, it was so nice to see everyone, I loved talking with you all. When are we getting together next month, on the third Wednesday? That will be so fun; thanks again for does anybody need help out with anything?" If you're sincere, your friends will feel that from you.
  • When it's time for your event to come to a close and your guests are just having too good a time to listen...speak up, you can always say, "Thank you all for coming, I loved having you...I have some things I need to finish tonight before bed, I'm sorry we have to wrap this fun night up (or afternoon), I love having good friends!"
  • The best policy is honesty, but you can do that with class and a smile. Make plans after play group for example: to organize something just after the baby goes down for a nap. Be honest and straightforward, everyone appreciates that, but always follow it up with graciousness. Letting them know how grateful you are that they came will mean a lot to them.
I hope this has helped. When the gathering is less formal, like with family, I just tell them we're tired after a few hours of playing and it's after midnight...use your closeness to be your guide also. Good luck, I want to hear how this goes next time!


Chablis said...

Thankyou so much!!! It all seems so obvious, but I needed you to spell it out for me. You're great.

Bethany said...

These are great and practical tips. I have used them on more than one occasion. They work for Parent Teacher conferences, too.

My great uncle used to do this when he was ready for his guests to leave, "Sarah, (his wife) we'd better get to bed so that these good folks can be getting home!
Can you imagine?

Bellamere Cottage said...

Grand advice. It's a tough situation, but I think your way of handling it's another one for you.....this situation arises frequently and I never know what to say. I'm in line at the grocery store and the person behind me is practically pushing me ahead as I'm unloading my groceries. There is a person in front of me so it's not like I can push them out of the way, then the person behind stands right up next to me, breathing down my neck. I am so uncomfortable, and leaving at that point really isn't an option.

I'll be waiting for another great solution! :-) You're so good at this!

Warm blessings,

Woman Interrupted said...

Great ideas!!! I like the gentlest approach possible.

A subtle hint could be straightening the pillows on the sofa or bringing a few dishes to the kitchen as you chat. Also, saying something like, "Before people start dashing off, what's the plan for our next get together" or "before you leave, let me give you that _______ I was telling you about. I'll set it by your purse."

I think its fair to say that most people don't want to overstay their welcome, they have just lost track of time because the company was so least I like to think of it that way!