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How to Exit a Party Early Without Being Rude

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

It is nice to be included in a friend’s party guest list, but sometimes you must exit before the end of the party. Plan and know when you have to leave, or plan to leave before it becomes obvious that you cannot last a moment longer. If you know what you will say before you exit, you will not feel awkward when you leave.

Alert the Host

If you accept the invitation and know that you have to leave early, when you RSVP, let your hosts know that you will not be staying for the entire party, according to Emily Post’s “Etiquette 101.” You don’t have to let them know why you’re leaving early, but share that information if you believe it won’t offend your host. Telling your host ahead saves you from having to look for her before you leave, and reduces the chance that she will beg you to stay. If your need to leave is something that came up after you accepted the invitation, then when you arrive, let your host know that you can stay only for a limited time.

Have a Pressing Engagement?

Tell the host and other guests that you have another commitment but that you look forward to being with them for whatever time you can stay, according to Sophia Dembling in a “Psychology Today” article entitled, “There Must Be 50 Ways to Leave a Party.” You might offend your host by making him think his party wasn't important enough to commit to the entire evening, so be careful how you word your exit.

Exit Quietly

If it is a large party, you can leave unobtrusively by slipping out when everyone else is otherwise engaged. Do apologize to the hosts and thank them for a wonderful party. Quietly leave without making your goodbyes to the guests. If you cannot find your host, simply leave, rather than alerting everyone to your exit. The next day, let the host know how much you enjoyed the party, according to Post.

Be Honest

Be honest about early exit. Do not make up an excuse just to not feel bad about staying, especially if you are a poor liar. If your schedule calls for you to rise at dawn, hanging out after midnight will make it difficult for you to work the next day. Most people will understand you need to bid adieu early.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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