When They Overstay Their Welcome

In today's episode, John presents a humorous holiday edition with a list of the top 10 ways to encourage your guests to leave your home after a dinner party.

Today we address a topic that we often face during the holidays: how to discreetly get your guests to leave at the end of a get-together.

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Top 10 Ways to Encourage Your Guests to Leave

Now for today’s presentation starting with some short announcements.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and following me here and elsewhere.

Happy holidays, belated Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

This leads me to a slight diversion from my usual interview or solo presentation.

I’d like to present my Top 10 Ways to Encourage Your Guests to Leave After a Party.

I have certain family members who tend to linger long after it seems appropriate to me. And, it’s not uncommon to be out to dinner with certain individuals and suddenly notice that all of the other tables are empty and the waitstaff are staring at us and rolling their eyes.

At home, the same thing sometimes happens to me and Kay. She is too polite to give the slightest indication that her patience is wearing thin. But I am not so patient.

So I have applied some of the following methods to encourage them to leave. And I did a little research and found a few more suggestions to round out the list.

The List

10. Probably the most gentle and only slightly underhanded: pull a friend aside and ask them to stand up in a few minutes and suggest that it’s getting late and they will be leaving soon.

9. Fake a yawn yourself and ask if anybody else has an early appointment in the morning. [Might not work if its Christmas Eve or a long holiday weekend]

8. Slip away from the table and return in a few minutes with your pajamas on.

7. Change the music from whatever was playing to something quiet and bring up the intensity of the lights at the same time.

6. Start turning off the lights (one of my favorites).

5. Start cleaning up and putting food in “to-go” containers.

4. Bring up a very boring topic. Granted this one takes some thought, but certain topics can get others to start yawning. Ideas might include how to pick out a good life insurance policy, how many types of glue there are, or maybe the latest celebrity couple break-up.

3. Sneak out of the room and cut the main breakers to the whole house or apartment. Tell your guests that it's part of rolling blackouts that usually last an hour or so.

2. Tell everyone that there is a fireworks display nearby in ten minutes and they can see it from your yard.

And NUMBER 1. Discreetly turn up the thermostat about 30 minutes before you want them to leave.

Listen to the episode to hear more details and my preferred methods.

Dr. John Jurica's Advice

I'll admit, it might be better to be frank and politely ask people to leave.


Thanks for listening. Send feedback or questions to john.jurica.md@gmail.com. See you next week!

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode. 

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 280

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Guests to Leave After a Party

John: For today's presentation, first I want to say thank you to everyone here that's listening. Thank you, listeners, thank you for watching this video, listening to this podcast, and maybe looking at my emails. Some of you have taken some of my courses or are members of my mastermind group or have joined Newscript.

There are different ways we can interact, but I want to just thank you for being involved and for demonstrating that faith in me and coming back to be a part of what I call the Nonclinical Nation. So, thanks.

The other is I want to say Merry Christmas belatedly, belated Happy Hanukkah. I know I'm behind on both of those. Happy holidays and I hope that everybody has a chance to relax this week and next week during this break that most of us are on, get together with friends and family, and give thanks. It's past Thanksgiving, but it's a good time at the end of the year to think about what we're all thankful for. I could give you a list a mile long. I won't even go there right now, but there are so many things that I'm thankful for and I hope that you are too. Just pause and think about how great things are in your life. Life isn't perfect, obviously, but I think things, in general, are good and I greatly look forward to next year's. A lot of new things coming out from myself, from Tom Davis and me, and Newscript and other things that are going on. I look forward to it. Life changes all the time. And again, I'm glad that you're in my life through the podcast and these other measures.

So, if there's anything I can do for you, you should have my email. It's john.jurica.md@gmail.com. You can get a hold of me, and ask me a question, and I really respond to everything unless somehow, I get buried in emails, which occasionally happens.

I thought I would do something different because it is in the holidays, and people don't pay attention to things as much. And if there was really some sort of fantastic episode, I would hate that people would miss it. So, just on the lighter side, I'd like to present my top 10 ways to encourage your guests to leave at the end of a party. This is triggered in part because I have certain family members who tend to linger long after it seems appropriate, at least to me.

It's not uncommon for me to be out, let's say at dinner with some of these people. And suddenly at the end of the meal and after coffee and dessert, I look around and realize that we're the only ones there. All the other tables are empty, and still chatter going on at our table. The waitstaff is over in the corner, just staring at us, rolling their eyes, because basically, we've kept them there for no good reason other than we just don't know how to say goodbye and leave. That kind of triggered it for me.

The other thing is, at home, the same thing sometimes happens to me and Kay, my wife. And while she's too polite to give the slightest indication that her patience is wearing thin, I have tried a few of the following pointers that I'm going to share with you today. But I did a little bit of research to get some other ideas and the ones that I've tried. So that's how I came up with a top 10 list. You'll notice that I purposely left out the obvious approach of just asking people to leave, partly because some of us just aren't comfortable with that. And sometimes you have to be a little sneakier than other times to do this and not be in their face.

I remember one time I was on a flight. It was a Southwest flight. We got to where we were going, the plane had landed, and the flight attendant, he was on the microphone and he said, "Thank you for flying Southwest, and we're glad that you're with us. Let me tell you what my mother told me on my 18th birthday. Get your stuff and get the hell out of here." So, I don't want to do it that way. Now, that was hilarious when he said it. Everyone got a good chuckle. But I'm trying to talk about ways where they're a little more subtle in a way, although, like I said, probably pretty sneaky.

All right, we're going to do it as the old comedians did. And we're going to do the top 10 list, starting with number 10 and ending with number one.

Number 10, probably the most gentle and only slightly underhanded method. And that is to pull aside a good friend that you really trust and that isn't going to be offended and ask them to stand up in a few minutes and suggest that it's getting late and that they will be leaving soon. Sometimes all you have to do is get that first person to leave. Have you ever noticed that? That one person decides "It's time to go" and boom, five minutes later, the place is empty. That's one sneaky underhanded way to do it in a way that's pretty gentle.

The number nine way to get people to leave your party. This is pretty common. Fake a yawn and just ask if anybody else has an early appointment in the morning. Most people will take the hint when you do that. Now, that might not work like on Christmas Eve or a long holiday weekend because people know you're not really having to get up early in the morning. That might only be appropriate for certain settings, and some of us are not really that good at faking a yawn.

Number eight, slip away from the table and just return in a few minutes with your pajamas on. They might think maybe it's a little inappropriate, or some will think it's funny, but I've had relatives that have done this to me, and usually, when I see them in their pajamas, of course, I'll usually say something, but I get the hint that I guess it's time for them to go to bed.

Number seven on the top 10 list of ways to get your guests to leave is to change the music. You might have some bright, lively music going on for a party. And so, what you do is you change the music out to something that's a lot slower and quieter, maybe you pull this sound down. And then at the same time, you bring up the intensity of the lights in the room. Kind of do that at bars and restaurants. Bam, it's been really nice music with subtle lighting and all of a sudden, boom, the lights are on. It's like, "Okay, we're closing in 15 minutes." That's another one you can borrow from the restaurant industry.

Number six, this is when I've used a lot myself. I do this with my family all the time. Whenever I get to the point where I feel like it's time, I just get up and start turning the lights off. That's kind of the opposite of the other one. We'll have a party at my house, a bunch of my family are there, I've got nine siblings, and they all have spouses. They all have kids. It gets overwhelming pretty quickly, but I'll just go outside where the lights are on, turn those off, and the room next door, I'll turn that off and then they'll kind of get the hint. So, turning the lights out can be helpful. I have another one later that's even more extreme than that.

Another one, it's pretty common and I think it works pretty well, is you start cleaning up after yourself. Everyone's still talking. Be like, "Oh, I'm going to take the plates away and put some of these empty cans in the garbage." And the next thing is I also start putting food in the to-go containers. And you kind of look at people, "Oh, would you like to take this food when you leave?" That's a good one. You don't have to be so obvious.

Number four way to encourage your guests to leave your party. This is a good one. Bring up a very boring topic. Now this takes a little thought. It's not always obvious what is boring to someone else. I might know something that's boring to me, but that might be exciting to someone else. You have to be a little careful in this method. It might backfire. But here are some suggestions for the topics that tend to be pretty boring for almost everybody. One is how to pick out a life insurance policy. That sounds pretty boring to me. How about how many types of glue there are and how does glue actually work? Now that sounds pretty boring.

And the last boring topic I have for me at least is just talk about the latest celebrity couple breakup. I couldn't care less really, whether so-and-so, two actors or singers are breaking up. It's like, ugh, nonsense and a waste of time to me. But get as boring as you can. And again, these aren't mean in any way.

Okay, now we're getting a little more drastic. The number three way to get people to leave your party is to sneak out of the room and cut the main breakers to the whole house or to your apartment. Everyone's going to be in the dark at that point. Now they're going to want to try and fix the problem. So, you have to have a story to go with it, like telling your guests that it's part of rolling blackouts in your community. They usually last 30 to 45 minutes, but they can be longer. So yeah, maybe you should just take off, but it'll be fine. I thought that was a good one. Again, I was doing some research for some of these, so these are good.

All right, the second top way to get your guests to leave is tell everybody, because it's usually at night. Tell everybody if there's a fireworks display and it's going to be nearby, close by in about 10 minutes and they can probably see it from your yard. So, everyone marches out, and then once they're all out there in the yard, you can lock the doors, turn out your lights and call it good. Or if you want, you can just go out there and say "Actually that's next week" or "Oh no, that's tomorrow." Whatever it might be. And you'll be like, "Well, you're all here. Here's your to-go food. Thanks for coming and we'll see you next time."

But I like the number one way to encourage your guests to leave a party because it's insidious and they can't necessarily point the fingers at you unless they catch you doing it. And that is just to go to where the thermostat is. And about 30 minutes before you want your guests to leave, just crank that up by about three or four degrees, depending on the normal temperature in your home. And what happens is people get warm, they get a little uncomfortable, and they might even start yawning because a lot of times that warmth will bring on some fatigue and some tiredness.

Sometimes it doesn't work right away, so you have to sneak away again and turn it up maybe another three or four degrees, but it's very insidious. Usually, they'll just say "I think it's time to go. I'm getting sleepy, thanks for everything." And they'll be marching out and they'll have no idea that you were sort of helping them along.

That's it. That's my top 10 list of how to encourage your guests to leave after a party. I hope you found the information today useful for your future holiday get togethers. Next week I'll be back to my usual format.


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