How do you leave a party like a man?
While you’ve surely heard about the importance of making a dynamite first impression, leaving a classy last impression is just as important. Studies have shown that people most clearly remember the end of an experience, not the beginning. So how do you leave a social event without being awkward and offending your host? And how do you make sure people remember you fondly? Below, we set out some guidelines so you can leave a social event with confidence.
Know when to leave. No matter how smoothly you do it, it’s impossible to leave a social event politely if you exit at the wrong time. Even if you know the party is a disaster from the minute you walk in, you have to put in minimum cameo time. For a come and go kind of function, this minimum is about an hour. At a dinner party, this comes after the after-dinner coffee has been served. If you need to leave before these times for an important reason, tell the host or hostess as soon as you arrive. But generally, if you can’t make it for the minimum cameo time, it’s better not to come at all. It’s awkward to leave in the middle of dinner or to circle the room once before exiting back out the door. Your first and last impression will be one and the same, and not a very good one at that. A caveat to this is to work the room hard for an hour then do aghost leave this is my particular favourite. No body misses you and as long as you had a conversation with everyone then as far as everyone is concerned You are entertaining the smokers on the terrace (being a ex smoker its my last guilty pleasure inhaling smoke).
Stand up. When they feel it’s time to leave, most folks start to squirm in their seat and say things like, “Weeelll…. it’s getting late.” Then they just keep on sitting on the edge of their seat looking awkwardly at their watch. Man up, If you’re ready to leave, then show that you are. Standing up shows you’re committed to leaving.
Don’t be abrupt about it. That’s just as awkward as squirming in your seat and looking side-to-side for a means to escape. Stand-up smoothly and confidently. While you’re standing, simply say, “Well I must be leaving.” Never give an excuse for why you have to leave. Do not create stories/excuses they give the impression you’re lying. If you want to be particularly suave about your transition from sitting to standing, try this trick. When you’re ready to leave, wait for a pause in the conversation and start a short story. Make it an engrossing, entertaining story. You want to leave them laughing.
Hold out your hand. Alright, you’re standing up. What do you do now? This is a crucial moment. If you don’t continue on your path towards the door, your host and the other guests will likely start wrapping their tentacles around you to hold you hostage for another round of chilli Martinis. As soon as you’re on your feet, offer your hand to your host. Give a good firm handshake. If appropriate, offer a man hug or kiss on the cheek if it’s a lady or a Metrosexual chap. Most people who are socially adept will see that you’re serious about leaving. Watch out for the likes of Gareth McTiffin they will NEVER Let you leave the party standing.
Say “Thanks!” and “Goodbye.”As you’re shaking hands, thank your host or whoever you’re with for the hospitality and the conversation. Look them in the eyes, give them a big smile, and compliment the host on something specific you enjoyed about the evening. “Thank you for dinner! Canapés were divine!” Give a pleasant “goodbye” or “see you later.” Also, direct your goodbyes to the other people in the group.
Gather your things. You don’t want to leave anything that will cause you to come back after you’ve left. This only opens up the chance of getting sucked back into social purgatory. And it bursts the warm memory the host and remaining guests started forming about you as soon as you left. Grab your coat and hat and your wife’s coat and clutch. Make sure you have your cell phones. If you do happen to leave something, wait until tomorrow to come pick it up.
Walk to the door with confidence. Inertia can get the best of a man at this point. If you don’t start walking towards the door, you might find yourself sitting back down. Once you make your move to the door, do so with confidence and determination. Don’t stop to admire a painting or you risk getting a 10-minute lecture on the entire family tree..
Open the door. You’ve reached the door. You’re almost there, but you’re still at risk of having your departure needlessly delayed with awkward chatter. A well-mannered host will open the door for you and see you out.
Walk away. Say your final goodbyes and pleasantries and walk to your car. Tip your hat (you are wearing a hat, aren’t you?) for the final charming touch.
Thanks to The art of manliness article for inspiration
Written by Michael Aldridge