Service of How to Invite a Guest to Leave

April 1st, 2024

Categories: Guests, Leave Please

I’m the worst at asking a friend to go home. Some don’t get the hint. One heard me conducting business on the phone. I said, once I’d hung up, that I had to contact a few people right away. The person didn’t move a muscle.

When my cousin sent a text about her recent visitor, her incident resonated. The guest wasn’t as bad as Monty Woolley in “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” but who is?

Her visitor came at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t leave until 9:15 p.m.

Deb wrote that the guest “is a young woman who I met when I was volunteering for the library, and we worked together for Market Day and book sales. She was about 16 then. She since has become a nurse and lives in Wisconsin, about an hour and a half from me. She is over six feet tall, very slim, and has a great personality once you know her. She is shy but we have become great friends over the years.

“The last time I saw her was during Covid. We text occasionally. We are 50 years apart, but we are both nerds. We discuss our favorite science fiction shows and films, books, music, philosophy, and world events.

“I took her to lunch at a new little restaurant. They have a fresh menu and suggest a wine that goes well with what you choose. I had a delicious flatbread with spinach and other vegetables, cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. We stayed two and a half hours while she showed me all the pictures she has taken of her recent travels! I do enjoy seeing pictures of peoples’ travels but I can do without a narrative!!!

“When we returned to my house I politely asked if she wanted to come in for a bit. Finally, about six, I said I was hungry: did she want some scrambled eggs and toast? Thinking she might say ‘no, time to go,’ she said su’re!’ We continued to visit. She showed me a beautiful video game with wonderful music.

“When she left, I was exhausted. But I value our friendship. I am really not her mentor. We are just two people who enjoy the same interests. She suggested a field trip to a neat park or an outdoor event for the next time. Since it seems to be freezing cold, it will be a while!”

How do you invite people to leave your home or office, or do you suffer in silence?

9 Responses to “Service of How to Invite a Guest to Leave”

  1. Helen Said:

    Well I have the perfect reason for unexpected guests to leave in a timely fashion! Georgie my parrots giant bird cage is in the living room which is attached to the dining room. All one big space. Georgie goes to sleep no later than 8:00! Big birds require at least if possible 8-10 hours of sleep! My guests know that. By the way Georgie has been declared by the governor in a citation to be “the best king of the birds in Brookline” where we live!

  2. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: Do the dishes; say it was lovely visit; and you have an early morning. Or you have some calls to make.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I told a surprise guest just that–once I got off a business call that she’d witnessed. I said I had to contact a few people right away. She snuggled into the sofa and looked at her emails. She’d had a bad day so I was reluctant to be too blunt.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    That’s great…but if guests drop in during the day Georgie’s schedule won’t help!

  5. Helen Said:

    No one I know comes by without checking in first. I also that unexpected guests know that an apple is the way to the kings heart. I only have one friend who requires I move him into another room. She has such sensitive hearing that his yelling hurts her ears but she always brings him a treat. Just the other day she brought him 50 fortune cookies. He gets the cookie and I get the fortune. It’s only once a month.

  6. Martha Takayama Said:

    I recall an experience with a neighbor who refused to leave or to permit my husband and me to finish a phone conversation. Nothing we said had any impact. She just was totally insensitive to anything we said. She acted only according to her own wishes. We followed a policy of avoiding further engagement.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You made the right decision as the guest you described wasn’t going to leave during a second visit either. Sad when it comes to that.

  8. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: Sometimes you just have to tell them nicely I must ask you to leave. Bed time or whatever else makes sense. With a smile and gentle tone say goodbye

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    True but sooooo hard to do

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