Sunday, November 23, 2014

To Ghost or Not to Ghost?

...From a party, that is.

As the holiday party season begins, you might find yourself with at least one work or social engagement already on the calendar. Such a time can be the pinnacle of fabulousness for the avid party-goer, and a dreaded responsibility for the classic introvert. For some, the idea of ghosting—leaving a party without saying goodbye, just slipping quietly out the door—can hold immense appeal.

This ghost has clearly been to a party

It sounds like a huge etiquette no-no, but there is support of the practice. Like this article, for example, which reminds us that saying goodbye to the host before leaving can interrupt conversations, grind the social flow to a halt, and result in an awkward bummer of a farewell. Replace the spoken goodbye with a text or email later, and you're golden, the writer says.

We can see the attraction of ghosting in some specific situations, like perhaps a social anxiety-fueled moment that requires an immediate exit...or, in less dire stations, simply being exhausted at the end of a long night. And what if you're at a huge party, where you're convinced your host wouldn't miss you—let alone be able to simply find you to say goodbye?

While we believe that etiquette is a nuanced, malleable thing that can change with the times, we also believe that whenever possible, saying goodbye to your hosts and thanking them for a good time is the best thing to do.

Imagine you're the host, and you've just noticed that a guest has gone missing. Vanished, in effect. Would you worry for his or her welfare? Fret over what happened? Spend valuable party time texting, calling, or wandering aimlessly in hopes of finding your friend? Assume that the party's been a total bust, or that you've offended people somehow? 

The host has likely spent some time, effort, and resources on creating a (hopefully) pleasant experience for you. Taking a brief moment to thank them before you leave is always most appreciated. 

And if you really, truly do need to split, right then, right there, send an explanation as soon as you can via call or message, and go ahead and thank them for the invitation!

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