Quick talk about party etiquette. I was raised that upon departure, you should always find and thank your host for having you… I’ve followed this etiquette for the majority.
A few months ago, I came across a cleverly written article by Seth Stevenson on the subject of “ghosting” or “the irish goodbye”. I do think you should read his short article here to fully grasp the point of this post. The article reassured me that I was fully justified in leaving a party or event without saying goodbye… that it was actually rude to go and interrupt a busy host to announce your departure, and that nobody likes goodbyes. Goodbye’s represent the conclusion of a fun time, thus bringing down the energy of a party.
Although I agreed with Seth’s article to a degree, I still wasn’t sure how I felt on the idea of “ghosting”. So over coffee with my friend Bren Underwood, who has an adorable blog on etiquette called Must Bring Buns, and a recently published book entitled Savvy Girl, A Guide to Etiquette, I asked her what she thought on the subject. Apparently, I wasn’t the first person to ask her that (she has an advice column on her blog for readers to ask questions). Here are her thoughts on the subject and why it is important to find your host and say farewell.
After weighing the opinions of both Seth and Bren, I questioned whether its a gender thing. Looking back, 98 percent of the time I left without saying goodbye was because my husband was ready to go and didn’t think anything of us “sneaking out”.
But what I do know with certainty is that its a case by case situation. At a large wedding or event, no question, but at a birthday party or gathering at someone’s home, I think a parting gesture is absolutely necessary. Like Bren says in her post, its important to always show your appreciation, and you can always drop a nice thank you note in the mail after the fact.
Thank you Bren for sharing your thoughts on “ghosting” on your blog and for writing such a necessary book!