Author Topic: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38  (Read 8215 times)

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lowspark

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It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38
« on: November 11, 2013, 03:40:13 PM »
This is a situation that I have been in repeatedly and I don't think it's rude and probably won't stop doing it, but I just got to wondering if other people might thing it is rude.

I'm in a few different set groups of friends who have regular get togethers. Book club for example, among others. It's the same set of people every month and we rotate hosting (at our houses or not, depending on the group). When the event is scheduled to be at my house, I figure I have the liberty of inviting an extra guest who is not actually a regular member of the group. Now, these groups are very friendly and open and easy going. And the guest is someone who there is very little chance would be interested in joining as a permanent member so there's no issue of the guest expecting to be invited again when it's not at my house (or even when it is).

Is it rude for me to invite the extra person?

So as a couple of examples:
We have a very casual group who plays poker together now and then. Host serves dinner and we don't play for real money (maybe throw $5 into the pot and winner takes all, that kind of thing). When it was at my house, I invited my sister to come. She wouldn't really want to do it on a regular basis but since it was at my house and she's my sister (and we're pretty close) I thought it would be fun to include her.

I'm hosting book club this week. A friend of mine is going through a bit of a life crisis and has expressed a desire not to sit around her house thinking about it. So I thought, why not invite her to the book club meeting. Again, I'll be serving dinner, there will be a lot of chit chat, we'll discuss the book (which everyone may or may not have read) and it's very casual and easy.

On the other hand, I'm a member of a social group that is kind of, as a tacit agreement, closed. What I mean is, our group is sort of a good size and we mesh well together and it's SOP that we would discuss it amongst ourselves before inviting anyone new to the group. So for that group, I wouldn't invite any outsider on a whim.

Like I said, I probably won't discontinue doing this sometimes as I have not ever had any bad results or anyone saying anything negative, but I was just wondering what others think.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 10:13:48 AM by lowspark »

dearabby

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 03:55:33 PM »
I think some of this depends on the norm for the groups.  It seems like the first two group examples are pretty relaxed; so long as you're not the only one who does this, and so long as it doesn't impose negatively on the group, it sounds fine to do.

In a group where there was a steep learning curve (a complicated board game group) or where people might feel more vulnerable (one friend attends a book club run by a therapist, which is much more like group therapy), or some other reason why an "outsider" might not be welcome, you'd probably want to run it by the group before inviting a guest.

greencat

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 04:10:31 PM »
I would suggest that rather than invite people who are going to be one-time visitors, that you invite people who are a good fit for the group due to their shared interest in whatever the group is about.



My main group of friends is pretty open to new people - then again, we have accepted that we are "group therapy for awkward people."  Put us all together and we suddenly become fairly normal.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 04:13:09 PM by greencat »

bonyk

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 04:14:02 PM »
The book club seems a bit off to me, but I think I'm used to something with more structure than your group.

Mrs. Tilney

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 04:15:06 PM »
I agree with dearabby that what you're doing is fine, assuming others also do it. It would seem a bit off to me if you were the only one to invite others. In the case of the book club, I would hope that your guest might consider joining the group more permanently than see this as a one-off event.

TootsNYC

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 04:21:00 PM »
I think it could be rude, actually.  You're not hosting your own get-together, you're offering your home to be used by the group.

And at that point, it's not really your home; it's the group's meeting place.

Just as, when someone hosts a wedding at a commercial establishment, for that night the restaurant/dance hall is their home, and so no tip jar, no cash bar. Because you wouldn't have those in your home.

The actual legal ownership is really not the point.

After all, one of our EHellions will loan her home to be used by someone else to host her baby shower. That works, because she's not the host.

In your case, it *looks* as though you're the host, but you're not. Not really.

However, if the book club members think it's fine, then it's fine. And if other people are doing it, then there's an unspoken consensus. I think I would hesitate before I'd be the first to do this.


In fact, I can see a book club officially saying, "no outsiders unless they're invited by our evening's host, and the hosts are supposed to scope out potential new members for us. So you invite the potential new person when it's your home, and we get a chance to check them out."

Oh Joy

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 04:23:05 PM »
My vote is that it depends 100% on group norms.  I've been in some where it's expected - and even welcomed - to add others to group events in your home, and others where it would be totally inappropriate for group dynamics.

How's that for not helpful?   :D

*inviteseller

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 07:43:03 PM »
The only issue I see is if someone is coming just to get out of the house but has absolutely no interest in the activity the dinner and get together are specifically for, they end up being odd man out, or everyone is trying to include the extra guest but not having the activity the way they thought it would be.  I personally would only ask someone if they had expressed an interest in trying the activity so there is at least a chance of them participating.  I know I would feel out of place if invited to dinner and then everyone started doing/discussing activity and I am not part of on going activity.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 07:58:03 PM »
I'd be careful with inviting outsiders to a group meeting. Often group members over time really trust each other and sometimes things get talked about that need to stay within that circle (e.g. health issues, relationship stuff, etc.). An outsider might make that awkward. Also often groups often talk about common experiences and have insider jokes that someone from outside the group might not get or find funny and then feel excluded.

katycoo

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 08:19:06 PM »
If the extra person is not interested in joining the group, then I think its weird.  New people change the dynamic.  I'm happy to try to include people but it would annoy me for my night to be different than expected for no reason.

In circumstances where its simply a circle of friends, not a group which meets for a particular purpose, its fine.

Tea Drinker

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 08:29:28 PM »
If you've done this before, I think you're asking the wrong people. I think you should ask the members of the groups how they'd feel about you having an extra guest again. One argument for asking is that maybe there's someone who always comes to book group, could use some emotional support for an issue you don't know about yet, and wouldn't be comfortable opening up to a stranger.

Your very casual poker group might be fine with it, and the book group not, or vice versa. I wouldn't invite one extra person to a bridge evening unless I knew they and the other people would be comfortable with swapping in and out, rather than someone feeling uncomfortable having to wait an hour for a seat at the time. Poker isn't usually as rigid, but maybe your friends think that the group is as large as it should be for a comfortable game (or two games), so the answer might depend on how many of the regulars are going to attend this time.
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Bijou

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 08:39:38 PM »
I kind of agree with Toots on this.  You really are just loaning your home as a space to meet, in turn with others. 

If your group agrees that it is fine to include non members occasionally it would be fine, but without this agreement, I think you have to be careful.  And then there is always the off-chance that the person would be interested in joining the group and by including them you appear to be opening a door to them, which may not really be open at all.

My sister belonged to a writers group who met at different peoples houses every week, and although she kind of suggested that I might like to come sometime, I never did.  It just felt kind of off to me.  (Maybe because I would have loved to join, but felt it would be intruding, since it was not really 'her' group, but 'their' group and had been formed a long time ago).
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Hmmmmm

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 08:47:59 PM »
Has anyone else ever done this for the poker nights or book clubs? If they have, then I think it's fine and the group norm. If they haven't then I think I'd ask the groups if they are ok with an extra participant.

We have good friends who are members of a supper club. We are not. But their group norm is that it is fine for that mints host to invite out of the group. But it's an agreed to standard.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 09:07:53 PM »
The only issue I see is if someone is coming just to get out of the house but has absolutely no interest in the activity the dinner and get together are specifically for, they end up being odd man out, or everyone is trying to include the extra guest but not having the activity the way they thought it would be.  I personally would only ask someone if they had expressed an interest in trying the activity so there is at least a chance of them participating.  I know I would feel out of place if invited to dinner and then everyone started doing/discussing activity and I am not part of on going activity.

This is a good point. As a member of a weekly pub trivia team (who are quite competitive), there is nothing worse than when someone invites an extra guest who has no interest in trivia, and treats the trivia night like a social gathering (and chats all through the questions, etc). Luckily this only happens very rarely! 

Katana_Geldar

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 09:16:19 PM »
It very much depends on the group. I'd ask them and see if they were ok with that. Our gaming group I was ok with people being friends, as long it was not too many and the GM knew about it beforehand.