General Etiquette > Life...in general

It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38

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Allyson:

--- Quote from: Jocelyn on November 16, 2013, 10:33:08 PM ---
--- Quote from: lowspark on November 15, 2013, 08:52:18 AM ---Well, I had the book club over last night, sans extra friend. And I asked them all what they would have thought if I'd invited a friend over spontaneously who none of them knew and wouldn't actually be interested in joining. Before I could get the entire question out of my mouth, they all chimed in that of course it would be ok, and why would I ever think it wouldn't be and why didn't she come? etc. 

--- End quote ---
It is wise to keep in mind that once one person chimes in and says 'of COURSE we wouldn't mind', that anyone who objects is more likely to keep quiet rather than speaking up and saying 'Actually, I would mind, very much.'
Actually, I'm not really sure how many people would feel comfortable saying no to a request like this, made to a group rather than privately.

--- End quote ---

This is a good point, but I'm not really sure what the alternative would be. This situation does come up a lot when someone asks 'would it be OK if I X'; the uncomfortable person has to either speak up and possibly make it awkward, or go along with it. Sometimes it's even uncomfortable to say no in private. As for the 'in a group' making it harder to say no, this doesn't seem like the type of situation where it is *so* sensitive it warrants taking each member of the group aside and making absolutely for sure certain they'd be OK with it.  I think that might be overkill here.

lowspark:

--- Quote from: Bijou on November 15, 2013, 06:52:35 PM ---
--- Quote from: lowspark on November 15, 2013, 08:52:18 AM ---Well, I had the book club over last night, sans extra friend. And I asked them all what they would have thought if I'd invited a friend over spontaneously who none of them knew and wouldn't actually be interested in joining. Before I could get the entire question out of my mouth, they all chimed in that of course it would be ok, and why would I ever think it wouldn't be and why didn't she come? etc.

I was also reminded that one of the members actually had brought her sister who was visiting from another state to a previous meeting, which was at another member's house. I'd forgotten about that.

I even mentioned that one of the issues was that she wouldn't have read the book and everyone agreed it wouldn't matter one bit to them.

So yeah, it's a know-your-audience thing and in this case, my audience is totally ammenable. They even suggested I invite her to the December meeting.

--- End quote ---
I really like your book club members!  What a welcoming group.  Not that there is anything wrong with a group not wanting to be open, but it just makes me feel good to know that there are open arms out there.

--- End quote ---

Yes, I do too. And I agree, there's nothing wrong with a group not wanting to be open. But for me, what would matter is the reason they don't want to be open. If it's because the group meshes perfectly and they are wary of adding a new person who might not mesh, I'd be ok with it. If it's because of blind adherence to structure, that might bother me.

In fact, one of the things I do love about this book club is that we're all pretty relaxed and easy going. The discussion just evolves casually and naturally, we don't normally have a "leader" or "protocol"; everyone just chimes in.

I think if the group were more structured and businesslike, I wouldn't have thought it a good idea to invite an extra. By the same token, though, if they were like that, I'm not sure I'd fit in in the first place.

lowspark:

--- Quote from: Jocelyn on November 16, 2013, 10:33:08 PM ---
--- Quote from: lowspark on November 15, 2013, 08:52:18 AM ---Well, I had the book club over last night, sans extra friend. And I asked them all what they would have thought if I'd invited a friend over spontaneously who none of them knew and wouldn't actually be interested in joining. Before I could get the entire question out of my mouth, they all chimed in that of course it would be ok, and why would I ever think it wouldn't be and why didn't she come? etc. 

--- End quote ---
It is wise to keep in mind that once one person chimes in and says 'of COURSE we wouldn't mind', that anyone who objects is more likely to keep quiet rather than speaking up and saying 'Actually, I would mind, very much.'
Actually, I'm not really sure how many people would feel comfortable saying no to a request like this, made to a group rather than privately.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, I can see that. So it's really a matter of gauging the tone of the responses. If one person had said, "of course" and then others had chimed in with lukewarm emotion, I'd be thinking, hmmmm, I wonder what they really thought.

But that's not what happened. As I said, before I'd even finished asking the question, all of them spoke up and the discussion continued for a few minutes as everyone enthusiastically said that it would not only be fine, but that they were surprised I had to ask. We actually talked about it for a few minutes so I think it would have been fairly easy to recognize if anyone was just agreeing so as not to seem like the lone dissenter.

And again, this group is very laid back so their response was perfectly in character. Which is why I never thought it would be rude in the first place and was only asking here to get different prespectives.

And generally I agree with the results. In some groups inviting an outsider would be perfectly fine. In other groups, not so much. So it's important to know your audience. And as I said upthread, I'm actually involved with a few different groups of friends and in one case, I wouldn't dream of inviting an extra without asking first.

So is it rude? It can be but it's not a hard and fast rule. And that is sort of what I was trying to get straight in my head.

lowspark:

--- Quote from: Jocelyn on November 16, 2013, 10:33:08 PM ---
--- Quote from: lowspark on November 15, 2013, 08:52:18 AM ---Well, I had the book club over last night, sans extra friend. And I asked them all what they would have thought if I'd invited a friend over spontaneously who none of them knew and wouldn't actually be interested in joining. Before I could get the entire question out of my mouth, they all chimed in that of course it would be ok, and why would I ever think it wouldn't be and why didn't she come? etc. 

--- End quote ---
It is wise to keep in mind that once one person chimes in and says 'of COURSE we wouldn't mind', that anyone who objects is more likely to keep quiet rather than speaking up and saying 'Actually, I would mind, very much.'
Actually, I'm not really sure how many people would feel comfortable saying no to a request like this, made to a group rather than privately.
--- End quote ---

I wanted to give a separate response to this specific (bolded) sentence. To be honest, I think that if you're in a group of friends and you don't feel comfortable speaking up and saying what you think, then really, how comfortable are you being a member of the group?

Now, if you're new to the group, I can see there being a period of adjustment where you're getting to know everyone and figuring out how you fit in. But in a group of friends who has been together for for a while, there should evolve a level of comfort where people are free to speak their mind. Especially in a book club where there are always differing opinions about what was just read.

If I were in a group like this and felt uncomfortable saying what I thought, I'd probably move on.

Twik:
I agree with lowspark. I don't think this is the sort of request that should make people feel unable to speak their minds.

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