Author Topic: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38  (Read 8157 times)

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Surianne

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2013, 12:27:51 PM »
Do other people in the group invite extra guests when the meetings are held at their house?  I think that's a very good indicator as to whether or not they consider it okay.  Apologies if that was already answered and I missed it  :)

For me, it wouldn't even be about discussing personal stuff, but that an extra person who is only there for one meeting changes the dynamic.  I also find it takes more emotional energy to talk to someone new rather than people I already know, so if I wasn't prepared for that, I'd be a bit frustrated.

Also re: the book club, while a regular member not reading the book for one meeting isn't a big deal (they're a regular part of the group and usually do read the book), if someone new joins in for one meeting and has never read the book, I'd be confused as to why she was there.  What's the purpose of going to a book club meeting without having read the book?  Why invite her along?

I wouldn't know if I was expected to dumb down my discussion of the book so that someone who has only seen the TED Talk can follow all threads of the conversation.  I'd also wonder if the host was trying to change the evening to more social talk and less book talk, and I'd feel obligated to spend time getting to know the extra person rather than discussing the book, which would annoy me.  It really does change the flow of the conversation.

Tea Drinker

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2013, 01:22:22 PM »
I don't think people are against including guests. I'm against including guests without validating all members of the group are ok with the occasional guest.

And I don't think the proper time to validate that decision is when you are hosting and you say "Hey, I'm hosting this week's poker party and want to include my sister. Does anyone object?" It's putting the others on the sopt.

Instead I think the proper time to perform the due deligence is when it is in theory. Like at another poker night at someone's house and bring up "How do you guys feel in general about hosts aking guests to join our poker nights?" Your more likely to get uncensored response.

<snip>

Yeah, I agree with that. I've already invited the friend so it's too late for me to poll the group now and see what everyone thinks. Which is why I said, if my friend can't come, I'm going to bring it up as a hypothetical question.

[snip book group details]

In addition, I will qualify this by saying that in the ~year and a half I've been in this group, we've spent very little time discussiing extremely personal stuff. There are a few in the group who have known each other for many many years, but I'm not one of them. So we discuss general topics and although we do discuss our families a bit, it's more like newsy stuff as opposed to confidences. I imagine the more personal stuff gets discussed among smaller groups of friends who probably see each other more often outside the club itself.

So again, I definitely see your (collective) point and I definitely agree that there are some groups in which this would not go over well and in those cases, it would be rude to introduce an outsider spontaneously. I guess my point of view is that in these particular groups, that isn't the case. If I'm interpreting the dynamic of the group wrong, then I probably am being rude. But if that's the situation, then I think the issue may be more that I'm not fitting in the group well, and that is causing me to make wrong assumptions and faux pas. And honestly, I don't think that's happening.

This is why my answer was that you shouldn't be asking us, you should be asking the people in the book group or poker club. Because there are groups where it would be entirely okay, and from your description you probably have one. If you aren't 100% sure, asking your friends something like "I've noticed that other people aren't inviting people from outside the group when they host. I was wondering whether I should stop doing that" is likely to work better than stopping because some random people online think you should, or keeping doing it because the reasons people here are giving don't seem to apply.

This feels less like "is it rude to serve German chocolate cake to someone who I've never seen eating it?" than "would my friend like a German chocolate cake for dessert?" And the answer there has to be "well, is she allergic to chocolate or coconut? If not, ask her."
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Dorrie78

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2013, 01:38:55 PM »
My experience with my book club is that no one would ever invite someone who is not in the book club. We have a capped number of members and when someone drops out, it is a very serious discussion about who we will invite to replace her and any individual member has veto power. That being said, my book club is a subset of a very large group of women that are all members of my golf league, so we are always talking about the same pool of women being considered for membership when an opening occurs.

And maybe a third of us read the book each month, conversations aren't terribly graphically personal, but we enjoy each others company and like to drink wine together.

On the other hand, my poker group is always open to new people - the more, the merrier and the bigger the pots. And we play for real money.

mlogica

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2013, 02:28:42 PM »
Lots of responses, so I'm late to the party, but I think this is one of those times when there is no hard and fast etiquette rule.  Every group has its own dynamic and I think the etiquette requirement is to behave within that dynamic.  Which, if you (the "general you") have been a member of the group for a while, you will know.

To give an example from my life:  DH and I belong to a running group that always meets on a certain night of the week, and following the run, the group always goes to the same pub.  The number of people who might choose to show up for the run is huge, but on any given evening, only a subset is there.  And we don't all run together, but divide ourselves into groups of people running a similar pace.  Anyone is welcome to bring a new person (i.e.:  a guest), and as long as that person can run the pace of whatever group he/she joins up with, it's all good.  Anyone who brings a new person will take on the responsibility of making sure that person is matched with the right group.  It sounds confusing but in practice it all works out.

And just like the running part, anyone is welcome to go to the pub (we have a standing reservation that can be expanded or contracted quite easily; the place is never all that busy on a weekday evening), but only a smaller subset shows up there consistently.  In practice, most people coming to the pub for the first time are accompanying a friend who is usually there.  The group at the pub is "tighter" than the larger running group, but new people are always welcome.  It's not necessary to clear it with other group members first.  Presumably if you were to bring someone who simply didn't mesh, somebody might suggest that you not bring that person again, but in practice I haven't seen this happen.

But where it changes is when the "pub group" is planning other social activities.  Those tend to be invitation only and if I wanted to bring someone else, I would definitely bounce it off a few people first.  Every year a small group of us have a beach party on a public-but-not-easily-accessed beach, which usually goes well into the early morning,  and is most definitely a "closed" party for people who know each other well.  It is unlikely that anyone would be invited who had not already become a regular member of the pub group, and it is one of the few situations where I (who am typically a "more the merrier" person) would be annoyed to have a relative stranger or two show up.

So, in summary, IMHO, the only true etiquette issue is to be sensitive to a given group's way of operating.

lowspark

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2013, 04:10:07 PM »
Do other people in the group invite extra guests when the meetings are held at their house?  I think that's a very good indicator as to whether or not they consider it okay.  Apologies if that was already answered and I missed it  :)

No, they haven't. But I see this as a kind of chicken and egg question. If they had, would they have been rude for doing so? If I do, does it open the door for others? So, although the answer is no, I'm not sure I see that as relevent.

Quote
For me, it wouldn't even be about discussing personal stuff, but that an extra person who is only there for one meeting changes the dynamic.  I also find it takes more emotional energy to talk to someone new rather than people I already know, so if I wasn't prepared for that, I'd be a bit frustrated.

I can see that. There are nine members of the group and we usually have at least seven show up. So there are a lot of side conversations going on and no one would really get stuck talking to someone they didn't want to talk to for a long period of time. Valid point though.

Quote
Also re: the book club, while a regular member not reading the book for one meeting isn't a big deal (they're a regular part of the group and usually do read the book), if someone new joins in for one meeting and has never read the book, I'd be confused as to why she was there.  What's the purpose of going to a book club meeting without having read the book?  Why invite her along?

That's a really good point. My motivation is to give my friend an opportunity to get out of the house, but I am always of the opinion that friendly people are open to meeting other friendly people and all of these people, club and friend, fit into that category.

Quote
I wouldn't know if I was expected to dumb down my discussion of the book so that someone who has only seen the TED Talk can follow all threads of the conversation.  I'd also wonder if the host was trying to change the evening to more social talk and less book talk, and I'd feel obligated to spend time getting to know the extra person rather than discussing the book, which would annoy me.  It really does change the flow of the conversation.

Again, we never dumb down the discussion regardless of who has or hasn't read the book. Ever.

We spend about 1/3 of the time eating and talking (non-book related), 1/3 of the time discussing the book and 1/3 of the time on tangents which have little or nothing to do with the book. So it's already a pretty social group. In fact, it's my impression that the group tends to discuss the books in more detail since I joined as I'm notorious (in a good way) for my sticky notes and interest in discussing certain details of the book. So I don't see having the additional person being there as putting any pressure on anyone to be more social.

lowspark

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2013, 04:13:56 PM »
I don't think people are against including guests. I'm against including guests without validating all members of the group are ok with the occasional guest.

And I don't think the proper time to validate that decision is when you are hosting and you say "Hey, I'm hosting this week's poker party and want to include my sister. Does anyone object?" It's putting the others on the sopt.

Instead I think the proper time to perform the due deligence is when it is in theory. Like at another poker night at someone's house and bring up "How do you guys feel in general about hosts aking guests to join our poker nights?" Your more likely to get uncensored response.

<snip>

Yeah, I agree with that. I've already invited the friend so it's too late for me to poll the group now and see what everyone thinks. Which is why I said, if my friend can't come, I'm going to bring it up as a hypothetical question.

[snip book group details]

In addition, I will qualify this by saying that in the ~year and a half I've been in this group, we've spent very little time discussiing extremely personal stuff. There are a few in the group who have known each other for many many years, but I'm not one of them. So we discuss general topics and although we do discuss our families a bit, it's more like newsy stuff as opposed to confidences. I imagine the more personal stuff gets discussed among smaller groups of friends who probably see each other more often outside the club itself.

So again, I definitely see your (collective) point and I definitely agree that there are some groups in which this would not go over well and in those cases, it would be rude to introduce an outsider spontaneously. I guess my point of view is that in these particular groups, that isn't the case. If I'm interpreting the dynamic of the group wrong, then I probably am being rude. But if that's the situation, then I think the issue may be more that I'm not fitting in the group well, and that is causing me to make wrong assumptions and faux pas. And honestly, I don't think that's happening.

This is why my answer was that you shouldn't be asking us, you should be asking the people in the book group or poker club. Because there are groups where it would be entirely okay, and from your description you probably have one. If you aren't 100% sure, asking your friends something like "I've noticed that other people aren't inviting people from outside the group when they host. I was wondering whether I should stop doing that" is likely to work better than stopping because some random people online think you should, or keeping doing it because the reasons people here are giving don't seem to apply.

This feels less like "is it rude to serve German chocolate cake to someone who I've never seen eating it?" than "would my friend like a German chocolate cake for dessert?" And the answer there has to be "well, is she allergic to chocolate or coconut? If not, ask her."

Yeah, that's why I said in my OP that I didn't think it was rude and probably wasn't going to stop doing it, but that I was interested in what eHell thought. It's not so much that I'm asking for eHell approval as such, more that I'm just interested in what others think and what the norm is. I definitely don't see myself as mainstream when it comes to friends and entertaining so I'm probably off the charts in a lot of ways anyway.  ;D

YummyMummy66

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2013, 09:05:22 AM »
In the first instance, you stated it was a "casual" group.   So, while I don't think it is a big deal to invite your sister, I think it would have been kind to ask the group who meets regularly first if anyone would have a problem with adding one member for one time. 

In the second instance, if this person is not going to join the book club, then no, I would not invite this person for a one time event and if she wanted to join, I would asked the other members first if it was ok to add another person.

Just because it is your home, does not mean that you should not be polite.  In these instances, you are already in formed groups with people who have been getting together on a regular basis. 

If everyone in these groups had the same thought as you, how would you feel each time you went to a host's home and all of sudden, different people were being added at different times for only a meeting here or there?  I would think this would take away from the purpose of the group to begin with. 

I would not mind adding members here or there who are going to be a presence in the group(s) from now on, but I would not want to be in a group where people come and go at the whim of each host.

sparksals

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2013, 01:21:16 PM »
I disagree with everyone who say it is rude.  It IS your house.  There is no indication that the extra person will join the group and even if there is, it sounds like in these groups, they are open to new members.


I frequently go to events at someone's house that are a group of specific friends and I wouldnt' think twice if the host invited their neighbour or other friend.  It is not my place to say who the host can or cannot have in their home. 

lowspark

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #38 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.

Surianne

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2013, 09:38:36 AM »
That's great news, I'm glad to hear you were considerate of the group's feelings and asked about it, and now you know for sure that the guests will be welcome.

MariaE

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2013, 10:49:46 AM »
That's all good then :)
 
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Bijou

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2013, 06:52:35 PM »
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.
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. 
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jpcher

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2013, 03:28:33 PM »
I think you did the right thing by asking first.

I'm very happy for you that your book club is so open and welcoming.

Allyson

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want? Update #38
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2013, 06:06:31 PM »
Yeah, I really think it depends on the situation, as I can think of situations where it would be absolutely fine and others where it would be really not OK. I think in general, the larger the group, the more people drop in and drop out, the more OK it is to invite new people.

I will say that I don't think that it makes much of a difference for the group dynamic whether it's the host's house or a neutral place like a coffee shop (obviously inviting a stranger to someone else's house has its own problems, so leaving that out of the equation.) What I mean is, while it might technically by etiqutte be 'more OK' to invite someone along if it's your house, I don't think it would change people's reactions to having a new person there. If it's not the kind of group where that's an OK thing to do, I'd be just as (privately) uncomfortable/annoyed.


Jocelyn

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Re: It's my house, can I invite whomever I want?
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2013, 10:33:08 PM »
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. 
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.