Author Topic: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?  (Read 17037 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

zyrs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1955
  • spiffily male.
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #120 on: December 11, 2013, 07:16:04 PM »
Bob is not part of a social unit. He has no right to assume that he's invited everywhere Ron and Amy are, except that they have apparently encouraged him in this delusion.

I was thinking about that as I read thru all the responses.  Is it at all possible, TheWeirdOne, that Ron, Amy, and Bob are in a romantic triumverate?  And as such they actually ARE a social unit?

This was the question I had as well.  I just cannot figure out how you would broach that question to the people involved in a mannerly way.

The other question I would be interested in is do Ron and Amy go to every party that Bob is invited to as well?  Do they just assume every invite is a household invitation?  That colors how I would react.

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12828
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #121 on: December 11, 2013, 08:25:28 PM »
Bob is not part of a social unit. He has no right to assume that he's invited everywhere Ron and Amy are, except that they have apparently encouraged him in this delusion.

I was thinking about that as I read thru all the responses.  Is it at all possible, TheWeirdOne, that Ron, Amy, and Bob are in a romantic triumverate?  And as such they actually ARE a social unit?

That would be stretching the social unit rule beyond where it is today. While there certainly are non-traditional groupings, the host is under no obligation to recognize those groupings as a social unit. Especially if they have not done something to publicly declare that all three form a social unit. I'm sure if that were the case, the OP would have given us that information. We're not required to read Ron, Amy and Bob's minds to know that "house sharing" really means "committed three-way relationship." If they want to be treated as a unit, they have to take some positive action to make it clear that's what they are.

Edit: If they were to declare their "social unit"-ness in some positive way, the net result would likely be that Ron and Amy would not get invited. Just like in a traditional couple where one of the partners is offensive.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 08:28:18 PM by artk2002 »
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8793
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #122 on: December 11, 2013, 08:33:51 PM »
Bob is not part of a social unit. He has no right to assume that he's invited everywhere Ron and Amy are, except that they have apparently encouraged him in this delusion.

I was thinking about that as I read thru all the responses.  Is it at all possible, TheWeirdOne, that Ron, Amy, and Bob are in a romantic triumverate?  And as such they actually ARE a social unit?

If so, this falls under a variation of the "declared couple" rule: if Ron and Amy want their third partner to be invited because they are, they have to say "we're dating him, and should be treated as a social unit" (or "Amy/Ron is dating him, and the three of us should be treated as a social unit"). From everything said so far, they're presenting him as a roommate, not a romantic partner.

I know there are reasons for not saying that explicitly, even if it was true--but if you don't feel you can safely tell people about your relationship(s), you can't expect those other people to acknowledge something you're concealing from them.

Yeah, this. Part of being a social unit, IMO, is that you have to tell people you're an item if you want them to treat you as such. People don't know unless they're told.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6519
    • Blog
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #123 on: December 11, 2013, 09:23:21 PM »
Yep, I completely agree with art2k and Yvaine. If Ron, Amy and Bob want people to accept them as a three-way social unit, they really should let people know that.

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2441
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #124 on: December 11, 2013, 10:24:02 PM »
Bob is not part of a social unit. He has no right to assume that he's invited everywhere Ron and Amy are, except that they have apparently encouraged him in this delusion.

I was thinking about that as I read thru all the responses.  Is it at all possible, TheWeirdOne, that Ron, Amy, and Bob are in a romantic triumverate?  And as such they actually ARE a social unit?

I have to admit that this also occurred to me.



Mel the Redcap

  • Scheming Foreign Hussy!
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 889
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #125 on: December 11, 2013, 10:48:12 PM »
Jovismom, under the circumstances I think you were amazingly polite! :o
"Set aphasia to stun!"

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 501
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #126 on: December 12, 2013, 08:31:43 AM »
I've been debating answering this because I have turned someone away from my door.  I just don't know if I was very polite about it.  Quite honestly, that was the last thing on my mind at the time.

This was a long time ago, probably 20 years ago.  I was having a party, some work friends and some outside work friends.  One of my more casual friends decided to bring along someone she knew I loathed.  Someone who had tried to harm me professionally.  (The attempt backfired on that person and after a few other incidents that had nothing to do with me, the person was terminated.).

When I opened the door I saw my friend and the horrid person.  I think I goggled a bit but then I said "this is a gathering of my friends". I didn't move out of the doorway and just looked at them.  My friend said some stuff, I don't remember exactly what, words to the effect that she was my friend.  I honestly don't know if she said anything about horrid, I was standing and staring in shock.  It seemed to take forever but they did both turn and walk away.  Yes, horrid said some awful things but at least I kept him out of my home.

I know that the next week my friend tried to take me to task for turning them away at the door.  I told her that she knew exactly how he had tried to professionally harm me and others at the party and I was astounded that she thought it was a good idea to bring him along.  She blustered some more so I flat out said that I wasn't going to have anything to do with him and if they came as a package then I wouldn't be seeing her anymore either.  I've never understood why she decided to bring him along.  They weren't boyfriend/girlfriend.  When horrid worked at our company they weren't close.

Yes....you were polite and I must say very poised.  Although I have defended Bob in this thread I too have turned someone away ( with considerably less poise and a few swear words ).  Like you it was someone who had made my work life a living hell.

And good for you for not backing down when your friend started in on you.  She should have known better.

KarenK

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2026
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #127 on: December 12, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »
I've been debating answering this because I have turned someone away from my door.  I just don't know if I was very polite about it.  Quite honestly, that was the last thing on my mind at the time.

This was a long time ago, probably 20 years ago.  I was having a party, some work friends and some outside work friends.  One of my more casual friends decided to bring along someone she knew I loathed.  Someone who had tried to harm me professionally.  (The attempt backfired on that person and after a few other incidents that had nothing to do with me, the person was terminated.).

When I opened the door I saw my friend and the horrid person.  I think I goggled a bit but then I said "this is a gathering of my friends". I didn't move out of the doorway and just looked at them.  My friend said some stuff, I don't remember exactly what, words to the effect that she was my friend.  I honestly don't know if she said anything about horrid, I was standing and staring in shock.  It seemed to take forever but they did both turn and walk away.  Yes, horrid said some awful things but at least I kept him out of my home.

I know that the next week my friend tried to take me to task for turning them away at the door.  I told her that she knew exactly how he had tried to professionally harm me and others at the party and I was astounded that she thought it was a good idea to bring him along.  She blustered some more so I flat out said that I wasn't going to have anything to do with him and if they came as a package then I wouldn't be seeing her anymore either.  I've never understood why she decided to bring him along.  They weren't boyfriend/girlfriend.  When horrid worked at our company they weren't close.

Yes....you were polite and I must say very poised.  Although I have defended Bob in this thread I too have turned someone away ( with considerably less poise and a few swear words ).  Like you it was someone who had made my work life a living hell.

And good for you for not backing down when your friend started in on you.  She should have known better.

As Jovismom showed, silence can be very powerful.

mlogica

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 176
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #128 on: December 12, 2013, 08:54:19 PM »
Maybe I'm a sucker but I have this impression of a lonely, socially awkward man who would probably be hurt and bewildered to be told he wasn't allowed to come in.  I just don't think I would have the heart to do it.

I feel a little sorry for him actually.

gen xer, as I read through this topic I found myself having much the same reaction.  The first page of the thread is a long way back so I'm cutting and pasting the OP's description of Bob:

Bob's not terrible, but nor is he particularly nice to be around. Ron and Amy get invited to the same things we do, and invariably Bob is tagging along, uninvited. It is unclear whether Ron and Amy are actively inviting Bob along, or cannot say no to Bob when he asks to tag along (from what I've heard from others the second option is more likely).

At a party last year, Ron and Amy brought Bob along again, when the hostess specifically told Ron that Bob was not invited and not to bring him. Bob proceeded to creep some of the women out (not aggressively, just a bit 'off'), drink enough to make him vomit all over the floor and hostess' new (suede) lounge, and then try and hug everyone goodbye in his vomit covered shirt.


Yes, that definitely sounds awful.  OTOH, DH and I know someone who has a number of good qualities (he's both generous and well-meaning), but who is very socially awkward.  We have spent enough time with this guy to recognize his good qualities, and because he's pretty relaxed with us, most of the time he's okay to be around.  But I can easily picture, based on my limited experience with him in larger groups, how something like the above would play out.

I.e.:  he'd try to flirt, but he would try too hard, and cross a line, mistakenly thinking it makes him look/sound like "a man of the world" but in actuality kind of creeping out the woman he's talking to.  He would be nervous, and might drink too much as a way of trying to relax, and then throw up.  Probably only once, but once is more than enough, especially when coupled with his other issues.  When meeting new people, especially in groups, I've seen him appear overly aggressive in his remarks and defensive in his responses, again due to nerves and general lack of ability to read/respond to some social clues.  The unfortunate result is that it tends to shut down the immediate conversation he's having, and make others in the vicinity wary.

To be perfectly clear:  I'm not condoning or excusing any of this behavior, or Bob's behavior, and I completely understand why the OP doesn't want to socialize with Bob in her space.  But I do also feel sorry for him IF the situation is similar to how I've outlined.  Because that long-term ingrained social awkwardness can be a very high hurdle to overcome, and people are not necessarily open to giving you a chance if you've already behaved in an offputting way.

My guess (and it is purely a guess, because there is so much we don't know from the OP's post) is that she belongs to a pretty loose social group and that in general bringing an "extra" to a party is not a problem.  Ron and Amy know Bob the same way I know the "Bob" in my life, and they want him to succeed socially.  And, if the social group is fairly loose, and if Bob knows that, there is no graceful or easy way for them to essentially say "Yes, in general extra people are welcome, but not you".  Bob hears about some party, he knows Ron and Amy are going, he assumes that he'll be welcome, and they can't find a way to tell him No.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

From an etiquette standpoint, I think the burden of telling Bob he's not welcome is on Ron and Amy, if indeed he is attending these social events because they are bringing him.  It seems pretty clear that he's not directly invited so that is the most likely situation.  I am wondering how strongly the message to not bring Bob was conveyed to them earlier?  It seems to me that telling someone "Hey, come on over, but don't bring that Bob guy" is itself pretty awkward, and it's possible that the message wasn't delivered in a strong enough way that Ron and Amy took it seriously.  Again, this is speculation, but I'm imagining some nervous laughter, and maybe some lame joking, which would be enough to let Ron and Amy convince themselves that it wasn't serious, and therefore they could ignore the problem.

Overall, I think the best answer is for the OP (and/or one of her friends who also doesn't want to deal with Bob socially) to look for an opening to find out from Ron and/or Amy what the circumstances are that cause them to bring Bob along.  The OP stated that she has the idea from others that they are "letting him tag along", so it doesn't sound as though she would be suggesting they leave their best friend at home.  And maybe they would welcome some help in finding a way to deliver the "this party is just for us" message.  The good news is that at this point the OP is talking a hypothetical "how to avoid this in the future", rather than a "we're having a party this weekend and I don't want Bob there" situation.  So she has time to either wait for (or even create) that opportunity to talk directly to Ron and/or Amy about why they bring Bob along.

At the end of the day, I don't think there is any way to tell Bob that he's not welcome that will not cause hurt feelings.  And if his main problem is major social awkwardness, then I can only hope that he has someone in his life who will lay that out for him and suggest ways to overcome it.  FTR, I have tried this with my "Bob" with only limited success.  We are not super close and it's hard for me to bring it up; I have mostly done so when asked for dating advice or when there is a rare conversational opening.  It's tough, and I really sympathize with the OP.  At this point, DH and I do not invite "Bob" along to social events that are outside of the group from which we know him.  We did once, when organizing a group to go out and see a show, and it was awkward enough that I am not eager to repeat the experience.  Fortunately he doesn't know the people we socialize with most often, so doesn't have an expectation of being invited.  But I digress...

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12774
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #129 on: December 13, 2013, 11:35:22 AM »
Perhaps having a dinner party with a limited number of seats FIRST would start to get the message across?

"Ron & Amy, I am having a dinner party in my new dining room.  I have a table that seats X (number) people, X place settings to set the table with, and I am making ONLY that many desserts.  Bringing even one extra person will mean that someone does not have a plate, glass, fork, knife, spoon, food, fabric napkin, or dessert - and it will be your choice to leave if Bob is with you because there won't be space or food for the three of you."

If it is social anxiety - perhaps Ron & Amy could have a part at their place with a planned event or activity that Bob also likes (movie or tv episode marathon; role playing game that he is expert at; or something that will let him relax knowing that HE can do that) and let him practice in an unstressed manner...no alcohol, by preference, if I were Amy - but that's up to Ron & Amy.  But the OP does not have to let Bob practice at an event that is being hosted in her residence at her expense. 

And how many of those who have seen the Mary Tyler Moore show are thinking of Veal Prince Orloff?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 01:40:28 AM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28380
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #130 on: December 13, 2013, 11:40:31 AM »
Bob is not part of a social unit. He has no right to assume that he's invited everywhere Ron and Amy are, except that they have apparently encouraged him in this delusion.

I was thinking about that as I read thru all the responses.  Is it at all possible, TheWeirdOne, that Ron, Amy, and Bob are in a romantic triumverate?  And as such they actually ARE a social unit?

I have to admit that this also occurred to me.

Unfortunately, you are not a social unit just because you're sharing a bed. You can't expect people to mind-read your relationship, and "Bob and Ron and Amy go everywhere together," is not a public declaration of romantic commitment.

Because, in this case, it's just as likely, or more, that Ron and Amy have got Mr. Velcro as a housemate, and can't figure out how to go out on their own.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #131 on: December 13, 2013, 01:18:26 PM »
Maybe I'm a sucker but I have this impression of a lonely, socially awkward man who would probably be hurt and bewildered to be told he wasn't allowed to come in.  I just don't think I would have the heart to do it.

I feel a little sorry for him actually.
<snip>
At the end of the day, I don't think there is any way to tell Bob that he's not welcome that will not cause hurt feelings.  And if his main problem is major social awkwardness, then I can only hope that he has someone in his life who will lay that out for him and suggest ways to overcome it.  FTR, I have tried this with my "Bob" with only limited success.  We are not super close and it's hard for me to bring it up; I have mostly done so when asked for dating advice or when there is a rare conversational opening.  It's tough, and I really sympathize with the OP.  At this point, DH and I do not invite "Bob" along to social events that are outside of the group from which we know him.  We did once, when organizing a group to go out and see a show, and it was awkward enough that I am not eager to repeat the experience.  Fortunately he doesn't know the people we socialize with most often, so doesn't have an expectation of being invited.  But I digress...

But the point of etiquette isn't to avoid hurt feelings. We have no evidence that says that Bob is just socially awkward and well-intentioned. We don't have anything that says that he is a creeper who ignores the desires of others. All we know is that he acted off and ended up getting sick on someone's couch.

Even if he lives with Ron and Amy, it is not their obligation to help him fit in socially. It is especially not the duty of the OP to make him comfortable in social situations. If he is a socially awkward great guy and if Ron and Amy want to help him out with it, the way to do it is not to bring him along to other people's events. So even if the impression that you and Gen Xer get is right, it is still extremely rude of Ron and Amy to bring Bob along to other events in order to "train" him in social graces, especially if they've been told that he's not wanted. Just because they're offering to help him out doesn't mean he gets a free pass to come wherever they're invited.

I like VorFemme's idea of doing dinner parties first, with a limited amount of seating and food available. Let them know ahead of time that there are two seats with their names on them and you'll look forward to seeing the two of them there.

Possum

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 262
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #132 on: December 13, 2013, 01:31:04 PM »
"Hi, OP!  We're here, and we brought Bob!"

"I'm sorry, I cannot accommodate that re-guest."

wheeitsme

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3973
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #133 on: December 13, 2013, 01:40:14 PM »

(snip)

If he is a socially awkward great guy and if Ron and Amy want to help him out with it, the way to do it is not to bring him along to other people's events.

(snip)

Exactly! 

I mean, how would that thinking go?

"Our friend is socially awkward.  So lets place him in a very socially awkward situation and..."   ???



Bethalize

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4733
    • Toxic People Survival Checklist
Re: Turning away uninvited guests - what did you do?
« Reply #134 on: December 13, 2013, 02:06:40 PM »
Why is the comfort of the socially awkward man so much more important than the women he is creeping out/offending? Surely the only way for him to learn is to let his behaviour have consequences.