Adapted from The Guide to Ridiculously Easy Entertaining that I co-wrote some time ago, I try to identify some of the types of potentially disruptive guests that have been seen over the years, somewhat humorously, and then recommend an action on your part to mitigate their deleterious effect on your party. This is the first post, the first disruptive guest of a fair number.
These people might be friends, or friends of friends (or possibly you, but it’s your party), who exhibit this behavior on a regular basis in social situations, or it could be one-off conduct induced by too many party beverages. It’s useful to note that a guest’s conduct can change over the course of the event, from enjoyable to humorous to annoying. Worse yet, it might pass through several types of bothersome, boorish or disruptive conduct. Some behavior is much worse than others, and should be remembered so that you might not invite these people to future events.
What to do with those disruptive guests? For each of these types of guests, once they become a detriment to the party, take them aside, mention their offending actions, and ask them to moderate their behavior.
If there is an alternate suggestion, it is listed after “What else you might try” following the description.
Attention Whore – This person feels the need to be at or near the center of attention in their immediate circle for most of the event. If the stories are interesting, it can be tolerated for a while. But, invariably, the incessant stories and conversation turns insipid and becomes distracting then annoying, and detracts from the general enjoyment. At the dinner table, when guests cannot flee, this becomes a problem.
What else you might try – As the host, at the dinner table, you should gently tell that guest that other people should lead the conversation. If this person does not get the hint, change the topic of conversation each time this person begins talking.