How to Sneak Out of a Party

Have you ever been at a party where you suddenly need to sneak out? Here's how to do so with grace.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #405

First, let me just say that I love a good party. Whether a big gala where I break out my Modern Manners Guy tux (as seen in my avatar) or a grand backyard cookout with some friends, parties are designed to bring people together to have a good time. But, let’s be honest, not all parties shape up to be the extravaganza that was advertised in the evite.

We’ve all had an experience where we anticipate the end of the party from the moment we walk through the door. It's OK to try and find a way to sneak out without being too obvious when you are ready. I will say sneaking out properly is only good to do at a large party. I mean, if it’s for ten people and you go missing, the hosts and party guest will realize that their party isn’t so hot. So, in order to exit the mannerly way, get creative and sneaky, without being rude. Here's three ways how:

Tip #1: A-Team Mentality

In an article I wrote called How to Leave a Wedding Early, I mentioned creative ways to exit a wedding when you realize you’ve danced your last dance for the night. The difficult part with a wedding is that it’s very expensive, a special night with many bells and whistles. The cake, the first dance, the dad and bride dance, the groom and mother dance, the speeches, etc. The list can go on and on and make leaving very challenging. Sneaking out of a party like a wedding can be tricky because you have to make sure you grab face time with the hosts. However, not every party is a wedding and be it a big bash or a small get together, never feel like you have to stay until certain key events take place. In fact, I feel it’s rude for any host to insist that their guests do stay past when they'd like to leave. Yes, you want to make sure the host gets their money’s worth out of your attendance but other things come into play. If you feel the need to exit stage left before the final scene, I recommend trying to grab a team to help you out. See, no matter how “fun” a party may seem, there will surely be others in the room that feel just as bored, tired, or just “not with it” as you. That’s when you lean on your new-found teammates to sneak out properly. After all, teamwork makes the dream work.

They say there’s no I in Team, so when it comes to being graceful with your exit, try to coral people with a like-minded interest in sneaking out early. To make sure you surround yourself with solid teammates for your exit, you have to properly vet them ahead time to make sure they won’t rat you out and stick to the plan. While you’re talking, try for a yawn and see if they also mention being tired. That’s one way to get an ally. As well, mention that you have a busy day tomorrow and see who is on the same page as you. After you’ve gathered your “band of exiters,” form a mass exodus together—as a united force. With this approach, it allows your sneakiness to seem less awkward (or rude) because others are with you. Work it as a group and use each other to block one another from any wondering eyes. Mesh in with the group, don’t make a scene, and don’t make it fast. The team-sneaky-exit is a gradual exit that needs to be a slow but steady exit.  When you go this route, take the “Early Exiter Oath” to not get roped into conversations with others on your way out. Don’t make eye contact. The only direction should be toward the exit.

Tip #2: The Final Word

Hands down the most important thing you should do when you attend a party is to spent time with the host(s).  In fact, when it comes to Party Etiquette 101, the very first thing you should do is b-line for the host. If they don’t open the door or greet you at the entrance, always make it your mission to see them once you arrive. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, and don’t talk to Bob from the softball league. Say hi to others of course, but only while you’re making it to the main man/woman of the evening. After you do this, you’re free to do what you please and enjoy the night. Saying hello to the host/hostess first makes them realize how much you appreciate their invite and the time that went into their event and will save you in the end when you try to sneak out. With that, as you realize that you’re itching to leave, give yourself some more quality one-on-one time with the host to make sure they know that you had a good time (even if you didn’t!).