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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.

By
Richie Frieman,
Episode #405

See, the worst part about sneaking out is the repercussions you may face, i.e. having people ask, “Where was Steve all night?” Sure a party isn’t a prison, and you can leave whenever you like, but you don’t want people to  wonder what happened to you. So, when you realize you’re going to sneak out before the final beer has left the cooler, find the host/hostess and kick up that one last conversation with them. During this conversation, make sure that they know you enjoyed yourself and that you greatly appreciated their hospitality. Don’t make this a “goodbye” since you don’t want them to know you’re planning to leave, but rather just make it a memorable conversation. Something like, “We should totally grab coffee next week or so? I’ll text later on in the week.” Or “You watching the games on Sunday? Let’s figure out a good time to catch up.”  Something that makes sure the host realizes (as you should!) that you’d like to remain in touch with them. Now that your conversation is complete and you’ve landed the final word, you can start to slowly make your exit with minimal to no backlash

Tip #3: Find an Alternate Exit

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sneaking as “behaving in a secret and dishonest manner, not openly expressed”—meaning, if you’re going to try and sneak out of a big party, you have to be as stealth as possible. One way to do this is to find an alternate exit that isn’t in front of the main group. I mean, the last thing you want to happen when trying to leave a large party is to have someone shout, “Where you goin’? The party is just getting started!” First, whenever someone says, “The party is just getting started” it usually is never “just getting started.” Folks this is Sneaking Out 101: Don’t be obvious, and don’t make a scene. I mean, when I used to sneak out of my parent’s house in the middle of the night as a teenager to meet up with friends, I didn’t use the main door, did I? Heck no. I got creative and snuck out through the basement, like any respectable, upstanding high school kid would do. OK, granted leaving a party shouldn’t include climbing out of a window but a back entrance or a side door may be your best ways to nail a proper getaway.

If you’re going to try and sneak out of a big party, you have to be as stealth as possible. 

Take Jared and Andrew, carpooling colleagues, who were stuck watching the clock tick at a glacial pace during a work party at their office. Unfortunately for them, this late night affair celebrating a very busy work month was set to go into the wee hours of the night. They said it wasn’t a “boring night”, but they had worked the entire day, and as much as they appreciated the food, drinks, and camraderie, they were ready to go to bed around 8PM, let alone 1AM when the party was set to wrap up. So, after taking advice I sent them from Tip #2 and getting a final word in with their boss, they joined forces (as I mentioned in Tip #1) to exit together, from a back entrance. They did their due diligence as being proper party-goers (eat, drank, mingled, talked to the boss, etc.) and then slowly made their way out the back door, where no one exited from. Sure they had to walk a good hundred yards around the building to the front where their cars were parked but it was the price they had to—and were willing to—pay for a sneaky, early exit. But that’s what was required in a situation like this; if you’re trying to be sneaky—and not appear rude by leaving earl—you have to be creative and a little dirty. Laugh if you must, but Jared and Andrew slept in their own beds, well before the last drunk coworker was passed out on the front lawn.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

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