Having a party or get-together and inviting people to come is usually never a problem. It’s getting some people to leave where hosts have difficulty finding the right words. A rowdy or overly intoxicated guest can either make a party better or destroy it completely. Frequently, the result is a byproduct of the environment. For a celebration with close friends and family, rowdy individuals may not pose a threat to the overall mood. On the other hand, getting sloshed at the yearly office party may create an inappropriate dynamic requiring action.
Below are just a few of the many ways to politely remove a rowdy guest from a party. Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to criticism, so one or more of these suggestions may be needed.
Techniques for Removal
Change the Channel — Use the opportunity to invite the rowdy guest for a cup of tea or other beverage outside of alcohol to calm them down a little. Encourage a mild change of scenery as you attend to them — sometimes rowdy guests are just looking for some attention or need someone to speak with about something that is bothering them. Acting as a friend rather than an enemy will serve you well if you need to ask them to leave or calm down. The key is to make sure that you’re both on the “same side” before you start asking them to adjust their behavior.
Use the Friend — A mutual friend at the party will help ease the tension caused by the rowdy guest, and no one gets through to a person more than a someone close keeping it real. If you’re able to explain the situation to a friend of the rowdy guest, you will have a much easier time addressing the issue with the troubled individual.
Don’t Embarrass or Escalate — The worst thing you can do is cause more of a scene than you’ve already got. Most of the time, especially when alcohol is involved, rowdy guests will feed off of loud, aggressive energies, making them more loud and aggressive, themselves. The best technique is isolating the guest and asking them privately to calm down a little or leave because you don’t want any trouble. You are responsible for all of the guests at your party, which allows you to take the position of worried host. It’s a great conflict-resolution technique used in the military and makes the defiant feel that you’re interested in their well being while also making them understand your neutral position.
Wrap It Up — This technique only works when the party is coming to an end, which is frequently when you start to see problems like this the most. If you begin to see rowdy, drunken guests getting out of hand, use the opportunity to bring the party to a close due to time or noise complaint. Bringing in another force or authority as the main culprit will make compliance much easier. Even if neighbors are okay with the noise, using the late hour as an excuse for wrapping up the party works forever in your favor. The intrusion of the outside world may, in itself, remind the individual of their outside responsibilities.
Use Sober Card — This works for rowdy guests who are intoxicated and just need a reality check to snap back into the current environment. Sometimes music, drinks, and dancing can lead to a loss of the current reality – I know I’ve been there before. Simply asking the rowdy guest, “what do you think your sober self would say to you right now,” may calm them down substantially. Most fights or confrontations occur as an emotional spur of the moment, leaving the people involved later sorry for their actions. Reminding rowdy guests politely before they act that they will regret their actions may well encourage them to turn in before they really do get out of hand.
Whether it’s a close-knit group of friends getting together to taste their latest delivery of craft beer from Shop Rite Wine or the ubiquitous office party, there’s always the chance that sooner or later, someone make end up one drink over the line. Remember that these are friends and colleagues who just need a hand remembering themselves, be courteous and firm when you have to, and the rest of the night should go off without a hitch. After all, everyone’s showed up with the same goal — to have a good time, in good company.
Matthew Hall is a freelance writer and family man who contributes insights and advice into the blessings and challenges of family life and owning a home.