hosting conventions

rollerderbyandotherheartbreakers:

realsocialskills:

aura218:

realsocialskills:

aura218:

realsocialskills:

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

lady-brain said:

I would suggest, if you are a host, letting all invitees know ahead of time explicitly whether or not there will be alcohol (or drugs, or anything else people might want to avoid or be forewarned about) at your event.

I’m a sober alcoholic, I appreciate knowing whether there will be alcohol so I can make the decision whether or not I am able to attend the event. I understand when people require alcohol/other substances to socialize/feel safe (especially since I used it for anxiety myself), so I know that not all my spaces can be alcohol-free, and I don’t require that. What I do require is a heads-up, because I am not comfortable around alcohol all the time, around all people, in all locations. It depends, and I need to make the call myself. I can’t do that if I don’t have that information.

realsocialskills said:

I agree this is an important thing to do, but I don’t know of a polite way to do it. Do you know of one?

aura218 said:

I’m in recovery. I usually blame not drinking on “a bad stomach” or “It interferes with my medication” or “I don’t want to drink or an empty stomach” or “I exercised today, I really need to hydrate.” 

Remember that having a drink in your hand makes you appear social, so just holding soda will ward off anyone asking why you’re not drinking. You don’t have to keep drinking it and filling it up. Also, bottles of water, coffee, and tea are a socially acceptable alternative; water is healthy, and coffee or tea can be explained as you being tired and needing to perk up to socialize, since alcohol makes you sleepy.

If you’re driving, you always have that out. If you’re a woman, you can always say “I’m leaving soon, I want to be alert to walk to the subway” and who cares if you’e not leaving for an hour. IF anyone says “I thought you were going,” you can always say “I thought i was, but I’m having such a great time!”

But really, you don’t need to explain why you’re not drinking. Just, “I’ll have a soda/water/coffee, thanks” should be reason enough (and remember you don’t have to drink it, just hold it). No one needs to know your medical history and it’s rude to insult the drinks that the host chose, so no one expects you to overexplain why you aren’t drinking. “I don’t want to drink tonight” is fine.

realsocialskills said:

I absolutely agree that no one has to explain to anyone else why they aren’t drinking. What I meant is that I don’t know how to politely warn people that there will be alcohol at a party.

Those sound like good suggestions for deflecting pushy people though.

The one I’m a bit hesitant about is saying that you want to be alert to walk to the subway, though. Because then what do you do if a guy who is giving off creepy vibes says “Don’t worry about that, I’ll walk with you?” It strikes me as likely to open the can of worms rather than close it. Have you used this one successfully?

aura218 said:

Sorry, yeah, I just woke up when I replied to this, and I didn’t realize til later that the question was for the party HOST, not the party guest. 

I’ve used this one successfully with friendly people who agree that drinking isn’t a good thing to do near the end of the night if you’re leaving soon. I don’t have the kind of friends who creep on me, and I don’t talk loudly to announce my issues to the whole party. Always protect your privacy - my responses were intended for the person who’s pouring your drink. 

I wouldn’t broadcast that I’m walking home alone on dark scary streets to someone who is giving off creepy vibes. If someone seems that way to me, I either don’t talk to them, or I get away from them. I don’t have a problem being a bitch to someone I think isn’t worth my time, but other people aren’t like that.

As for the original question, it depends on the party, and other people have given good responses. Most parties and dinners are assumed to have a mix of alcohol and soft drinks. The only good way I can think of to warn people is to say something like “Drinks and appetizers will be served at x o’clock.” Or talking about the menu in general and including the drinks as well as the food.

realsocialskills said:

I think that’s my concern about explicitly stating that there will be alcohol. The presence of alcohol at adult gatherings is so assumed that saying that there will be alcohol implies that there will be *more* alcohol than usual.

This is not a message you want to send unless you really are trying to have that kind of party. Especially if your social group has one of those guys who is really into getting people to do shots with him. (I’m not sure why, but a lot of social group seem to have someone like that.)

rollerderbyandotherheartbreakers said:

I think it really depends on how much drinking is going to factor into the party. Is it a “living room” event or is it a backyard-with-a-keg type event. Either one can just be told upfront:

“We’ll have some beer & wine, and soft drinks, but please feel free to BYOB”

or

“We will have a cash bar for alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks are free" 

If you don’t want to drink you can also tell them something vague about “a cleanse” or how it doesn’t fit with your athletic/health goals. I frequently go for long periods of time without drinking and people are very accepting of this as a reason (it is a true reason for me, but feel free to lie as well). Example of when offered a drink: “No thanks! I would love to but I am working on getting a better 5K run time and I just find that drinking makes me really sluggish for my running. We’ll get together for a drink soon though!” 


if you want to have an alcohol-free event with friends that normally drink, then tell them explicitly in the invitation - “hey guys! I am having a get together, but want to keep it alcohol-free [insert reason here  ONLY if you want]. I am going to have some really great punch recipes made, and if you want to bring an alcohol-free drink to try I would be really into it! Please let me know if you have any questions”.

And leave it at that - if guests or hosts harass you about drinking alcohol stop talking to them and hang out with someone else at the party. Or leave the party and stop going to parties at that person’s house in the future. 

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

mystrich:

realsocialskills:

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

lady-brain said:

I would suggest, if you are a host, letting all invitees know ahead of time explicitly whether or not there will be alcohol (or drugs, or anything else people might want to avoid or be forewarned about) at your event.

I’m a sober alcoholic, I appreciate knowing whether there will be alcohol so I can make the decision whether or not I am able to attend the event. I understand when people require alcohol/other substances to socialize/feel safe (especially since I used it for anxiety myself), so I know that not all my spaces can be alcohol-free, and I don’t require that. What I do require is a heads-up, because I am not comfortable around alcohol all the time, around all people, in all locations. It depends, and I need to make the call myself. I can’t do that if I don’t have that information.

realsocialskills said:

I agree this is an important thing to do, but I don’t know of a polite way to do it. Do you know of one?

Mystrich said:

First of all, please do not ever ever use alcohol as a way to handle your anxiety. It makes anxiety worse in the long run.


Second of all: It’s pretty simple, just put “No Alcohol Allowed/No Alcohol Please.” I don’t think anyone will take offense to that. Or “There will be alcohol.” I see that on most party invites/facebook events.

realsocialskills said:

Oh dear, I just realized it could look like I was endorsing that comment. I was actually not paying attention to that part of it because I don’t understand uses of alcohol well enough to comment on any of them.

(And since I don’t understand, I’m probably not going to be having a discussion here on uses of alcohol any time soon - I’m not qualified to moderate it and I don’t want to have a lot of things I don’t understand on my blog.)

Getting back to the issue of alerting people. I think it’s easier to say that there won’t be alcohol than that there will be. The problem with saying that there will be alcohol is that it can sound like it’s a drunken party even when what you really mean is that it’s a dinner and some people might have a beer or glass of wine or two.

I’m not sure what to do about that.

lady-brain said:

Going to be honest, that person can actually fuck off with “First of all, please do not ever ever use alcohol as a way to handle your anxiety”!! Like, not their place to ever say that to anybody, ever. Here’s a social skill lesson: if you think you are allowed to just decide what other people can and cannot use for anxiety/dysphoria/etc and feel the right to voice your opinion- you’re wrong! That’s concern trolling and that’s a shitty thing to do and it’s not anybody else’s business what other people need to do to cope. That person literally said to me, a sober alcoholic who’s been through the whole “being an alcoholic” thing, “you did a thing and I have decided the thing is wrong to me so I’m judging you on it” and if they think that’s at all an appropriate thing to say to me they are not a nice person and I don’t have to accept their opinion at all.

As for telling people there will be alcohol- literally just say, “by the way, we’re going to be having drinks, but we’re providing!” or “we’re going to be having drinks, feel free to bring something you like” or “everyone’s invited to bring their favourite wine” or “we’re going to have some casual drinks on the deck” or “we’re going to have a wine and cheese thing on Thursday” or “we’re going out for drinks at the bar afterwards” or any number of ways to say “there will be alcohol”. Damn, just say “there will be alcohol”. If you’re more afraid of sounding like an alcoholic than helping an actual alcoholic with her boundaries, maybe you aren’t mature enough to be drinking anyways.

realsocialskills said:

You are absolutely right about that comment; it was horrid concern trolling. I don’t know what I was thinking reblogging that. I’m sorry. I will be more careful in the future.

Your suggestions for how to politely warn people about alcohol are good.

My concern about “There will be alcohol” isn’t that it makes the host look like an alcoholic; it’s that it can be taken as an indication that drunkenness is welcome and that it would be ok to bring and consume large amounts of hard drinks. When people have that impression, it can mess up a gathering really badly really quickly.

That said, I agree with you that saying “there will be alcohol” is much better than saying nothing, especially if you know it might be a problem for one of the people you’re inviting.

if you’re making the invitation personally, you can say “we’ll be having dinner and a glass of wine at my place on thursday…” or “we’re going to have a few drinks and watch the game, you interested?” I’m not sure how well this would translate to a written invitation, is all
realsocialskills replied:
Those seem like phrases that would be ok on an evite or Facebook event too.
I think for formal events with printed invitation, the default assumption is that there will be alcohol unless it’s explicitly stated otherwise. Alcohol is part of formal event hosting culture.

aura218:

realsocialskills:

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

lady-brain said:

I would suggest, if you are a host, letting all invitees know ahead of time explicitly whether or not there will be alcohol (or drugs, or anything else people might want to avoid or be forewarned about) at your event.

I’m a sober alcoholic, I appreciate knowing whether there will be alcohol so I can make the decision whether or not I am able to attend the event. I understand when people require alcohol/other substances to socialize/feel safe (especially since I used it for anxiety myself), so I know that not all my spaces can be alcohol-free, and I don’t require that. What I do require is a heads-up, because I am not comfortable around alcohol all the time, around all people, in all locations. It depends, and I need to make the call myself. I can’t do that if I don’t have that information.

realsocialskills said:

I agree this is an important thing to do, but I don’t know of a polite way to do it. Do you know of one?

aura218 said:

I’m in recovery. I usually blame not drinking on “a bad stomach” or “It interferes with my medication” or “I don’t want to drink or an empty stomach” or “I exercised today, I really need to hydrate.” 

Remember that having a drink in your hand makes you appear social, so just holding soda will ward off anyone asking why you’re not drinking. You don’t have to keep drinking it and filling it up. Also, bottles of water, coffee, and tea are a socially acceptable alternative; water is healthy, and coffee or tea can be explained as you being tired and needing to perk up to socialize, since alcohol makes you sleepy.

If you’re driving, you always have that out. If you’re a woman, you can always say “I’m leaving soon, I want to be alert to walk to the subway” and who cares if you’e not leaving for an hour. IF anyone says “I thought you were going,” you can always say “I thought i was, but I’m having such a great time!”

But really, you don’t need to explain why you’re not drinking. Just, “I’ll have a soda/water/coffee, thanks” should be reason enough (and remember you don’t have to drink it, just hold it). No one needs to know your medical history and it’s rude to insult the drinks that the host chose, so no one expects you to overexplain why you aren’t drinking. “I don’t want to drink tonight” is fine.

realsocialskills said:

I absolutely agree that no one has to explain to anyone else why they aren’t drinking. What I meant is that I don’t know how to politely warn people that there will be alcohol at a party.

Those sound like good suggestions for deflecting pushy people though.

The one I’m a bit hesitant about is saying that you want to be alert to walk to the subway, though. Because then what do you do if a guy who is giving off creepy vibes says “Don’t worry about that, I’ll walk with you?” It strikes me as likely to open the can of worms rather than close it. Have you used this one successfully?

Content warning: I reblogged something from a concern troll and my reply sucked. I regret this post and many of you are probably better off skipping this one.

mystrich:

realsocialskills:

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

lady-brain said:

I would suggest, if you are a host, letting all invitees know ahead of time explicitly whether or not there will be alcohol (or drugs, or anything else people might want to avoid or be forewarned about) at your event.

I’m a sober alcoholic, I appreciate knowing whether there will be alcohol so I can make the decision whether or not I am able to attend the event. I understand when people require alcohol/other substances to socialize/feel safe (especially since I used it for anxiety myself), so I know that not all my spaces can be alcohol-free, and I don’t require that. What I do require is a heads-up, because I am not comfortable around alcohol all the time, around all people, in all locations. It depends, and I need to make the call myself. I can’t do that if I don’t have that information.

realsocialskills said:

I agree this is an important thing to do, but I don’t know of a polite way to do it. Do you know of one?

Mystrich said:

First of all, please do not ever ever use alcohol as a way to handle your anxiety. It makes anxiety worse in the long run.


Second of all: It’s pretty simple, just put “No Alcohol Allowed/No Alcohol Please.” I don’t think anyone will take offense to that. Or “There will be alcohol.” I see that on most party invites/facebook events.

realsocialskills said:

Oh dear, I just realized it could look like I was endorsing that comment. I was actually not paying attention to that part of it because I don’t understand uses of alcohol well enough to comment on any of them.

(And since I don’t understand, I’m probably not going to be having a discussion here on uses of alcohol any time soon - I’m not qualified to moderate it and I don’t want to have a lot of things I don’t understand on my blog.)

Getting back to the issue of alerting people. I think it’s easier to say that there won’t be alcohol than that there will be. The problem with saying that there will be alcohol is that it can sound like it’s a drunken party even when what you really mean is that it’s a dinner and some people might have a beer or glass of wine or two.

I’m not sure what to do about that.

lady-brain:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

lady-brain said:

I would suggest, if you are a host, letting all invitees know ahead of time explicitly whether or not there will be alcohol (or drugs, or anything else people might want to avoid or be forewarned about) at your event.

I’m a sober alcoholic, I appreciate knowing whether there will be alcohol so I can make the decision whether or not I am able to attend the event. I understand when people require alcohol/other substances to socialize/feel safe (especially since I used it for anxiety myself), so I know that not all my spaces can be alcohol-free, and I don’t require that. What I do require is a heads-up, because I am not comfortable around alcohol all the time, around all people, in all locations. It depends, and I need to make the call myself. I can’t do that if I don’t have that information.

realsocialskills said:

I agree this is an important thing to do, but I don’t know of a polite way to do it. Do you know of one?

eggsnemesis:

realsocialskills:

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

eggsnemesis said:

Also please don’t put the onus of bringing non-alcoholic drinks on the people who don’t drink alcohol. 

A lot of our large family gatherings in the past few years involved the hosts asking my dad (who is a former alcoholic) to bring any pop or juice or him having to bring them with him. 

These family gatherings often involved children and we’d have to drive all the way out there and often come in after most everybody else arrived. Like firstly: wouldn’t it just be better to have juices or whatever from the start? and secondly: I don’t know how my dad felt about it, but it always felt like “well if you’re not gonna drink alcohol you have to figure it out yourself”.

Side note as someone who personally doesn’t drink alcohol: I don’t mind if a host or someone else offers alcohol to me and I can usually politely decline or ask for something else. What bothers me is when they either attempt to change my mind or keep asking (“oh but it’s a really good vintage”, “are you sure you don’t want any?”) or act as if it’s weird and want to know WHY I don’t drink (and that’s almost always a really awkward conversation no matter what answer I give).

So if someone declines alcohol from you, please move on and don’t question too closely.

What could be helpful as a host is to have a range of drinks and offer all of them at once - for example, saying: “Would you like a drink? We have wine, beer, juice, water…?” This means the person doesn’t have to turn down alcohol specifically or be in a position where they have to ask if there’s anything non-alcoholic.

orima-kazooie said: It’s probably relevant to mention this is assuming the spouse knows you won’t get along but has nothing against the partner coming. Or are you supposed to invite them and let them/hope they decline?

little-mourning-magpie said: In my experience this is only ok if you do the same to everyone. So you can say no partners but not specifically uninvite one person’s partner if other partners are coming.

 

realsocialskills said:

I think that it works like this:

  • If you invite a coupled person to a party, the invitation is generally assumed to include their partner unless explicitly stated otherwise
  • It’s usually considered rude to explicitly uninvite someone
  • Partly because it’s considered rude to tell people about parties they aren’t invited to
  • But it’s considered ok if there’s a general reason partners aren’t invited that isn’t personal, because then it’s not an insult
  • Eg: if no one’s partner is invited, or if it’s a single-gender event and the partner isn’t that gender

Just to be clear, I don’t think it’s always wrong to be rude in this way. Just that it’s a convention it’s worth being aware of, because ignoring it can have unintended consequences.

A couple of situations in which it might be a good idea to violate this convention:

  • The person you don’t want to invite is or was abusive towards you or someone you’ll be inviting
  • The person you don’t want to invite ruins parties by telling racist or misogynistic or otherwise hateful jokes, and has repeatedly refused to knock it off

musingsofanaspie said: two thoughts (1) if the host says not to bring food, it’s polite to bring a small host(ess) gift that you think the person will like (2) it’s okay to invite people by saying “I’m asking each person to bring a side dish, would you be able to do that?”

realsocialskills said:

About host(ess) gifts:

  • Flowers are generally considered appropriate
  • But not roses, especially if you are a man and the host is a single woman. Roses are associated with romance and are likely to be seen as intrusive flirting.
  • If the host has children who will be present, something for the kids can be a polite choice. But make sure that it’s either a thing that can be shared easily or that there is one for each kid (eg: if there are three kids, three kaleidoscopes, not one).

About inviting and saying you’re asking everyone to bring a thing:

  • It’s better to tell someone this *before* they accept the invitation
  • Because if they’ve already said yes, there’s no polite way to change their mind after being asked to bring something
  • Especially since some people are uncomfortable declining directly and make polite excuses like “I’m sorry, that sounds lovely, but I have other plans.”
  • So they might say yes and not really be ok with it because there’s no polite way to say no at that point

 chavisory answered: If you’re having wine, have some soda or cider too in case there are people who avoid alcohol. Hard cider is also a nice alternative to beer

realsocialskills said:

That’s an important point. If you’re having a gathering that includes alcohol, it’s important to have non-alcoholic drinks too. 

A lot of people avoid alcohol for various reasons, and you don’t always know who they are.

And even people who drink often find it easier to avoid drinking too much if there are non-alcoholics drinks available.

Also, consider who you are inviting when you’re deciding whether to have alcohol. If you’re inviting people who tend to be really obnoxious when they’re drunk, it might be better to stick with soft drinks.

orima-kazooie answered: I think that if a friend’s spouse doesn’t get along with you but doesn’t hate you either, it may be appropriate to invite only the friend

realsocialskills said:

I don’t think it’s necessarily *wrong*, but it’s almost always considered *rude*. (For some reason, single-gender events are an exception to this if the spouse is not the included gender).

Do you know of a way to do this without it being perceived as rude?