Woman welcoming guest

10 Gentle Ways To Ask Guests To Leave After a Long Night of Visiting

A recent discussion waded into some funny waters after someone asked how to get rid of guests who overstay their welcome. Who knew there were so many ways we could drop a hint? Hosts and hostesses, over to you.

1. Be Honest

Guest enjoying tea
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Let's start with the obvious and probably best way to communicate – tell your guests it's time. Why even hint about it? Just come clean: You have had a blast, but the night is no longer young, you have to be up early, etc. Most people would rather be told than overstay their welcome — but some just need to be told.

2. Thigh Slaps

Woman talking to friends
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Welp! You might recognize this one if you grew up in a family of thigh-slappers. The slap usually precedes a firm “Welp!” If you cannot detect the hint with an end-of-everything thigh slap, we can't help you. 

3. Reverse Kindness

Woman talking to husband with guest at home
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Some hosts have mastered the art of passive-aggressive farewells. One example is the reverse psychology of goodbye — an indirect message to a spouse or partner. “We best get to bed, dear, so our friends can go home.”

4. Criticism Wrapped in Compliments

Guest leaving from birthday party
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A cursory glance at the imaginary wristwatch may be enough to deter overstayers. Failing that, a humble brag like, “Gee, I have never seen this hour before — I would normally be sleeping by now.” If that doesn't work, change the subject: “You guys are night owls, huh?”

5. Start Clearing Up

Clearing dinner
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When an eating or drinking establishment nears closing time, straggler customers are no strangers to the concurrent cleanup that begins. Why not transfer this method to the living room? When people start picking things up, it's a giant flag — some might say an unsubtle hint — waved in the guest's face.

6. Disappear From Sight

Friends having fun watching movie
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I had a college friend who loved to disappear at the end of the night. He made short, sweet, and sudden departures with as few pleasantries as possible. However, this wasn't possible when friends visited his house, and he soon found a format that cleared the house perfectly. He went upstairs to use the bathroom, not returning until everyone had left — he was a unique fellow.

7. Turn on the Main Lights

Guest tasting food
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If it works for the movie theater or nightclub, it may work for the dinner party. Unfortunately, you may need to purchase some uncomfortably high ceiling lights, but changing from warm, soft-tone lamps to halogen-style hunting lamps on the ceiling will clear a dining room — be warned, however; this is a last-resort maneuver.

8. Body Language Techniques

Woman tired closing face
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There are two ways to look at body language: how far do you go? The obvious move is to show you're tired: yawning, rubbing one's eyes, or stretching are all acceptable when someone is an hour over their expected departure. If they hit the two-hour mark, go to DEFCON 1 — and fall asleep right before them.

9. Become a Dairy Farmer

Woman serving tea for guest
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Animals are guaranteed help for either getting out of commitments or getting rid of over-eager visitors. Dropping a flippant comment about needing to “milk them cows out yonder” in the morning is non-negotiable. However, don't try it if you live in a duplex — nobody buys that story.

10. Have Children

Kid greeting the guest
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The number one way for polite yet firm guest removal is having young children who have school the next day or are light sleepers. Once you get near kicking-out time, send the kids to bed, lower your voice to a whisper, and gently guilt your friend into taking the hint. Disclaimer: this will not work if you have teenage kids who stay up later than you.

Source: Reddit.