7 Ways to Deal with Difficult Guests

Staff Writer
Advice for dealing with any dilemma, from family feuds to the elephant in the room
Angry Guests

Angry Guests

For some hosts, planning the perfect party means hours of preparation, laboring over the small details when setting the table, and putting together just the right guest list to ensure everything is a success. But what to do when conversation comes to a screeching halt or the a fight breaks out around the table? Whether its three grown siblings dueling over who gets to take mom and dad’s antique furniture, or your two younger children arguing over something (typically) petty, when you entertain often it’s bound to happen. But will you be able to prevent these disruptions from leading your party away from superstardom and towards disaster? 

You can find difficult guests at cocktail parties, too. Like when your ex walks into a mutual friend's get-together — with his/her new girlfriend? A good host should surely recognize the problem, be able to artfully appease both guests, and ensure that both have an enjoyable night. Or consider the guest who brought along another friend (who you've come to learn is more of a tagalong than a social savant). This person might mean well but struggles with a bad case of social anxiety and clings to your guest’s side like a lint ball all night. So how to do come to your guest’s aid without insulting the awkward friend, or help that uneasy guest find a conversation of their own? Do you just let that friend follow your guest around like a sad puppy all night?

As a host, if drama in an unwelcome guest at your party, it's up to you to resolve the situation. There is an old adage remains true today: “As long as you are having a great time, your guests will too.” But not if one of your guests begins to enjoy their vodka or wine a little too much and starts to disrupt your otherwise enjoyable party. No matter the issue, gracefully turning your next modern-day guest drama around and rescuing your dinner party can be easy when armed with the right information. I'll cover seven common situation you might encounter — but if you have one that is stumping you, comment below and we'll be sure to send you our tips!


1. The Fighting Couple

There is nothing more uncomfortable than when a couple begins to feud at your party. Here, the best defense is to quickly lighten the mood by asking one of them to help you in the kitchen and gracefully re-guide the conversation on to something light-hearted. Ask them about their weekend away, their children’s plans for the summer, or plans for an upcoming project.  A cooling off period will help put the party right back on track.