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Hosting “difficult “ guests along with “regular” guests
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Cheiny




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Feb 08 2019, 3:42 pm
So, as a spin-off of the other thread re. the difficult guest with social issues, my question is, is it okay to host others at the same time (and not tell them in advance) that you’re hosting a guest who has problems? Liike there’s someone in my neighborhood who obviously has issues, she has horrendous table manners (will put her own fork which she’s eaten from, into common platters of food, will empty out a platter of food before everyone else has a chance to take, doesn’t use a napkin and always has food smeared all over the outside of her mouth, speaks with her mouth open and a full mouth of food, spitting in people’s faces, and worst of all, she will get very close and lean into you when she’s speaking to you, thereby making it very unpleasant to sit next to her at a meal).
It has happened to me, and others, that we’ve been invited for a Shabbos Seuda to various kind Chessed-doers’ homes , and not told in advance that this person (or some other difficult guests) would be there as well. Some of us have a very hard time overlooking the unpleasantness of having to deal with this, and it’s even nauseating to some.
Should hosts tell their guests in advance that they’ve also invited others, so that we can decline if we feel unable to deal with it?
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levlongnprosper




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Feb 08 2019, 3:50 pm
I don't tell who else is coming unless asked except maybe to give a ballpark number (oh we're having another couple or it'll be a big meal).

In what you describe, I worry that no one would host the troublesome guests (mentally ill?) because their other guests wouldn't come.

That being said, we try really hard to pick a cohesive group of guests after some awkward shabbos tables earlier on in our marriage!
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Cheiny




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Feb 08 2019, 3:55 pm
levlongnprosper wrote:
I don't tell who else is coming unless asked except maybe to give a ballpark number (oh we're having another couple or it'll be a big meal).

In what you describe, I worry that no one would host the troublesome guests (mentally ill?) because their other guests wouldn't come.

That being said, we try really hard to pick a cohesive group of guests after some awkward shabbos tables earlier on in our marriage!


Truth is, this one person I refer to has frequent open invitations from certain families so she won’t lose out. But how can you discreetly ask the host if she’s coming when she invites you, without letting the host know that you’re nauseated by her guest?
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tichellady




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Feb 08 2019, 6:20 pm
Cheiny wrote:
Truth is, this one person I refer to has frequent open invitations from certain families so she won’t lose out. But how can you discreetly ask the host if she’s coming when she invites you, without letting the host know that you’re nauseated by her guest?


I don’t think you can
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amother




Taupe


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 6:52 pm
Its hard having difficult people around. We have a difficult guest almost every week. He constantly talks, has bad table manners, etc. We tell him often he needs to talk less and I put serving spoons in every single dish so there is no excuse to use his own.

But there is really nowhere else for him to eat (OOT and not many other people host him) and truthfully some of our guests seem to enjoy his company.

When we have really difficult guests we remember the story of the Baal Shem tovs parents and hope we will get zechus from it. As a fellow guest, you hopefully also share in the zechus. And get to practice true ahavas yisrael. Its easy to be nice when people are nice...harder when they are rude and obnoxious.

Try and sit as far as you can from such people.
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amother




Honeydew


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 7:34 pm
We sometimes host people with poor etiquette. I would not invite "regular" guests the same week unless it was truly a situation of hachnosas orchim for the regular guests, or they were already familiar with the "difficult" guest (ie they host him sometimes as well). Otherwise I think it's very inconsiderate to those you're hosting.
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amother




Indigo


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 7:42 pm
If this lady is well known, the guest should be asking if she is coming if this is an issue.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 8:00 pm
We have all hosted those types and one approach is for the hostess to plate the food for each guest, in the kitchen.
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Cheiny




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 8:04 pm
southernbubby wrote:
We have all hosted those types and one approach is for the hostess to plate the food for each guest, in the kitchen.


That wouldn’t help with her leaning close to you and talking with a full mouth and spitting on you, etc. I feel like it’s not nice to ask a host if that person is coming,,,,sticky situation....
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amother




Indigo


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 8:23 pm
Cheiny wrote:
That wouldn’t help with her leaning close to you and talking with a full mouth and spitting on you, etc. I feel like it’s not nice to ask a host if that person is coming,,,,sticky situation....


Yet you think the host should be telling you? Or having segregated meals who she thinks is normal vs not normal.
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chestnut




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 8:59 pm
Cheiny wrote:
That wouldn’t help with her leaning close to you and talking with a full mouth and spitting on you, etc. I feel like it’s not nice to ask a host if that person is coming,,,,sticky situation....


Don't sit next to her
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 9:46 pm
I think that you should tell the hostess discreetly that you prefer not to sit near that guest.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Feb 09 2019, 9:47 pm
Cheiny wrote:
Truth is, this one person I refer to has frequent open invitations from certain families so she won’t lose out. But how can you discreetly ask the host if she’s coming when she invites you, without letting the host know that you’re nauseated by her guest?


I would be forthright and ask if this person will be there. If so, then I would take a rain check.

There are two people who are frequent guests that are so disturbing that I won't go where they are. One lady is disturbed and screams at people. Another is a guest that gets drunk, and I saw him hit the son of his host one time.

These are two situations that are so far beyond the pale that I won't subject myself to them.
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amother




Salmon


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 12:55 pm
I don't think objectively difficult guests should be hosted with other guests unless the other guests are asked first. I don't think its considerate to invite people just so they can feel uncomfortable...
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heidi




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 12:59 pm
Not at all the situation that OP described, but when I have guests that are not the typical for whatever reason, divorced, childless etc. I always warn my children and my other guests. G-d forbid would I take a risk of someone asking a question or making a comment that would hurt them.
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amother




Indigo


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 1:35 pm
heidi wrote:
Not at all the situation that OP described, but when I have guests that are not the typical for whatever reason, divorced, childless etc. I always warn my children and my other guests. G-d forbid would I take a risk of someone asking a question or making a comment that would hurt them.


That seems thoughtful - but really doesn’t show much confidence in your guests ability to ‘adult’. Most people don’t think their personal situation warrants a ‘warning label’.
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 1:47 pm
For the host - no, I don't think it's nice to invite people if you know another guest will make the meal difficult for them. It's like inviting vegetarians over and serving nothing but gefilte fish and meat cholent. If you invite people over, that includes taking responsibility to try to make it a decent experience for them - meaning, not subjecting them to people who will spit food on them, or ask intrusive, hurtful questions, or whatever else "difficult" might mean.

For the (potential) guest - I think you could ask "so will it just be us, or will there be others as well"? Especially OK if you offer to bring a dessert, or drinks, etc, and phrase it in terms of "how many am I cooking for"? If you show up and, surprise!, Difficult Guest is there, just try not to sit next to her, ask her to stop any behavior that you find really upsetting "oh hey DG do you mind not leaning in quite so close? I'm a little weird about my personal space, sorry," and try to find a subject that both you and DG can enjoy talking about.
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heidi




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 1:57 pm
amother wrote:
That seems thoughtful - but really doesn’t show much confidence in your guests ability to ‘adult’. Most people don’t think their personal situation warrants a ‘warning label’.

Really?
Then I guess you've never had your infertile friend call you fuming bcz she's been asked, yet again, where her kids are and how many she has.
I guess you've never had a single guest bravely answer that she's not married anymore.
And you've never been the guest awkwardly trying to make conversation with another guest, but even seemingly innocuous comments somehow seem hurtful to them.
I'd rather give my guests a heads up. They're plenty adult.
Unlike you who can't even criticize under your screen name.
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amother




Orchid


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 1:59 pm
heidi wrote:
Not at all the situation that OP described, but when I have guests that are not the typical for whatever reason, divorced, childless etc. I always warn my children and my other guests. G-d forbid would I take a risk of someone asking a question or making a comment that would hurt them.

Do the childless guests fall into the category of *difficult* guests or *regular* guests? Do you really think that they want their fertility status announced? Your intentions may be sincere but don't you realize that you're stigmatizing them?
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heidi




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Feb 10 2019, 2:02 pm
I don't know if you're all being deliberately obtuse but I won't continue conversations with people too cowardly to post under their screen names.
Forget I said anything.
Sheesh
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