Is there a way to encourage a RSVP from an invited guest? My ever-so-charming brother-in-law never accepts or regrets an invitation until the day of the event which makes him very hard to seat. He usually accepts, but then he’s ambiguous about whether or not he’s bringing a date.
The problem is that I assign him next to a star guest, but when I haven’t heard from him, I shift someone else into that seat. I even go so far as to call him twice to ask him again if he’s coming. “I’ll let you know,” he says.” “Will you be bringing your partner?” I ask again. “I’ll let you know,” he says. Then when he arrives and sees that he’s not seated next to a star guest, he sulks and once he even left before dinner as a statement that I’d let him down.
Sadly, your guest from hell is your beloved brother-in-law. So the sooner you set boundaries with him the happier you’ll be. At some point soon, before you shoot him off another invitation, explain the drill. He may be so self-absorbed that he can’t empathize with your plight as the hostess.
Describe your process: you plan the seating and hope everyone accepts. When people haven’t accepted at some point you redo the seating so you’re not stuck at the last moment, stressing. If you haven’t explained that clearly enough to him, go ahead and spell it out again.
If that doesn’t work, the next time you invite him, don’t follow up with reminders that he hasn’t let you know if he is coming and if so, if he is bringing a date?
Then when he calls at the last minute, tell him you don’t have a place for him. You didn’t hear back from him so you invited someone else to fill his seat. Sounds tough, but that may be the only way you’ll persuade this naughty bachelor to commit to a night at your dinner table.
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