Life Lessons
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How to Leave Dinning Table

When dining, there are many occasions why you must get up and leave the dining table. Knowing how to leave your dining table properly shows that you have manners, good education, and good upbringing. Below are some rules of how to leave a dining table. Reasons why one might want to leave a dining table before everyone else are, for example:

  • to get more food at a buffet
  • to go to the rest room
Rules of how to leave a dining table

When you are in the middle of a DIRECT conversation

If someone at your table is talking to you at the time you want to leave, decide is that person is worth listening to first before you start to leave the table. At a large dinning table, people always talk and there are generally one than one conversations going on at the time. A direct conversation at you is the only thing you have to consider. A direct conversation is one where someone is talking to you directly, not to the group but to you and you ALONE.

Person talking is worth listening to

If the person talking to you is worth listening to, you may want to remain seated until there is a 'break in the conversation'. There are ALWAYS breaks in any conversation and it is up to you to recognize the break and seize the opportunity to leave. You CANNOT wait until all conversations have ended or you will waiting all night! See How to get out of a conversation section.

Person talking is not worth listening to

If the person talking is casual with you and it seems like it won't offend them if you suddenly leave, do the followings:

  • say 'excuse me' while starting to get up.

By seeing you rising, the person talking to you can see that you need to get up and leave for the moment. Most people won't get offended. They might, though, think that you really need the bathroom but that is no problem - people do need to use the restroom when they need to.

When you are not in the middle of a DIRECT conversation

If you are not having a direct conversation with someone, then leaving the dining table is easy. Just:

  • get up,
  • put your napkin down on the SEAT
  • move your chair to a neat position. When you get up you are likely to leave your chair twisted and unparallel to the table. It is nice to align your chair SLIGHTLY for politeness. DO NOT align your chair too much or you will seem like the server or the service class, unworthy of dining in a classy restaurant.

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