The Beauty of the “Irish Goodbye”

Vanessa Torre

No, it’s not rude. Not if you do it right.

I am an introverted extrovert. What this means is that when I choose to be extroverted, I go deep. I am like a three-year-old that will run around the room with as much energy as humanly possible until I completely run out of steam. It’s very possible I could collapse onto the floor and take a nap right where I am. So when the tank gets low, I bail. With little to no notice.

By the time most folks realize I’m gone, I’m safely and cozily tucked in my bed with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies. Like Grandma. text from a friend.

This is affectionately referred to as an “Irish Goodbye.” Being Italian, this concept is so fascinating to me since anyone who grew up Italian has had to suffer from the Italian Goodbye. You’re eight. Mom starts saying her goodbyes. By the time she gets through the whole party, it’s been an hour and a half since she said goodbye to Aunt Gloria and so Mom has to start all over again from the top. You fall asleep on the floor.

I am a master of the Italian Hello and the Irish Goodbye.

I will burst into the room like Seabiscuit coming out of the gate. But, I will duck out of the room like I just stole the host’s silverware.

I got called out in a comment on a post recently saying that this was rude. It’s not. It’s brilliant. However, it does need to be well executed. If you can execute this well, it’s a game-changer. I have done this so many times, I have become the social butterfly version of Keyser Soze.


Let me offer you some etiquette tips so you don’t end up murdered or that asshole friend.


  • Pre-warning people that you may need to call it a night early by telling them you have something important later or in the morning. You have an early gym session. You’re giving blood. You have to wash your cat.
  • Vacating drunk people. Let’s be real. If where you are at has gotten loud and people have had many a cocktail, the opportunity is prime. Wedding receptions are ideal for this. There are a billion people and you are actually doing a favor to everyone by ducking out. They don’t want to say goodbye to you. The DJ just started playing their jam. BONUS: Drunk people don’t remember you Irish Goodbyed them.
  • The larger the group the better. With a large group, you can say a few select goodbyes and then duck out. When there are 50 of your closest friends in one place, just stand at the door and salute., I did it again. Actual text from a totally different friend.

Not Acceptable

  • Not telling a single person you’re leaving. This is like ditching your bus buddy. Your 4th-grade teacher would be totally pissed. It’s also a great way for your undiscovered, mutilated body to stay undiscovered. Find that person that will help you off the plane from the exit row.
  • Related: If you have had a few too many, better to let someone else make sure you get home. There are NO pedicures in prison and NO ONE looks good in orange.
  • Attempting this in a small group. Brunch would be a bad time for this. Way too conspicuous. No one cares if you left your part of the bill under the plate, Karen. That’s rude.
  • Leaving when you came with other people. Never be the reason someone needs to spend $32 on an Uber. The Irish Goodbye really only works if you came by yourself. Unless your partner is badass and then you can duck out together and find tacos.

My friends have come to expect this from me. No one is surprised when I do it. They still love me. Why? Because I showed up to begin with. And, sometimes, that’s half the battle. I just get tired. I will love them the whole time we are spending time together but when I’m done, I’m done.

It doesn’t happen all the time, I’ll have you know. On occasion, I can seriously hang. Sometimes, I even close down Mexican cantinas. But, that’s a story for another day.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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