You've been out to a delightful dinner with friends. The meal was delicious and the conversation was enjoyable. Now it's time pay the bill and hit the road. But wait, one of your friends decides to order coffee. Do you stick around for more chit-chat or bolt out the door?
This is a common scenario for one of our listeners. A friend in the group asks for another beverage when the meal is clearly over, causing the rest of the party to sit and wait while this guy sips his drink. The listener believes his friend doesn't mean any harm, it's just that he doesn't have many opportunities to socialize.
We don't see this as bad behavior necessarily, but rather annoying behavior. Your friend is not aware of the rest of the group nor is he recognizing cues that the evening is over. However, instead of pointing out his bad behavior, make the issue about you by talking about your desire to leave at a certain time. Be sure to mention it early and often. This will allow you to opt out when the check arrives, pay your share and leave.
If you set it up correctly, this solution will help meet your needs and won't cause someone else's enjoyment to infringe on them. Check out this Awesome Etiquette podcast to hear more of our thoughts on the topic.