There is a lot of encouragement and information on hospitality, how to be a gracious hostess and the like, but I haven’t seen much if anything about being a good guest. With Thanksgiving being just a day away, this seemed like a good topic.
How To Be a Bad Guest
Sometimes looking at the antithesis, how to be a bad guest, is more productive than discussing the positive aspects of a subject. So here are some no-no’s when you visit in others homes.
- Don’t change your baby on the dining room table
- Don’t let your children go into private areas of the home unless invited
- Don’t not offer to help the hostess
- Don’t over offer either though
- Don’t clean up if she has asked you to leave it
- Don’t leave without offering to help pick up toys your children have played with
- Don’t overstay your welcome
How To Be A Good Guest
Now let’s look at the other side of it. What can you do to make the visit more pleasant?
- Do remove your shoes if asked
- Do ask her for the broom if she is washing dishes
- Do clean up messes from the meal your children make
- Do take your cues from the hostess
- Do ask to use her bathroom, etc. especially if you’ve not been in her home often
- Do bring her a hostess gift, a small token of appreciation (A box of her favorite tea, a candle in her favorite scent. Something less than $5)
- Do offer to bring a contribution for the meal
Sometimes just thinking beforehand how to behave as a guest in the homes of others can put you at ease if you’re feeling a bit nervous or unsure.
What else would you add to either of these lists?
Jill J says
Change the baby on the dining room table????? Who on earth would do that!! That was hysterical to read! It should go without saying, but I guess better for someone to read it ahead of time so they don’t do that! I can’t even believe it! Will be laughing for awhile!
Both lists are terrific. Seems like we should all know these things, but it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget to be gracious and helpful! Hopefully reading these lists will keep them in the forefront of peoples’ minds.
Thank you for a terrific post!
Jill J says
Obviously I meant “Don’t change the baby on the dining room table,” not that you said TO change the baby there. I was copying it and realized after, that the “don’t” part is pretty important! ha!
Thanks Jill 🙂
After writing it I thought of plenty more that I could have/should have added! And maybe a disclaimer that if you have small children, don’t leave your babies untended to help your host sweep the floor.
I need these kind of lists because knowing what to do in certain situations is not an area that comes naturally to me.
Thanks for writing!