Top 10 Tips to Being a Good Guest posted in: Etiquette
When attending an event as a guest, you have two “good” responsibilities – to have a good time and show your appreciation to the host or hostess by being a good guest.
Even the most casual of parties, call for good manners. If you’d like to be among the guests invited back for the next party, these tips will ensure you’re the kind of good guest who is always welcome at anyone’s table.
1. RSVP ASAP. Tell your host whether (or not) you will be attending, and do so immediately. If you delay your reply, you could hinder the host’s planning and it may also seem as if you’re waiting for a better offer to come along. Even if no RSVP has been requested, it’s thoughtful to let your host know if you won’t be able to be there.
2. Pay attention to whom in which the invitation was extended. If an invitation was extended to you only, do not bring a guest. It is only permissible to bring a guest when the invitation was extended to do so.
3. Be on time. Arrive on time and leave on time. On time means different things to people, and can also be interpreted differently in different locales, but in general guests should arrive at or shortly after (usually only fifteen minutes) the event start time listed in the invitation. However, do not under any circumstances, arrive early. And leave on time. As things begin to wind down wait a short bit, then, politely say your goodbyes. Don’t be the guest lingers.
4. Be prepared. Obtain directions if necessary. Also, take along the host’s phone number. Should you get lost or have an emergency, call the host to keep them abreast of the situation. This is polite for any party, but is especially vital in the case of a dinner party. You don’t want to keep the party waiting without any word from you.
5. Mingle with other guests. Do your part to be friendly and engage in conversation with other guests. Get to know people and introduce other guests to those you know. If you notice someone not talking to anyone, a casual introduction such as “Hi, I’m Sally, a friend of Charlene’s …” will go a long way to make them feel more like part of the party. Remember, you’re part of the chemistry that will make the party a success.
6. Be a willing participant. Be prepared to join in whatever good-natured festivities your host has planned for the evening. Should you be asked to participate in a party game or to view Sally’s wedding video or graduation pictures, accept graciously – regardless of how you may really feel.
7. Don’t Be Controversial. Refrain from topics of conversation that could cause dissension among a particular group of guests.
8. Compliment the host. When you have the opportunity during the party and then again when saying your goodbyes, tell the host how much you enjoyed the food or what a great party it has been
9. Don’t overindulge. Attacking food as if you are famished will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests. Also be sure to drink responsibly. Be considerate of your host/hostess. They may be serving alcoholic beverages to complement the meal, but this doesn’t mean he/she wants to have a group of sloppy drunks on his/her hands by the end of the party. Also, if you drive home after having too much to drink, in addition to risking harming yourself and others, the person who provided the alcohol can, in some places, be responsible and even potentially face criminal charges, if you are caught or have an accident.
10. Thank the host – twice. It is polite to thank the host as you are leaving the party – a gesture that’s gracious anywhere. Within a day or so of the party, send a note of thanks to the host or hostess. You may also send a gift such as flowers or a plant, or a bottle of wine. If the event was very informal among your closest friends, a thank-you telephone call or
e-mail is acceptable. However, a written note is always appropriate and appreciated.
BONUS TIP: Be a gracious guest. When asked what you’d like to drink or which kind of soup you’d prefer, don’t answer, “It doesn’t matter, whatever’s easiest,” The easiest is for you to make up your mind. Make a choice. Do not place the burden of making your choices for you on the shoulders of the host.