Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Are you a good Guest or a Pest?



Ever since I have been married, my home has been a magnet for guests. Not a month goes by, when I don't have someone or the other from relatives and friends coming over for a stay. Hubs and I do love entertaining and we have a constant stream of people coming for Lunches and Dinners. I have entertained a lot of people over the years and have faced people who were perfect guests and the ones who managed to raise my hackles with their antics.

It is fun to mingle with friends and family over good food and lively conversations. Though sometimes these engagements can become a thorn in your side, when guests do not follow proper etiquette. They forget the basic manners needed to be a good guest. 

For all those uninitiated, who don't know how to be a good guest, here are a few tips to help you be a good guest and not a pest.

Walk in with a gift : I have observed that my mother never goes empty handed whenever she is invited to someone's house. She always takes a gift to show her appreciation for inviting her. I have learnt this from her. It is always nice to carry some gift for the hosts, it could be chocolates, a book, a bottle of wine or something that you know they like. You could even take something you have cooked yourself. Walking in empty handed is absolutely rude. It is best not to do that.

Arrive on time: Make it happen, let you Indian genes of being fashionably late not take you over. If you are genuinely running late, call up and inform your hosts. It is more important to be on time, if you are the only guests.


Image Courtesy: Free Digital photos
Make sure that you do not outstay your welcome. Some people have this annoying habit of sitting for hours till the time the hosts start yawning and stand up as a cue that the party is over.

It is not a good sign to turn up with uninvited guests. If you have no other option, check if the hosts are fine with you bringing that person along.

Don't drink so much that you lose all dignity and become an embarrassment. Such people end up spoiling the party.

Learn to complement the food the host has so thoughtfully prepared. It shows that you really acknowledge the effort the host has put in to make the guests happy.

Do offer to help in the kitchen, even if you actually don't want to do it. Most times, the host will refuse your help, but it is good manners to ask. If the host accepts your offer, help in setting the table and getting water or help arrange the silverware. Ask the host, what else you could help with. All these small things go a long way in you becoming the perfect guest. 

Don't bore people at the party with tall tales of your accomplishments or that of your children. Keep the topic neutral and also take interest in what the other guests and host have to say.

Is there anything I could help with? is one marvellous question and your host will appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

If you are invited to a party where you don't know the other guests, try to mingle with them and be sociable. You never know, you might end up making new friends.

These tips will help you become a really good guest and you would be invited for many more parties at the hosts place. Remember, that there will be a time when the roles will be reversed and it will be your turn to be the host. At that time you would also expect your guests to be good.

What has been your experience as a host? Have you ever encountered guests that were pests?

24 comments:

Shilpa Garg said...

Nice post and hope the 'Pests' do read this! have experienced all kinds... the Pests on my hate lists are those who dont say a word to their children when they are doing something wrong... be it 'driving' a car on the glass table top or wiping dirty hands on sofa/dining table chairs. All the namkeen on the floor/carpet or spilled drink on the floor can be managed and is OK but letting the child spoil things is beyond me!!

Subhorup said...

Very important guidelines that everyone should read. I have a big problem with mingling with people I do not know at a gathering, and my "witty" comments on the food or the arrangements don't help complement my unsocial nature either. I tend to adopt an overly familiar attitude or behave like a dead fish; the golden mean eludes me. This is a nice checklist, and don't be surprised the next time you have me over, if I pull it out of my pocket just to be sure.

Naoman Ansari said...

While reading many good guest and very few pest crossed my mind. A good read :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Shilpa :) haha I also hope they read it. Oh I missed that point..some parents don't know how to control their children and the kids will keep touching the things you have displayed. I have many delicate ceramic stuff I have got from the UK and I always scared when some kid goes and picks it up.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I guess many people who are shy end up oscillating between the two extremes as they don't know which way is the best :) I am not worried to invite you now...especially now since you have this list :P

Lazy Pineapple said...

hahah I know that person ;) Thanks Naoman..

Roshni AaMom said...

Love your list! I absolutely hated uninvited guests especially since I work full-time and am not a good cook!! Now, I have come to accept it since my husband loves having people over and he's the one who does the cooking!! woohoo!!

Vikram Karve said...

Nice Tips. The most important one - Genuinely Enjoy Yourself

Ruchira said...

I hate guests who overstay their welcome and refuse to help the hosts .... its maddening specially in today"s world when everyone is trying to juggle family and work and is short of time anyway !

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Roshni. It is tough when you have to juggle work and guests. It must be relief to have a husband who takes care of the cooking.

Lazy Pineapple said...

As a guest yes one must enjoy but not at the cost of the hosts Patience :P

Lazy Pineapple said...

I agree and I also don't like when house guests come unannounced without checking with you whether you are free.

Deepak Amembal said...

:) hope you get a lot of hits for this post!!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I wish I could print this out and pass it on to people, @februarygirl:disqus . I need to write one on house guest rules - I had the most awful experience a few years ago - that has put me off entertaining people who we think we know! Don't mean to sound negative, but people can truly do with lessons in manners!

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Deeoak :) I wish that too...

Lazy Pineapple said...

I so agree with you on this Corinne. Sometimes people lack the most basic of etiquettes. That is what prompted me to write this post. What happened with you? Do telll...

Bikram said...

I think i am good guest, because I hate going and staying with others, I prefer to book a hotel and visit people for a hour or so ..


But I dont have problems with being a host rather , I love it when friends come over , we have so much fun I guess i am the weird one ..


although I must say I have not always taken a Gift when going to someone's house, DO we have to :)
but those are lovely pointers , I shall keep it in mind


Bikram's

Lazy Pineapple said...

Bikram I too love being a host but sometime some guest crosses a line and becomes a pest. A small token of appreciation is what you need to give. It could be even a bunch of flowers..nothing elaborate. I am glad you liked the post..

bikram said...

hmmm ok next time i am going somewhere I will keep that in mind, But the reason why i never have is because I go to a friends house as my own house and I expect when you come to treat it as your own house :)


but yes will keep a note to make sure i take something with me :) even if its a Daroo ka bottle That I will drink myself he he he he he :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

That would be a totally badass move hehehe....

Rachna Srivastava Parmar said...

Enjoyed the post! Absolutely agree with what you wrote, but I do find it difficult to mingle with rank strangers. I just hope that the host has kept this in mind when calling people :).

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Rachna :) many people are shy and cannot mix with new people. If you are one of the gregarious type then you can mingle around and get to know new people.

The Holy Lama said...

A bit off the mark ony of those is the fun, the masala or it will too goody goody.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I am a bit confused about what you mean. You sound totally drunk LOL

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