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.
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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?