Party Pointer: How to be a Good Guest

During this pandemic, we are not having as many guests in our homes as we might have before these crazy times. But we all hope that many parts of our lives will return and that we can offer and receive hospitality in our homes. Knowing how to be a good guest will continue to be a people skill we all need.

  • Respond to the invitation of your host as soon as you receive it–follow the instructions about how to respond, how to dress, and what to bring.
  • Contact your host if you need to notify her about your food allergies or if you wanted to offer to bring a specific item.
  • Abide by the host’s wishes. If you are asked to bring a favorite side dish, showing up with an extra dessert defeats the purpose of her request and disregards the work she put into planning.
  • Don’t bring extra guests with you, and try not to ask your host if you can, unless it’s an emergency. Don’t bring your children or pets unless they have been invited.
  • Don’t cancel at the last minute, Once you have sent your RSVP, you should do everything within your power to go. If you must cancel, do so at least 48 hours in advance. Only an emergency is reason enough to not attend.
  • Be certain to wear your face mask and maintain social distancing.
  • Do contribute positive conversation once you arrive. Come prepared with a few simple talking points for when you have an opportunity to engage others in upbeat dialogue.
  • Do not drink too much. Drink enough to enjoy the party but not so much that you are obnoxious or unable to drive home.
  • Do respect your host’s home. Don’t take a self-guided tour. Let the host take the lead on areas of her home she wishes to share with guests.
  • Don’t overstay your welcome. You don’t have to be the first to leave, but try to avoid being the last. Take your cue from the host, or rely on the designated time on the invitation. A gracious host will make you feel welcome from the beginning to end, but it’s up to you to say goodbye at the appropriate time.

If you are able to go some parties outdoors this summer, these guidelines for how to be good guest apply. Make certain you are a welcome friend to visit. Have fun!

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