Monday, March 18, 2013

How To Be A Guest

Source: Apartment Therapy
We talk a lot here about being a host, because if you're one of my readers, chances are you like to be the one steering the horse. But you're probably not always the host, so let's make sure we don't find ourselves in one of those situations where we can't.... be the horse. Here are some of my favorite tips for...

  • When in doubt, remove shoes (or take your cue from what your host is doing)
  • When meeting someone for the first time ask open-ended. Yes or No questions may not carry the conversation as far as you'd hope.
  • On a similar note, make sure your questions are tactful. I try to stick to questions like, "How do you know [the host]?" and "Where did you grow up?" instead of questions such as "What do you do for work?" which could lead to awkward feelings (especially in this economy.)
  • For fancy occasions, bring the host a gift. There's no need to bring something fancy or expensive. A single flower or plate of homemade muffins for him/her to enjoy the next morning is incredibly thoughtful and won't break the bank.
  • When extended the invitation, offer to bring something. Asking this way: "What can I bring? Drinks? Dessert?" instead of this way: "Can I bring something?" puts your host in an easier position to accept the offer.
  • Be positive. Bonding over negativity shows insecurity and can drag down the spirit of the evening. Do your best to keep your part of the conversation uplifting.
  • Share attention. It's completely normal for some people to hold back while others carry a good chunk of the conversation. That being said, it is possible for one person to do too much talking.
  • If leaving an especially large social gathering, do not announce departure except to the host. It could be a bit of a buzz-kill.
  • Express gratitude. If staying overnight, especially multiple nights, it can be a nice gesture to leave a small gift with a thank-you card in the guest room or somewhere else you know the host will find it once you've left.
  • Ultimately, the very best thing you can do for your host is to enjoy yourself! So don't go nuts over remembering all of this if it's going to stress you out! Just have fun and remember to say, "Thank you!"

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