When visiting someone’s home, it is always important to be on your best behavior and to mind your manners. There are a few key things to keep in mind in order to make sure that you are being a good guest.
I remember when I was growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. We were always taught to take our shoes off at the door, to never put our feet on the furniture, and to always say please and thank you. Even though I was just a kid, I always tried my best to mind my manners when we were visiting someone else’s space.
Things have certainly changed a bit since I was younger! Nowadays, it seems like less and less people are concerned with etiquette and more concerned with just being comfortable. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being comfortable in someone else’s home, I still think it’s important to be respectful and mindful of other people’s things.
Here are some best practices to ensure you’re being a good house guest. Of course, these rules will vary depending on your relationship with the host. While you may not need to ask your best friend if you can use their bathroom, you may feel differently in the home of someone you just met.
1. Be mindful of their belongings and space
When you are a guest in someone’s home, it is important to be respectful of their belongings. This means not putting your feet on the furniture, not handling their things without permission, and being careful not to break anything. If you see coasters on their coffee table, make sure to use them! Always ask the host if you should take your shoes off at the door. It is also important to clean up after yourself if you happen to make a mess. Treat their home with the same care and respect that you would treat your own.
2. Say please and thank you
This one is pretty straightforward, but it is always important to remember your manners when you are a guest in someone’s home. Be sure to say please and thank you for everything, from the food and drink that you are given to the use of their facilities. Showing appreciation is always a surefire way to be a good guest.
3. Be considerate of their time
When you are visiting someone in their home, it is important to be considerate of their time. This means not overstaying your welcome, being respectful of their schedule, and not monopolizing their time. It is important to remember that they have a life outside of being your host, and that you should not take up too much of their time. Look for clues that the host may be trying to wrap it up for the night. They may mention that they’re ready for bed, or that they’re ready to call it a night. Be mindful if the event you’re attending has an “end time”.
4. Be aware of your noise level
It is important to be aware of your noise level when you’re visiting someone’s home. This means not being too loud, not playing music too loud, and not making too much of a commotion. Remember that you are in someone else’s space, and you should try to be as respectful as possible. Even the party is outdoors, be respectful of their neighbors.
5. Be aware of the host’s customs and traditions
Everyone has different customs, traditions, and rules they like to follow. Do your best to be respectful of their culture, their religion, and their way of life. It is important to remember that you are in their home, and you should try to be as considerate as possible. For example, if the host has dietary restrictions due to religious beliefs, you may want to avoid bringing an appetizer that contains ingredients they cannot eat.
6. Offer to help when needed
If you see that your host is busy or if they seem like they could use some help, offer to help out. This could mean helping to cook the food, setting the table, or cleaning up after the meal. It is always nice to lend a helping hand when needed. Offer, but don’t be too persistent if they genuinely do not need a hand. Oftentimes, the host just wants you to sit back and enjoy the party.
7. Don’t show up early unannounced
Even if you are early or in the area, it is best not to show up unannounced. Give your host some time to prepare for your arrival, and be sure to call or text them ahead of time to let them know you’re on your way. This will help them to better prepare for your visit. The same goes for being late. If you’re expected arrival is any different than you anticipated, send the host a friendly text to keep them in the loop.
8. Limit the time you spend on your phone
In today’s day and age, it is easy to get caught up in our phones. But when you are a guest in someone’s home, it is important to limit the time you spend on your phone. This means putting away your phone during conversations, not being on your phone during meals, and not using your phone excessively in general. It is important to be present and to engage with your host, rather than being glued to your phone. They are there to entertain you, after all. Resist the urge to show everyone at the table the latest YouTube video you found amusing.
9. Don’t turn up empty handed
If you are invited to someone’s home, it is always nice to bring a small gift for your host. This could be a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates. It is a nice gesture to show your appreciation for being invited into their home. If you’re attending a party, offer to bring an appetizer or dessert. If you plan on drinking that evening, it’s best practice to bring your own drinks, especially if you want something special. Anything leftover that you don’t eat or drink should be left at the hosts house.
10. Have a good time
At the end of the day, it is important that you should try to have a good time! Enjoy yourself and make the most of the time with your host and friends. It is important to be considerate while having a good time. Be sure to let your host know how wonderful of a host they were. You can even follow up the next day with a thank-you text and tell them how good of a job they did hosting and entertaining.
Remember, when visiting someone’s home, it is always important to mind your manners and to be respectful of your hosts. By following these simple etiquette tips, you can make sure that you are being a good guest and that you are making your hosts feel comfortable in their own home. After all, they are inviting you into their space, and it is important to show them the proper respect!