The holiday season has arrived, and that means getting together with family and friends. Don’t be the annoying party guest that people dread having over.
Maybe you’re going to the same place you go for every holiday, or maybe you’re meeting the family of a special someone. No matter the occasion, you don’t want to be the guest that everyone can’t wait to see leave. Whether you're unintentionally rude to the host or the one who always seems to show up a little too early to every gathering, there are a few things to keep in mind when making a good impression in someone else's home.
Follow these 11 guidelines for being the guest people will want to invite over again.
1. Give Notice If You’re Attending or Not
It’s really annoying to go through all the trouble of hosting a party and not have a clue who’s coming. That makes planning the party more difficult since you don’t know if you have enough or too much of everything. When you’re invited to a party, let the host know in advance (the earlier, the better) if you will be attending.
2. Don't Arrive Early (or Extremely Late)
Imagine hosting a party at 6pm, and people start showing up at 5pm. What if you still have to get yourself ready or you have errands to run before the party? Don’t show up early to a party unless you have spoken with the host and plan on helping prepare for the gathering. They might have chosen that specific time because they have things to do beforehand. They don’t want to have to start entertaining guests earlier than expected. And obviously, showing up super late can also come across as rude. Try to just be on time.
3. Bring a Gift for the Host
One of the sweetest things you can do is to walk in the door with a gift for the host. Especially in the case that you’re meeting your boyfriend’s family, but for any occasion it’s a kind thing to do. It doesn’t have to be super expensive or unique, just something to show you appreciate the invite. You can bring flowers, chocolate, a card, a bottle of wine, or anything you feel is appropriate. I promise it never goes unnoticed with the host.
4. Introduce Yourself to People You Don't Know
Introducing yourself to new people shows confidence and allows the other people attending the party to feel comfortable getting to know you. People are less likely to make conversation with you if they don’t know your name or feel like you have RBF in the corner, seemingly judging everyone. Even if you’re shy, muster up the courage to shake someone’s hand and tell them who you are.
5. Come Dressed for the Occasion
You don’t have to be a fashionista, but come to the party in appropriate clothing. The way you present yourself says a lot about you. Someone was kind enough to invite you to their home, so show up presentably. If you aren’t sure what the appropriate attire is, ask the host.
6. Bring a Dessert or Side for Dinner
This can be the gift you bring for the host, or just a little something extra. Bringing a dessert or side for dinner is one less thing for the host to make and shows you care. If you aren’t much of a cook, you can grab something to go from a restaurant, bakery, or grocery store. It could be some cookies or brownies for dessert, or maybe dinner rolls or a side dish.
7. Offer To Help Set the Table or Assist in the Kitchen
Once you’ve introduced yourself and gotten settled, feel free to jump in and help prepare dinner. Set the table or see if the host needs help with the food. Doing this shows the host that you’re considerate and helpful.
8. Ask People Questions – Especially the Host
Don’t be afraid to make conversation. Staying to yourself the entire party is uncomfortable for everyone, including yourself. If you’re meeting new people, ask them about themselves, what their interests are, what they do for a living, or how they know the host. People will then ask you about yourself, and you can make new connections.
9. Avoid Conversations about Certain Topics
Conversation is great, but we all know there are certain topics that are just best to stay away from. There’s no need to argue at a holiday gathering with family and friends over topics that aren’t important for the occasion. The holidays are about being together and celebrating. Try to avoid bringing up religion, politics, and things that are too personal (like vaccination status).
10. Help Clean Up
I can guarantee that you’ll get invited over again if you help clean up after the meal. Clear the table, do some dishes, and help put things away. It doesn’t take very long, and it’s a kind thing to do. It speaks volumes about the type of person you are when you do this.
11. Thank the Host for Having You Over
At the end of the night, make sure to thank the host for having you. This shows that you had a nice evening, and it’s a good way to say goodbye when it’s time to leave.
It’s just about that time of year when we will get invited to holiday parties and family gatherings. These are all simple ways you can be a good guest. Do all you can to show you are considerate, and the host will love you. If you are meeting your boyfriend's family for the first time, attending a work party, or even just spending time at your parents' house, it’s still important to be a good guest. Try to be presentable, confident, and kind, and there’s no doubt you’ll be invited over again.
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