Hosting an event or party or being invited to one are things people do since the dawn of modern civilization. Even though the rules have changed, some things have remained constant and are crossing all cultures. There are a few time-,age-,gender-,etc-less things that never change when it comes to being a good host or a good guest and this is what we are discussing in this post.
It is very important to make people comfortable, this is the key to being both a good host and a good guest. Regardless of the connection you have with the other people present at the event, making them feel comfortable is the right way to go. In the end, isn’t this what happy get-togethers are all about? Being uncomfortable in a sea of joy is not something you are looking forward to, so here are the main tips you should follow in order to be a good host and guest! Of course, some things are not even worth mentioning, such as the fact that you don’t enter a room you are not allowed to or don’t change the host’s plans, as well as, as a host, you don’t put your guest’s jacket in a place where they will catch a smell from the kitchen. Assuming all these things have been learned, here are some useful etiquette tips:
Being a good host
A good host is a person who takes care of everyone before of everything. Even if something goes wrong, it’s not as important as a guest having a bad time. People come first in any situation. As a host of a bigger party or event, don’t be afraid to delegate and trust others to do certain things. However, it is not polite to “burden” your guests, so keeping a balance between “giving a hand” and “working on the party” is essential. Here is some advice on how to channeling your inner host:
The good host…
- When they invite people, they make sure that they know exactly when, where and how to get to the place they need to be! A good host doesn’t let half of the expected guests to come an hour late, get lost, or not to know how to get where they need to be.
- Makes plans, but doesn’t go too much into details. He makes sure there’s food and drinks, enough chairs, enough space, enough forks and so on; but is also not too micro-planned, as if something doesn’t work the way it was supposed to, the rest is at risk of falling like a domino game.
- Always makes his guests feel good. This goes without say, but he does not leave hi guests unattended! Also, it would be best not to show up for a second in each conversation and then be gone, as longer, more insightful conversations are more memorable than the five-second contribution. This of course, has a lot to do with the context and the environment.
- To be sure that all hist guests are comfortable, he finds out beforehand if somebody is not in tandem with certain aspects of the party, and adjusts them. From little things that can turn big, such as the music genre you will be listening to, to a person being vegan or dieting (and this includes people who eat kosher or halal).
- Doesn’t make a fuss! If something goes wrong, a dish does not turn our the way he wanted to,he lets it go and moves on! Most people are probably not even going to notice it, and if they do, don’t forget, they’re human too, they’ll understand.
- Adjusts the tone of the meeting to how people feel. If he wants to do something the others don’t, he lets it be, or if the atmosphere is not what he wanted it to be, he doesn’t overdo it, as this won’t do his get-together any good.
- Is appreciative! A good host always makes sure that he thanks everyone for coming and seems appreciative of the potential gifts the guests bring.
Being a good guest
As a good guest, your role is to make the best of whatever comes your way. The rule is not to overdo anything, not to criticize and underestimate what happens. In short,
The good guest…
- Is not someone who simply shows up. First of all, he must make it very clear to the host on whether he is going or not. As a guest, you can kindly ask on whether you should bring something. Communication is key!
- Makes sure he dresses occasion-appropriate! Being too over-dressed or too under-dressed makes other people feel bad, as it denotes disrespect for the gathering.
- Doesn’t bring anyone with him! This tip does not need any commentary. You can bring someone with you though, if it’s something you and the host find normal, but in general that is simply a big don’t!
- Greets the people he meets! The rule of thumb is that the person who walks into a room must say hello, not the people who are there.
- Can bring a small gift. A good guest doesn’t want to bring something too big or too small, as a sign of wealth, respectively poverty or disrespect.
- Doesn’t eat too much. There’s nothing wrong with eating a lot and loving the food, but too much is too much!
- Is careful with the topics of conversation he puts on the table. When a discussion is starting to emerge, he doesn’t throw it away by saying things that imply that everyone else is stupid, a good guest does not get into arguments and doesn’t bang tables or has a similar behavior.
- Thanks the host, but doesn’t exaggerate! It’s mandatory to thank the host, but not a hundred times!
What any meeting or gathering needs is a balance and simply a good time. Etiquette is not something that’s strict of formal, but it’s something derived out of respect and common sense. Making sure you are the best you can in any circumstance is the way to go and it is a very important thing that can make a party or gathering a memorable event.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What are your hosting tips? What type of guest annoys you? Would you rather be a guest or a host? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!