How to be a Courteous and Responsible Guest
The holiday season is also the season for visiting friends and relatives. But before we head off for a visit, are we making sure we’re a courteous and responsible guest? We don’t want people to regret inviting us – right?
To prevent this from happening, here’s a quick list of things we should remember:
• Check with the host beforehand if you’re bringing food. If you plan on bringing food for the host, it’s best to check and see if they have any food restrictions or allergies. This saves you the effort of bringing something they couldn’t eat anyway.
• Show up on time. Just because we’re visiting friends and relatives doesn’t mean it’s okay to be late. They probably have other things to do and errands to run, so make sure to show up on time, or at least let them know if you’ll be late.
• Don’t use the doorbell. Instead of ringing the bell, try calling your host to tell them you’ve arrived. This is especially important if your host has babies who may be sleeping by the time you arrive, or someone in the house is badly in need of rest.
• Remove your footwear at the doorway. This is particularly important if your host has kids who crawl and play on the floor, but you don’t have to if they insist otherwise.
• Give honest compliments and avoid making unnecessary comments. If you liked the food they cooked, tell them how delicious it was. But if it was too salty for you, you don’t need to say anything. Being honest is good, but if you’re going to make unnecessary negative comments, it’s better to just keep silent.
• Offer to help clean up. Once you’re done with meals, don’t just sit and watch as your host starts collecting empty plates and cups. Offer some help, unless your host insists you don’t have to. They may be more than happy for the extra hand.
Be sensitive. Don’t ask about anything offensive or bring up sensitive topics. Check for signs or gestures that your host might already be tired or is just waiting for you to stand up and say your farewell. There are things a host may not be able to tell you directly, so just be sensitive and watch for clues.
Being a courteous and responsible guest is simply all about being respectful and observant. We don’t need to go overboard, however, as what’s most important are the memories you’ll treasure of every visit with friends and relatives.
JK Legaspi is a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers and the owner of www.empoweredmomsathome.com