25 Secrets to Being the Best Party Guest Ever Gallery
August 17, 2018
Know what to do — and what not to do
25 Secrets to Being the Best Party Guest Ever
Is there a better way to spend a Friday or Saturday night than at a party, surrounded by friends? We don’t think so. There’s food, there’s drinks, there’s probably dancing… what could beat that? But just because you get invited to a lot of parties, that doesn’t mean you know how to be a great party guest. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can be a terrible guest. But don’t worry. We’ve got 25 ways you can go from party zero to party hero.
The secret to being the best party guest ever? Well, it actually boils down to basic guidelines of modern etiquette.
Indeed, being the best party guest ever begins long before the event itself actually starts. You need to RSVP quickly, know how to dress and know where you’re going. Once you arrive, the best guests are the life of the party (without overstepping boundaries). Go outside your comfort zone a bit and engage with the people around you. You never know just who you might meet, after all. And of course, a good guest is a gracious guest and the type who helps out when needed. Want even more secrets to being the best party guest ever? We’ve got the scoop…
Did you know you technically have just 24 hours to RSVP? It’s true! Everything at parties, from the amount of space provided to the amount of food and alcohol, depends on numbers. Weeks before the party even begins, you can get a head start on being a standout guest by responding to your invite as soon as you can to help out your host.
Don’t Bring Extra Guests
Even if the party you’re going to is a casual affair, your host still has expectations for space, food, drinks, and seating. So don’t just bring a random friend along as a plus-one. If you really want to bring someone along, ask your host when you RSVP, but there are no guarantees.
Tell Your Host About Any Restrictions
It’s important to let your host know if you happen to have a gluten intolerance or dairy allergy. It’s a party! There’s going to be food and alcohol. So if you have any allergies or serious aversion to food, let it be known when you RSVP so your host can plan their menu around your needs.
Offer to Bring Something
Though the host likely already has a menu in mind, offer to help them cook before the party or offer to bring an appetizer, salad, side dish or dessert to help out. Just be sure to clear the dish with them beforehand. Is you are stuck on what to bring, these are the absolute best dishes to bring to a party.
Dress for the Occasion
Are you going to a Halloween party? Be sure to put on a costume! If you’re going to a formal dinner party, make sure you dress up a bit. If you’re unsure what to wear, just ask your host what they’re going to have on. But remember: It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Leave Your Pets at Home
Listen, we love our dogs and cats just as much as the next person. But unless you were specifically asked to bring Fido of Fifi along, leave your pets at home. You don’t want to impose on your host, and you definitely don’t want to stress out your furry friend.
Know Where You’re Going
Listen, we know that Google Maps or your GPS can get you everywhere you need to go. But make sure you absolutely know your way to the party before you leave your own home. You don’t want to get lost on your way and be late, nor do you want to pester your host with a panicked phone call as you end up on an unexpected road trip.
Arrive on Time… Kind Of
You don’t want to be the first person to arrive at the party, unless you’re particularly close to the host. Try and time your entrance so that you’ll get to the soiree when things are bound to be in full swing, about half an hour to an hour after the start time. The only exception is if the event you’re going to is a bit more of a formal affair, like a dinner party, it’s best to arrive as promptly as possible.
Bring a Gift
A small token to give to your host is the perfect way to show your gratitude for being invited. A bottle of wine is the classic host gift, but the best party guests will bring something more personalized. If you know a type of craft beer, flower, candle, or small trinket that your host is particularly fond of, bring that along. If you’re coming from out of town, bring a specialty item from your area.
Honor the Home’s Culture
You never know what kind of home you’re going to step into, but when you arrive, be sure to honor the host’s practices and beliefs. Do they take off shoes when coming inside? Slip out of those heels. Do they pray before dinner? Join in, or at least be quiet and respectful.
Meet New People
Of course, any party that you’re attending is certain to be filled with familiar faces and old friends. While you should, of course, visit with them, it’s also important to introduce yourself to people you don’t know yet. Parties are a great time to connect with new people and make friends. Be sure to especially socialize with people who seem a bit shy; try and loop them into the party.
Know How to Make Small Talk
Making small talk could help you to avoid some really awkward conversations and pauses. Not sure how to make small talk? Here are a few tips: Have topics in mind, ask plenty of questions, and listen to your conversation partner. It doesn’t have to be so hard!
Save the drama for your llama, not a party. Listen, you’re not going to love everyone you meet or be thrilled to see everyone at a party. But put on a happy face and at least make pretend that you’re happy. Save your gripes for the car ride home.
Engage With the Host
Hosts are busy! But they should be having a good time. Don’t forget to make sure the host is enjoying his or her own event. If the person who invited you seems frantic or stressed, check in with him or her and ask if you can help with anything — or get him or her a drink.
A great way to be liked by others and make sure you’re the hit of the party? Be kind. Compliment your fellow attendees’ appearance, your host’s cooking and the décor. Need some tips on how to be kind? Here are 15 nice things you need to say more often.
Be an Active Participant
Be the outgoing life of the party with a fun attitude! If there’s music, start dancing. If there are finger foods, grab a plate. Have a conversation around the dinner table and enjoy the evening. If you’re having fun, others are likely to follow.
What’s a party without food? No party at all, if you ask us. If you’re at a dinner party, be sure to have at least some of every course. If you’re at a more casual gathering, be sure to pick up a few appetizers. Is the food good? Compliment the host or potluck dish bringer!
Nobody likes that guy (or gal), so keep your alcohol intake in check. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t have a good time, but you should certainly make sure you’re aware of how much you’re drinking. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, pace yourself, and be sure to know your own limits. It is possible to know how to drink at a party and still have fun!
We get it. The tobacco from your vape pen tastes and smells like bubblegum. But that doesn’t mean others want your smoke in their face. And we’re long past the point where smoking indoors is acceptable. If you need your fix, just step outside.
Respect the Host’s Belongings
You’re a guest in someone’s house, and the best guests know this means you should be respectful of the things around you. Use coasters, don’t snoop in the medicine cabinet and don’t break stuff. Accidents happen, so if you are the person who smashed that pint glass, own up to it.
Don’t Mess With the Party’s Atmosphere
The host may have put a lot of work into the atmosphere. So, please, don’t change the TV channel, mess with music or “touch up” the decorations. Another thing great party guests don’t do? Take centerpieces or leftovers (especially without asking).
Offer to Help Out
As the party comes to a close, help your host tidy up. Gather dishes, help put leftover food into Tupperware and make sure there aren’t any big spills or piles of trash. It’s a small gesture, but one that can help your host immensely.
Know When to Leave
You don’t want to be the first to arrive, and you don’t want to be the last to leave, either. Read the room. If the coffee has been served and most of the party has already left, it’s probably time for you to go, too.
Thank Your Host
When you say bye, be sure to give your host a big hug (if you’re close) and say, “Thank you for a lovely evening.” You wouldn’t believe how many people leave without saying bye or without saying thank you. It’s a small gesture that can mean so much to a host.
…And Thank Them Again
It may seem incredibly old-fashioned to send a handwritten thank-you note after attending a party, but it’s an easy thing to do. Even if you send a quick email or text reminding your host of what a great time you had, it’ll mean a lot to them after the fact. Sending a thank-you note is an easy and memorable way to be more polite.
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