How to Be the Guest That Gets Invited Back

Updated on May 3, 2018
Carol Morris profile image

Carol's love for hosting parties has led to writing this 'How To' guide for good guests.

You’re in! You’ve been invited to that coveted dinner party and you’re having a ball. Now, all you have to do is enjoy yourself and do everything in your power to make sure you’re invited back.

Guests enjoying a dinner party
Guests enjoying a dinner party | Source

You’re having the time of your life at the party and suddenly the thought hits you….you want to make sure that you’re invited to their next wingding. Here’s what you should – or essentially, shouldn’t do – to make that happen.

Houseguests, whether at a party, brunch, or even visiting for a weekend, determine their own fate. Here’s a list of the things you shouldn’t do as a guest, unless of course, you’re looking to be removed from the guest list forever.

Preparation is everything
Preparation is everything | Source

But first, put yourself in the host’s shoes….

If you’ve ever been the host of a party you probably know how nerve-wracking the whole ordeal can be. What starts off with an idea of arranging a fun evening with friends quickly becomes tremendously stressful the moment the idea has been put down on paper – or text – in the form of an invitation.

Usually it’s only once you’ve pressed 'send' and you start the planning that you begin to realize how wrong you were about this being a fun and relaxing party (for you, the host, that is). Between deciding who to invite, which in itself can be quite challenging (after all who knows how your new neighbor will get along with your best friend from high school), and deciding on the perfect menu – a mix of the new recipes you’re dying to try out, with all the dietary restrictions of your guests, you start wondering if you really should have sent those invitations out.

With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the behaviors you should avoid at a dinner party (or, in fact, any other kind of party you’re invited to):

1. Don’t Show up Early

Unless you’re there to help, just don’t do it!

Your host has everything planned out and that includes her timetable. She’s invited you to arrive at a specific time. Respect that. If the invitation is for seven, arriving at seven-thirty is acceptable, but try not to be too late. Some hosts are familiar with their tardy guests and will invite them for an earlier time, knowing they’ll arrive just on time.

If you’re coming directly from work, or if you need to get there early in order to avoid traffic or for some other reason, keep in mind that you should wait in your car, take a walk around the block, or use the spare time to catch up on your email. Don’t knock on that door until the time you were invited for. Your host is probably busy getting the last minute things ready for the party or getting dressed and if you arrive early she’ll be forced to pay attention to you – her first guest – and won’t have time to do the last things on her checklist. Don’t forget that often hosts find themselves running late and need those last precious minutes to make sure everything is ready.

Wine is always a good hostess gift
Wine is always a good hostess gift | Source

2. Don’t Bring a Hostess Gift

Nobody asks for a ‘hostess gift’, but it’s one of those things that are expected. So, if you want to be invited back, don’t turn up empty handed. A hostess gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but do put some thought into what you bring. Get something that you know your host will like or use. If you don’t know your host very well go with the classic – flowers, but remember to bring them in a vase. You don’t want to put your host on the spot having to hunt for something to use as a vase just as all her other guests start arriving.

Tip: It’s easy to buy a great hostess gift, just pop into your local supermarket or even buy something online if you don’t have time to go shopping. Some great hostess gifts include – wine, which can be put on the table or kept for later, potted herbs for the garden, an elegant tea sampler like Zhena's Gypsy Chai Tea Sampler (after receiving one of these it has become my ‘go to’ hostess gift) with 4 different flavored teas and gorgeous recyclable tins, or another gift that I loved receiving and highly recommend is this gift box of nine natural soaps.

In a nutshell, the best hostess gifts are those that pamper the host, something they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves, and are also useful.

3. Don’t Bring Food

Unless it’s a potluck meal, or you’ve been asked to – don’t bring food! This is a huge no-no.

You’ve finally perfected your Chocolate Soufflé and really want to show it off, but this is neither the time, nor place. Ask your host, a few days prior to the party, if you can make anything, but if the answer is no, respect it. You can always hold your own party to show off your culinary accomplishments. Your host has spent time and effort carefully selecting the menu and preparing the food for her party, and as stunning as your delicacy is, it may not be suitable for the party – or, maybe this is your host’s time to shine as a rising chef.

Bonus tip: if your offer to bring a dessert is accepted, don’t bring a salad instead. Your host will be depending on that dessert.

4. Don’t Monopolize the Conversation

It’s a party, not a one man show. Even if you’ve just come back from the holiday of your dreams or you’re ecstatic about your favorite team’s victory, the other guests don’t want to spend the whole evening listening to your stories. Same goes for politics, religion, gossip….you know what I mean. Don’t forget that it's a conversation and not a monologue, let the other guests have their say and always stay away from controversial topics.

Let the conversation flow
Let the conversation flow | Source

5. Don’t Monopolize Your Host’s Time

Your host is very busy. She has to make sure that the food is ready to be served on time, the drinks are flowing, her guests are comfortable and everything is going smoothly. She doesn’t have time for a long private conversation with you. Even if you haven’t seen your friend for a while and you’re dying for some one-on-one time with her, refrain from monopolizing her time and enjoy the evening with her and the rest of the guests. You can call her the next day to set a coffee date. Also, don’t stand around awkwardly. You may not know anyone there - now is the time to get to know them. A good host knows this and will make the proper introductions to help you out. If you are a shy person prepare a few topics of conversation in advance. If you just stand around awkwardly the host will feel obliged to keep you entertained and won’t have time to do everything else she needs to do.

6. Don’t Forget to Give your Host a Heads-up About Dietary Restrictions

Whether you’re allergic to nuts or you just can’t stand eating a certain food, let your host know as soon as you get the invitation. You may be used to sitting around watching others eat but it will make your host feel very uncomfortable watching you just sitting there in front of an empty plate, knowing that she could have planned the meal differently. Don’t think that letting your host know your dietary restrictions is troublesome, it will be so much more awkward if you don’t.

If you're not the designated DJ - don't change the music!
If you're not the designated DJ - don't change the music! | Source

7. Don’t Change the Music

Your host has everything planned out. That includes the music. Don’t be that person who decides to change the playlist because they’re sure the others would prefer their taste in music. That is just rude.

9. Don’t Not Know When to Leave

It’s true that the invitation didn’t list an end time for the party, but use your common sense. If it’s a week night your hosts probably have to get to work early in the morning, and even if it’s a weekend they might have things to do, places to go, children to take care of. If you notice the other guests starting to leave, take it as a cue to leave too. Don’t wait until your hosts start tidying up and dropping hints that the party is over. You may be enjoying yourself, but you won’t be invited to another party if you’re that person who doesn’t know when to leave.

Don't forget to thank your hosts - privately.
Don't forget to thank your hosts - privately. | Source

10. Don’t Forget to Thank Your Hosts Personally

It’s always polite to thank your hosts as you leave and then to write them a short note of thanks for the enjoyable evening the next morning. Just remember to thank your hosts personally, i.e. not as a Facebook post – they might not appreciate their other friends reading about how much you enjoyed the party that they weren’t invited to.

Make sure to have a great time, avoid the behaviors on this list, compliment and thank your host and you’ll be sure to find yourself invited back!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Carol Morris

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, holidappy.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://holidappy.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)