Being invited to spend time with friends or family is a privilege and one that should be a pleasure for all involved. Whether we are getting together for a casual drink, sharing dinner or staying for a holiday, there are some rules of etiquette that we should always follow:
Arrive on time We all know how frustrating it is when someone makes a time to meet or visit and arrives late. We should start on the right foot by turning up on time - even if we need to look up the address first and plan our route, allowing extra time for traffic and roadworks. It's better to be running early - but to wait around the corner.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Contribute something If we're paying a casual visit or having a meal with family or friends, we should ask what we can bring. Even if the response is 'nothing' it's still always a nice gesture to arrive with something to drink or a treat. If we're staying for an extended period it's polite to bring a gift and it's also important to negotiate contributing something financially.
Respect boundaries While our hosts may enjoy our company, they are still entitled to their space and their privacy when they need it. Most people find it difficult to speak up about such things. We should try to read the signals and not to impose or intrude.
Be conservative If we need to use our host's things, we should be mindful not to use too much or at least offer to replace what we use. If we are staying for an extended time, we should limit our use of their utilities (water, power, etc.)
Image courtesy of Max Pixel
Know when to leave One of the most important qualities of an ideal guest is to know when to leave before we have worn out our welcome. Even the closest friends or family can become tiresome after a long period together, and it can be difficult to tell them that you've had enough. We mustn't let it come to that.
The best guests are the ones we look forward to seeing, enjoy their company when they're there and miss when they leave. With a bit of mindfulness and consideration we can all be that kind of guest.