Are you going to a party in the near future? Would you like to make a good impression? With the holiday season approaching, chances are you will be invited to a party or two and will want to be a good guest. Parties are fun, but they can also be stressful if you are unsure how to approach them. Here is a guide to being a wonderful party guest-follow these tips and you will surely make life easier for your host and score many more invites in the future!
1) Let the host or hostess know that you intend on attending as soon as possible. This seems like a simple point, but many people neglect to RSVP and think it is perfectly acceptable to simply show up the night of a party. Many times, the host will be more than happy to welcome you whether you’ve RSVP’d or not, but they will definitely appreciate a response ahead of time. This gives them an idea of how many people they can expect-an important point to consider when buying food, decorations, drinks, and the many other ingredients of a good party.
2) Check the dress code. If the party is a costume party or a theme party, the host or hostess has probably put a bit of effort into the planning and may be hurt if you don’t go along with it. Also, for your own sanity, it is much better to be able to plan your outfit and know that it will be appropriate than to panic at the last minute in a quest to find something to wear. The party will be a lot more fun if you are comfortable and confident rather than feeling self-conscious because you are inappropriately attired.
3) Ask the host or hostess if you can bring anything. This will make a great impression on the person throwing the party as they are likely to be working hard to make sure the guests enjoy themselves and will appreciate the fact that a guest took the time to think about them and offer to help. Even bringing a dessert or a bag of chips can sometimes make a huge difference to your host and put you in their good graces immediately.
4) Bring a hostess gift. Similar to number 3, even a small gesture like some flowers or a bottle of wine can go a long way toward letting your friend know you appreciate them and are glad to be invited to their party. Such a simple gesture can show that you have good manners and are a gracious guest.
5) Offer to help set up. Most likely, the host or hostess will refuse your offer and have things under control, but it is still thoughtful to offer to come early and help them set things up. A lot of preparation goes into hosting a party and a few extra hands may make a huge difference to a stressed host.
6) Seek out guests who don’t know others at the party. Often, the host or hostess will invite their friends and family from several different social groups to the same party. They may be concerned about everyone getting along but may not have the time to introduce everyone and make sure they are all having a good time. One way to be a great party guest is to chat up the people who appear not to know many other people and get them involved, especially if you know several other guests at the party. The other guests will appreciate being included and the host will appreciate your social skills and ability to bring their guests together.
7) Be good at making small talk. Small talk can be incredibly awkward if you are not comfortable meeting strangers and finding something to converse about. However, being good at making small talk will make you a very valuable party guest as you will be able to talk to anyone and make the party more fun and comfortable for all. One way to get comfortable with small talk is to remember that people generally enjoy talking about themselves. Ask how they know the host or hostess, where they’re from, what they do, or any number of questions that seem simple but can open up a conversation. Another good way to minimize discomfort can be to do something active with guests you don’t know very well. Instead of forcing conversation, ask them to join a game of pool, hit the bar with you, or check out the dessert table.
8) Take note of quirks that may be important to the host/hostess. For example, if the hostess really prefers that guests remove their shoes at the door, abide by their wishes and encourage others to do the same. if he or she prefers that guests use coasters for their drinks, respect that and oblige. Small gestures to show that you are paying attention and making an effort to be polite will mean a lot to your friends.
9) Offer to stay and help clean up. Parties, especially good ones, can create a huge mess. Most people won’t be thrilled about their house being filled with empty solo cups, paper plates, and other lovely trash. However, people are busy, tired, and tend to just go home immediately after a party and leave the weary host to clean up. Offering to stay a few extra minutes and lend a hand with the clean-up may just make your friend’s night. Make it fun and clean up while playing music or challenge a few people to stay and clean up in under five minutes. Tedious chores can be a lot more fun with friends and you will be an indispensable party guest if you can help clean up and make it more enjoyable at the same time.
10) HAVE FUN. Most importantly, the host or hostess wants their party to be fun. They want their guests to have a good time and appreciate the fact that they threw the party. One way to ensure you will always be invited to parties is to have a good time. Don’t be out of control and cause trouble, but make sure that you are having a good time and let it rub off on others. Enthusiasm can be infectious, so have a great time and others will do the same. Don’t linger in the corner looking bored, and get off your phone! Enjoy the people you are with and the fact that you can relax and meet new people.