Good manners reflect the cultural level of a person. Etiquette plays an important role in modern society. Following its rules determines the impression you’ll make on your conversation partner, a new friend, or a potential employer. The way a person holds themselves in public reveals a lot about their upbringing and cultural and educational levels. But many of us don’t even suspect that at a party, especially if you don’t know the host very well, we should follow certain etiquette rules too.
We at Bright Side are sure that our readers are polite and considerate people but just in case, we want to remind you about the things that are unacceptable to do at a party.
How to attend a party and what to bring with you
What isn’t recommended:
- Don’t bring your own food. The salad you bring may not go well with the rest of the menu or be the same as the one the host has already prepared. If this happens, the guests may start to compare your dishes.
- Never ask who else will be at the party. Hosts usually provide general information about people who are going to attend (whether it be relatives, friends, or mostly colleagues).
Don't ignore the dress-code the host specifically asked you to follow. If you've been invited to a costume party, take care of your costume in advance.
Don't arrive before the appointed time. The host may not be ready yet and you will put them in an uncomfortable position. Etiquette rules state that guests should arrive 15 minutes late from the appointed time. But don't be too late: 30 minutes is the time limit.
Don't overload hosts with presents. For example, it can become a real challenge to find a vase for a large bouquet of flowers. Presenting the host with something to decorate the home with isn't a good idea either since not everyone likes to keep random things in the house. It's better to show your gratitude with a small but cute bouquet, a nice towel, or a bar of scented soap.
Don't inform hosts about your allergies or food intolerances. If you have any problems, it's acceptable to bring your own food with you.
How to behave at the host’s place
It’s considered impolite to:
- Open the fridge and drawers and to make yourself at home in the host’s kitchen.
- Touch the baby lying in the bassinet, especially when their parents aren’t around or haven’t given permission to touch their child. Even if the child starts crying, it’s better to call over their parents.
- Persuade a birthday boy/girl to open their presents. Their reaction to the presents may be unexpected and it will put them and the guests in an uncomfortable position.
- Wash any dishes. Only those very close to the host may help with cleaning after the party. But it’s always appropriate to offer some help.
Change the air conditioner or heat regulator temperature or touch the cooling fan. It’s better to politely tell the hosts that you’re cold or hot.
Tell your children off in public. If you come to the party with a child and they start to misbehave, ask them to stop quietly.
Give unsolicited cooking advice to the hosts.
Offer money for glass or other things you’ve broken. It’s not always reasonable so it’s better to replace the broken thing later.
Ask for the WiFi password.
Stay at the party for too long. Modern etiquette rules suggest that guests should leave at 11-12 p.m. Don’t forget that the hosts will have to spend some time cleaning the house after the guests leave.
Bathroom etiquette rules
It’s unacceptable to:
- Touch any toiletry. Considerate hosts usually prepare a separate set of toiletries that their guests may need in advance. Before you go to the bathroom, it’s better to ask what towel you can use to dry your hands.
- Use up all the toilet paper. If you’ve noticed that hosts are running out of some toiletries, politely tell them about it.
How to behave at the table
Etiquette rules don’t allow you to:
- Start eating before the host and sit at the table until you’ve been invited.
- Be picky about the dish ingredients. For example, if you don’t eat onions, it’s better not to eat any salad at all than to try to pick it out from the dish.
- Ask the host to bring things and foods that aren’t on the table like salt, pepper, ketchup, and so on.
Show and attract attention to dirty dishes or hair in a salad. In such a delicate situation, it’s better to politely and quietly ask the host to replace the dish or the fork.
Use your dinner napkin wrong. When you sit at the table, place it on your knees and leave it to the left of your empty place after you finish eating. Never use it to clean your nose!
Cut bread and bread rolls with a knife. You should break it with your hands.
Feed your children with adult food especially if it’s top-quality cuisine or exotic dishes. Just imagine how uncomfortable it’ll be for the host and other guests when a child spits out pate with blueberry sauce and says that the dish is “disgusting.”
Add more salt to the dish without trying it first.
Tell everyone that you’re a vegetarian or are on a diet. It’s your personal information.
Ask to bring a cup of tea or coffee before dessert. It’s not the best idea to show your habits in another person’s house. Follow the lead of the host because everything that goes not in accordance with their plans brings them additional discomfort.
What other things do you find impolite and outrageous when it comes to party guests? Do you follow these rules when you’re at a party?
Illustrated by Sergey Raskovalov for BrightSide.me