Now that you're an adult, super casual parties have been replaced with dinner parties and cocktail mixers. Along with fancier food and drinks comes a higher degree of etiquette. Whether you're a host or a guest, knowing how not to be rude at a party is often harder than it sounds.
Nobody wants to be known as a horrible guest who's rude at a party! But some party rules can be hard to remember if you ever knew them to start with. From how long to stay to what to bring along, there is so much to take into consideration when you are invited to someone's home.
Follow our easy tips below on how not to be rude at a party and you'll be the perfect guest! Keep reading to learn how to become the person who is always invited back.
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BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverages)
Just because someone invites you to their home doesn't mean they should provide you with alcohol. Booze can be expensive, especially if you are buying enough for a large number of guests. Do your host a favor and bring along your drinks for the evening.
The worst case scenario is that she has enough alcohol for you and you can give her what you brought as a hostess gift. Nobody likes a mooch and drinking other people out of house and home is the ultimate way to be rude at a party!
Bringing a set amount of drinks for yourself also helps you keep track of your booze intake. It's easy to get out-of-control wasted when there's free-flowing alcohol. Set yourself up for a classy night by bringing an amount of alcohol that is well below your dancing-on-tables limit.
Arrive On Time
Nothing feels worse as a host than staring at the clock waiting for guests to arrive. Don't be the source of your hostess' worries!
The time of the party listed on the invitation is the time the party starts, so that is when you should aim to arrive. Even if you got a casual text with a window for when the party will begin, try your best to get there promptly.
Arriving too early can take the host by surprise as she may not have everything ready for guests yet. Arriving late just seems rude as if you don't really want to be there or you don't value your friend's time. It can also seem like you're trying to grab attention by rolling in late.
For dinner parties, try to get to the party 10 or 15 minutes after the scheduled time to ensure the host is completely ready when you arrive. According to Real Simple, this lets you seem prompt without adding any extra stress while your host is finishing up her cooking.
As a host, not knowing your guest count is super irritating. Guess too low and you will run out of food and drinks, guess too high and you end up with an empty house and tons of leftovers.
To be a good guest, make sure you RSVP to your host as soon as possible. Not responding to your invitation will make you seem unorganized, careless, and as if you have no regard for your friend's feelings.
If you didn't receive a formal invite, still be sure to let your host know that you'll be attending. Shoot her a text to confirm or click “going” on the Facebook event. This takes 2 seconds but gives your host peace of mind.
Don't Bring Extra People
One of the easiest ways to be rude at a party is to bring a slew of random people along. As a general rule, the person or people's names who are on the invitation are the ones who are welcome at the party.
It may feel tempting to bring a pal along for comfort if you don't know anyone at the party except the host. Resist! This is a great opportunity to mingle and meet new friends.
Have a new significant other or can't get a sitter for your little one? Ask your host before bringing them with you. Most times hosts are accommodating but don't automatically feel entitled to extra guests.
Say Good-Bye When You Leave
No matter how fun the party is, you have to leave sometime. If there are fewer than a dozen guests, be sure to find your host and say goodbye in person before leaving. At a larger party where your host is busy, it's ok to sneak out and shoot her an email or text later with a thank-you message.
Why does this matter?
Thanking your hostess for her hospitality shows your appreciation for all her hard work. Taking the time to say goodbye also shows her and the other guests that you had a good time. Think of it as leaving a play. If you hate it, you'll sneak out in the middle, but if you love it, you'll wait until the end and applaud the people who put it on.
Offer to Help
When you arrive at the party, offer to help out. Even if it's carrying food to the table or arranging flowers in a vase, she's sure to appreciate all the help she can get. It's also nice to offer to help clean up after dinner or at the end of the night.
Cleaning up after yourself is an alternate, more low-key way to help out your host. This cuts down the workload for hosts who don't like asking for assistance. Mop up your own spills and throw out your own empties to remove little sources of stress for your friend.
According to a party etiquette article in Forbes, don't simply ask “Can I help with anything?” This is vague and sounds like you don't really want to pitch in. Instead, ask “What can I do to help?”, which invites your host to give you a specific task that's on her agenda.
Don't Be Glued To Your Phone
Here's the deal.
We all love to share our fun outings on Instagram and Snapchat. It's just how we interact these days! But a party is a time to mingle, chat, and enjoy the company of the other guests.
Constantly fiddling with your phone makes it seem like you want to be anywhere but there. It's the quickest way to seem rude at a party! Turn your phone to vibrate or silent mode and try to be as present as possible. You might be surprised how much fun you can have by actually paying attention to the fun going on around you!
For dinner parties, keep your phone in your coat pocket or bag all night with the ringer off to avoid interruptions. If you absolutely have to be reachable (i.e. you are a medical professional on call or have a child at home), let your host and other guests know ahead of time.
Leave In A Timely Manner
One of the worst ways of being rude at a party is over-staying your welcome. Even if you are a close friend of the host, she is probably tired from the stress of the event and wants to head to bed.
Sticking around until the wee hours of the morning may seem like you are being chummy but can come off as overbearing. Avoid forcing your host to awkwardly kick you out and leave promptly when she starts to clean up or turns the music off.
Keep Your Drinking In Check
Alcohol is a big part of many parties. However, make sure you stick to a reasonable number of drinks. Unless you're at a bachelorette party or some other raucous occasion, drinking too much is not a cute look as an adult.
Being the “sloppy drunk” at the party will make you seem immature and frankly annoying to other guests. Plus you could end up doing or saying things you'll regret. Acting unintentionally rude at a party because you're drunk is so embarrassing!
There is nothing wrong with having a drink or two to help you loosen up. As an introvert, I'm not the best at social gatherings but alcohol helps me relax enough to have fun. There is a fine line between feeling chill and being wasted!
Bring A Hostess Gift
While this is normally a practice for fancier parties, it's always a nice gesture. Bringing a small token of your appreciation for your host goes a long way to show what an awesome guest you are.
A hostess gift can be anything really, so think outside the box. Fresh produce from your garden, a yummy new candle, or a bottle of your favorite wine work perfectly.
Just remember that your gift should be a blessing, not a burden, to your hostess. Having to find a vase for fresh flowers or room in the cupboards for another kitchen gadget takes your host's time away from her duties. Choose a lower maintenance gift instead.
Mingle The Right Way
Getting to chat with lots of different people can be one of the most fun parts of any social gathering. But what if you get stuck in a boring conversation?
One of the worst ways of being rude at a party is ghosting on people you don't want to talk to. If you find yourself in a dull convo, you can always pull out the old standbys: going to the bathroom or getting another drink. However, there's no harm in simply moving on if you word it right.
Just say “I've had so much fun chatting with you, but I want to make my rounds. See you later!” You'll seem gracious while making your escape.
Don't Show Up Sick
You may not even realize it, but showing up with the sniffles is definitely considered rude at a party. While you may be tempted to push through your illness because you already told the host you could attend, don't.
Obviously, there's the chance that you will get other party guests sick, especially if there are shared snack trays. But being sick will also make you bring the party vibe down. While everyone else is having fun, you'll sit on the couch all gloomy, which is just no fun.
Do everyone a favor and rest up at home. Your host will understand this time, I promise!
Being Polite Isn't Just For Guests!
Acting polite at parties is super important when you're a guest in someone else's home. Playing hostess, though, has a set of rules all its own.
As a host, the main point of the party is to make your guests feel comfortable. It's your job to provide them with enough food, drinks, and activities to ensure they have fun. A clean home, good music, and adequate seating are all part of this, too.
That's not all.
Just setting up the physical parts of a party doesn't make you an awesome host. You also have to act the part. Be sure to mix and mingle with all your guests to avoid playing favorites. Ask guests if you can top them up on drinks and snacks. Being polite and generous will make everyone keen to return to your house again soon!
Want more tips on how to be an amazing hostess? Check out the video below.
As you can see, being a model guest is super easy! It's all about respecting others' feelings and time. While some of these customs might seem old-fashioned, you're better to be safe than sorry.
Showing your appreciation for your host, controlling your behavior, and being generally polite will soon come as second nature. Just follow these rules and you'll never be considered rude at a party again!
What's your favorite tip for being a good party guest? How do you keep your title as the best hostess ever? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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