Be the best guest!

I have never been a fan of being a 'guest', because most of the times,I don't know how should I behave in someone else's house! I often find myself tongue tied and quite shy to even ask where the washroom is!

I guess it's quite normal.Whenever you go to a new place,meet new people,you do feel a bit odd (till the time you become socially skilled!).So I was just wondering if there is a way to simplify the whole 'being the good guest' deal. And I have managed to find a few important things that should be kept in mind when someone invites you over.

Being a host and guest is equally difficult.It can be nerve-wracking at times, if a specific purpose is attached to the situation.Yet, no matter what the occasion may be,some basic do's and don'ts can go a long way in easing everyone out.

1.Don't go empty handed : If it's a lunch,high-tea or dinner invite, it's good to carry something, as a token of appreciation for the hosts.This is more important, if  the situation and invitation is formal or you've been invited for the first time.Things like a bouquet, some chocolates,cookies etc are good enough to be given.Of course,what you give and how much you give will always be subject to the ocassion,level of formality and the frequency of your visits to someone's house.With close friends and family members,it's absolutely not required (unless it's out of affection :) )

2.Decide the time and stick to it : It's always better to choose a time that is convenient for everyone. Being bang on time would be the ideal scenario.However,Indian standard time says we're allowed to be  15 mins to half an hour late.But, if there is any change in the plan (early arrivals or unexpected delay), as guests, we must inform our hosts as soon as possible.Arriving earlier than the decided time,may make them uncomfortable or embarrassed if they aren't prepared.Arriving very late, is certainly not appreciated at all.Whatever the case may be, it's a good idea to inform.

3.Interact with the hosts : So you managed to arrive on time, you gave them your gifts.Now that you're comfortably seated..what next? There will be food and drinks for sure (that's why you accepted the invite!), but how do we kill time ? Well...interact!A good way to ease the awkwardness is by engaging in small-talk.Look around the room,find something interesting,appreciate it or appreciate the food,drink etc.These are good ways to break the ice. Many times, as guests ,we go on and on about ourselves.Yes, that's good!But,it would be better, if the conversation was two sided (it's a conversation and not a monologue :-p). Remember, your hosts are trying their best to make you comfortable.Therefore, it's important to keep them engaged as well.And that's how everyone will have a good time!

4.If you have a problem,say it politely : I personally don't like it when people ask me to 'lock my dog inside'.Yes,I know people are afraid of dogs and pets can be quite aggressive as well.But,if it genuinely is a problem, then just mentioning it will work.Even if you have some preferences or dislikes,it's ok to mention or inquire beforehand. Whenever we go to someone's house,the first thing we all ask about the food is-'isme kheera hai kya?'(does it have any cucumber in it?) and that's because my dad is allergic to it! Why put yourself through discomfort , when the actual idea is to enjoy?

5.Ask where the washroom is! : I guess this is more true for me than most other people I know! But, I'm sure would be a few more like me,who would find it awkward to walk around someone else's place. But, when nature calls,you never ignore!

6.Appreciate your hosts : If they have truly been good to you or you can see their efforts, you must appreciate! We cannot have similar tastes or preferences,mind-sets,choices etc at all times.Yet, inviting someone over means a lot of care and responsibility.We are always worried about being judged or scrutinized by the guests. So as guests, we can do the bickering and cribbing later (back home is better). It's always a good idea to depart on a good note.

7 To leave or not to leave : There can't be a clear answer to that! Stay longer ,if you're enjoying! If you must leave, then you must start preparing yourself 15 minutes in advance.Getting up to leave abruptly, can be quite rude.Hosts will insist, but there is no reason why as guests, we need to be rude or stay longer than what  we can.

The ultimate aim is to have a good time!(and good food  :p )


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