If you understand the basics of how to be a good party guest, you’ll be invited back again and again, regardless of whether you got the invite yourself, or you were a plus one.
Try to keep in mind when you walk into a gathering, it’s not all about you. Making your host feel appreciated and helping other guests feel comfortable goes a long way. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in how we’re feeling and whether or not what we’re wearing is right that we forget all about the feelings of the other people at the event, especially the hosts.
Focusing on others at a party is a good way to forget about your own insecurities and fears. It’s also a good way to endear yourself to the people in charge. The helpful, cheerful good party guest is always welcome. Check out the rest of our advice on how to be a good party guest, as follows:
How to Be a Good Party Guest
Bring a Nice Hostess Gift
Gift-giving isn’t just for special event parties like holidays or birthdays—you should almost always bring nice hostess gifts. The gift you bring can be anything from flowers or a plant to wine to candles, or anything in between. The trick is knowing how to choose nice hostess gifts to give to your host or hostess.
Arrive on Time
Neither be too early nor too late. The host will likely be preparing for the party right up to the time the party starts, and you don’t want to interfere with that. Arriving early inhibits their ability to get the party ready and adds more stress. But arriving too late can also cause anxiety, because the host will spend a lot of time being fearful that people won’t show up. A good strategy is to arrive at the start time or shortly thereafter, and immediately offer to pitch in and help with preparations.
When you’re at the party, you need to be social and mingle with the other guests, not just cling to your date, partner or bestie’s arm, or sit in a corner by yourself. Make it you job to entertain and serve others—don’t just expect them to entertain and serve you. This takes a lot of pressure off the host, and will be greatly appreciated.
Eat Their Food, But Don’t Gobble, Grab or Criticize
“Oh boy! Sushi! I’m going to get the good pieces before they’re all gone!” Wrong move—you’ve seen people pile their plates with all the best delicacies so there’s not much left for the other guests, and even worse, sneak some of it home with them. That is the WORST party behavior!
You’ve also seen people sniff derisively at the snack table, and ask, “Is this all there is? Really?” Whatever you do, do not ask the host to provide something that isn’t offered, go pawing about the kitchen looking for something you’d rather eat, or lecture the other guests on why they shouldn’t be eating what’s offered. NO ONE wants to hear about your dietary restrictions! And above all, DO NOT criticize the menu! Your comments will get back to the host.
Ideally you’ll take a reasonable amount of whatever you can eat, which will make the host feel gratified and appreciated. This may sound obvious, but believe us, we go to a lot of fancy Hollywood parties, and this horrible behavior is rampant.
Any good guest will offer to take some of the responsibilities away from the host when they can. Offering to clean the dishes or helping to clean up the mess before, during and after the party can greatly help the host. They may decline the help, but offering it in a timely manner will still mean a lot.
These are just a few examples of how to be a good party guest. There are man other rules of etiquette you can follow to be a good guest, but these are a good start.
You’d better figure out how to be a good party guest if you ever want another invite. You’ll be the most popular party-goer in town if you follow all five of these suggestions.