10 Social Skills for dinner guests.
I understand that sometimes you accept certain dinner invitations out of obligation. Or, agree to go to please your love partner. No matter what the reason is, there is no excuse for being a boor.
Even when the host is your good friend or family member, and even if they’ve overlooked your lack of social skills in the past, don’t assume that they like or will continue to put up with your intrusive behavior without saying something to you at some point.
Respect is the best way to show you care about the relationship.
10 tips how not to be that annoying dinner guest.
- Don’t bring along your pet without permission. → You don’t know whether the host just had their carpet cleaned, have allergies, have a fear of dogs (By the way, it isn’t your place to help them overcome this fear), or have a pet that doesn’t get along with other animals.
- Don’t bring your child/children without permission or invitation. → A last-minute babysitter cancellation is no defense for showing up with child in tow. Additionally, they may not have a suitable area to entertain a child; the meal may not be child-friendly (By the way, bringing your own or requesting they throw something together is rude.); they may not be comfortable having a child in their home.
- Don’t ask for a house tour or worse, help yourself to a house tour. → You have no idea whether they are private people, or just didn’t make the bed up. If the door is closed, don’t open it.
- Don’t ask if they are renting, how much they paid for their home, or how much they still owe. → None of your business! If this is your way to inquire about home prices in their neighborhood, look it up online when you get home.
- Don’t turn on the television no matter what is on. → It is up to the host to suggest turning on the television. If you didn’t want to miss the series finale, you probably should have declined the dinner invitation or planned ahead and recorded it.
- Don’t remove your shoes and sprawl across the couch. → You are one of several guests; leave room for others to sit. Keep your shoes on, your a big boy now. (You can remove your shoes if it is the host’s policy.)
- Don’t plop in an out-of-the-way corner only to bury yourself in your cell phone. → Sometimes it is necessary to take a call or reply to an email; do it quickly and discreetly. Otherwise, keep your cell phone on vibrate and out of sight. You were invited not just for your presence, but for your participation.
- Don’t take over the conversation. → Certainly, you can share a story about a recent trip or an accomplishment, just be sure to read the “audience” for signs of boredom.
- Don’t bring wine and take home the leftovers. → If you bring wine, do not expect or request to have it opened. The host may have already selected the perfect pairing for the evening. But, if they do open it, don’t even think about taking the unconsumed bottle home with you. Super tacky!
- Don’t eat and run. → Whether it’s because you’re bored or have another party to hit, oh well. Make the best of it and think twice before accepting future invitations.
___Prepare for success; cultivate your social skills.
I’m Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Etiquette Speaker/Trainer, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”
I offer presentation/keynotes to support HR policies, sales team, managers, as part of the new-hire orientation process, in-home technicians, professional development events, conferences, college/university students, interns. For more information, please contact me.
photo source: 123RF