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10 Signs You’re a Bad Party Guest

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(Original story published on Friday November 21st, 2014 on HGTV.ca.)

If you’ve ever hosted a party, you’re well aware of the pressure, responsibility and stress that comes along with trying to make it perfect. And, as a guest, you could be making it even harder for the host, and not even realize it.
But, there are little things you can do to help the soiree run smoothly. Follow these tips to ensure you’re invited back to the next one.

Scroll down to see the ten signs you’re a bad party guest, or view the entire slideshow at HGTV.ca.

1. You Don’t RSVP
Whether you’ve been invited by card, email, text, or phone call, be sure to RSVP as soon as possible. And, if you accept the invitation, you must attend the event.
2. You Bring Uninvited Guests
If your kids, friend, colleague, or pet weren’t on the invitation, leave them at home. If you have a friend visiting from out of town or already have plans made with another, decline the invitation and explain why. The hostess may end up inviting your guest, but you wouldn’t want to put him/her in an awkward position by asking for a plus one.
3. You Don’t Offer to Bring a Dish
Not only that, but it shouldn’t be the host’s responsibility to come up with an idea. Instead, save him/her the trouble and be more specific. Suggest bringing a dessert she loves, and don’t forget the serveware.
4. You Don’t Disclose Dietary Needs
If it’s a dinner party, share any allergies and dietary needs in advance. Consider offering to bring a dish that fits within your needs to save the host the hassle of having to come up with and make a new dish.
5. You Don’t Bring a Gift
Aim for a gift that’s low-maintenance. While flowers make a lovely gift, they force a busy host to stop whatever he/she is doing to cut the stems, root around for the vase and arrange the bouquet. Cocktail napkins, fancy soaps, or olive oil – which apparently is the new bottle of wine – on the other hand, are easy and appreciated.
6. You Never Mingle
Whether you’re all old friends or are welcoming newbies into the group, take pressure off the host by mingling with everyone.
7. You Don’t Wait for the Host
It’s typical for the host to proclaim, “Start eating! Don’t let it get cold!” but it’s polite to hold off until everyone is seated. Furthermore, if the host doesn’t raise a glass before eating, raise yours and say something simple such as, “Cheers, it’s great to see you all!”
8. You Don’t Lend a Hand
When you notice something that needs to be done, pitch in! It could be refilling the chip bowl, or asking if the host needs help bringing dishes to the table. Just be sure not to get in the way.
9. You Leave an Intimate Party Without Saying Bye
Well, this one’s a little tricky. At a small, intimate gathering, it’s rude to leave without alerting the host. But, if it’s a large party, it’s actually OK to leave without saying goodbye to the other guests. Why? Because having to make your rounds explaining your reason for departing to everyone can be a total downer. Interrupting guests to tell them “you’re tired” or you have to “get to another party” isn’t polite. So if you’re at a big, boisterous party, consider this your permission to just sneak out of there.
10. You Forget to Say Thanks
Depending on how formal/informal the bash is, it’s always nice to follow up with a card, email, text or call with a “thank you” to let the host know how much fun you had.

 

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