I have people over a lot (usually to drink wine of course), so I’ve experienced all the feels when it comes to hosting, and they’re not always good ones.
On an episode of RHONY (yep I watch Real Housewives, don’t judge me), business mogul, Bethenny Frankel admits when hosting a party she’s immediately brought back to her middle school self and gets anxiety about whether anyone will even show up. This is so me and this is probably so you too. It’s human nature!
That’s why I want to help you be a better guest! You may not even realize you’re a bad guest and the impact it can have on the host. It's easy to go from being a good guest to a great guest if you follow these tips!
1. LET THE HOST KNOW IF YOU CAN MAKE IT OR NOT
This seems like a simple one, and it is, so do it. Try not to flip back and forth on your answer though. If you say you can make it then later say you can’t, it sucks to hear. Things come up of course, but try your best to keep to your commitments. If you don’t know if you can make it, be honest. No response at all is not an option.
- How to say YES - “Count me in!”
- How to say NO - “Sound like a blast and thanks for thinking of me but I already committed to other plans that night. Next time for sure!”
- How to say MAYBE - “I want in but just need to double check my schedule. Can I let you know in a few days?”
2. OFFER TO BRING SOMETHING
When I host, I plan to provide everything, and I’m okay with that. But when someone asks me if they can bring anything, it’s music to my ears. When you do this, it shows you’re a nice person. You’re acknowledging the time, money and effort the host puts into planning a gathering, no matter how big or small.
- Offer to bring something (good) - “Let me know what I can bring.”
- Offer to bring something specific (better) - “I love making cookies. Do you want me to bring a batch?”
- Offer to bring wine (best) - “I’ve wanted to try (blank) wine. Do you want me to bring a bottle of it?”
3. SHOW UP ON TIME
Don’t make the host worry whether anyone will show up. Just show up on time, especially if it’s a party celebrating something specific like a birthday. Anxiety can be high for the host in these moments. On the flip side, don’t be like my husband and insist on showing up 30+ minutes early. He once brought me to a party where the host had just gotten out of the shower. My husband didn’t tell me when the party started and I think we were over an hour early. Now I ask him when the party starts before agreeing to leave the house with him.
- Show up too early = Awkward
- Show up on time = Considerate
- Show up 15 minutes late = You’ve met the threshold for ‘fashionably late.’
- Show up more than 15 minutes late = You’re a jerk but less of a jerk if you text the host to let them know you’re running behind
- No show = You’re an asshole!
4. BRING SOMETHING
How is this different than #2? Well if you agreed to bring something, bring it! The host is likely counting on it. But in many cases, the host will say you don’t need to bring anything. Bring something anyways. Doesn’t matter how big or small, the host will notice and appreciate it.
What to bring? Stock up on SippingTHIS wine coasters (shameless plug, I know). But I created these coasters because they make amazing gifts for wine lovers. They’ll be a conversation piece at the party, and they stand out, so the host will not forget you brought them. Pair them with a bottle of wine, and that host will invite you to every party she or he ever has, ever again.
- Bring what you said you would if you said you would.
- If you didn’t agree on something to bring, bring a fun gift that stands out. Like a SippingTHIS coaster set! You can stock up at shopsippingthis.com
- When in doubt, bring wine.
5. HAVE FUN
Don’t just stare at your phone the whole time. Don't complain. Just enjoy yourself! Talk to people. Get out of your comfort zone. Get to know someone new. Start a dance party. Let your freak flag fly! When you’re a fun guest, you’re the best guest because you make the party more fun for all, and that takes some pressure off the host.
The person who benefits the most from all this is you! Being a great guest releases positive vibes into the world and people will surely return the favor next time you’re the host. Also, when you’re considerate, giving and get out of your comfort zone, you lower your stress levels, become happier and feel more fulfilled. This makes taking these few extra steps to be a great guest even more worth it.