Guests arriving at someone's front door

The Rudest Things You Can Do in Someone Else’s House

There was a time when people attended etiquette school, also called “charm school“. They still exist and are successful around the world. However, there are only a handful left in the U.S. The curriculum teaches manners, how to properly engage with one another, and how to be courteous in a social setting. For example, at a dinner party or as a guest in someone’s home. Post-pandemic, and even before, manners seem to be slowly fading. As discussed by HuffPost, experts took a look at the rudest things you can do in someone else’s home.

Practicing Social Etiquette

The holidays are a time when people host parties, have gift exchanges, or have movie nights on the couch. It’s cold outside and staying cozy is easy with friends, good food, and hot beverages. Subsequently, this means holidays are one of the best times to practice social etiquette. If you feel like you’ve not been your best, there are ample opportunities to practice and try again.

Etiquette Experts

When we welcome people into our homes, we often use the term “make yourself at home”. In contrast, this doesn’t mean, that someone has total free reign to do whatever they please. So, what are the social etiquette rules to follow when in someone else’s home? According to Jodi R.R. Smith, keeping your feet off the furniture and not going in the fridge without permission are two of the most cordial things you can do in someone’s home.

Nick Leighton who is an etiquette expert, and co-host of the “Were You Raised by Wolves?” podcast weighs in. He says you should not remove a book from a shelf or move things around without permission. Leighton also says that it’s rude to demand a tour. Going through someone else’s house is only socially acceptable if they offer to give you a tour of the place.

However, this doesn’t mean you should snoop through their things. When you enter someone’s home take note of cabinets, closets, and doors that are closed. If they aren’t open, that typically means they’re not common space. In other words, somewhere your host doesn’t want you to have access.

Taking Advantage of Hospitality

Diane Gottman, who is also an etiquette expert, founder of The Protocol School of Texas, and author of the book, “Modern etiquette for a Better Life. She agrees with Leighton, stating, “Don’t take a tour of the house unless you are encouraged by the host to ‘wander’ around.”

Leighton also states that in regard to etiquette, the number one complaint he hears from hosts is that people often overstay their welcome. “If your hosts have changed into their pajamas, that’s probably a good sign that it’s time to go,” Leighton added. If you’re not ready for the party to be over, suggest moving to a bar or your house for a nightcap or to keep the party going.

Read: Is It Rude to Ask Guests to Take Off Their Shoes When Entering Your Home?

Speak up About Mistakes

Another faux pas to avoid in ensuring you use proper social etiquette is, not hiding your mess. Accidents happen sometimes. That could be a spilled beverage, a broken dish, or even using the last of the toilet paper roll. Be sure to let your host know, as quickly as possible.

If you’re feeling a little shy you can be discreet with your discussion, but it is important that you let someone know. Some damage can be minimized if treated quickly, while other damage can significantly increase by the time the issue is discovered. As a result, your little accident may turn into a more costly fix. Also being aware of people’s shoe preferences. Sometimes people don’t mind when you wear your shoes in their homes. However, shoes carry a lot of germs, dirt, and bacteria that people understandably so, don’t want in their homes.

Avoid Unexpected Guests

Another mistake people make is to bring an uninvited plus one. Sometimes people state that all are welcome to attend their parties. In this case, they may be open to having unexpected guests. However, some events are meant to be intimate and small, and the host may not have anticipated enough chairs, food, or gifts for unexpected guests.

The last few things to avoid are waiting until the last minute to express your dietary restrictions and feeding pets. The first is simply because then the host doesn’t have enough time to make necessary accommodations for your eating needs and you may end up with something less, “elegant” than the original meal the host had planned. Similarly, some animals have unknown or uncommon dietary restrictions so feeding them may cause sickness or an expensive vet bill.

In essence, if you’re not sure if you’re following the rules for good social etiquette, the easiest thing to do would be to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Be aware of how you might feel if someone came into your home and did something. If that something would upset, frustrate, or sadden you, then you probably shouldn’t do that to other people.

After all, life is hard for everyone. Showing respect and kindness to the people we care about is the easiest way to help make life a little easier. As a result, you might make the world a little brighter.

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