In the course of our lives, many of us have had reasons to find ourselves as guests in other people’s homes or have had to play hosts to guests who’ve come visiting us. People have had to put up in homes of friends, colleagues or family members as a result of demands of daily activities or even holidays – work and play.
Human interactions can be as complex and as varied as there are human beings on the planet. This means that in order to maintain the acceptable level of ‘order’ that good relationships are essentially incumbent upon, certain behavioural codes must be adhered to by both guest and host. That fine balance between a considerate guest and a thoughtful host should always be aimed at.
What are those gracious and polite codes of behaviour applicable to guests and hosts everywhere? And it does not matter for how long you are staying or hosting . The rules are the rules.
1 .Ensure that there is very clear communication about your date of arrival and exact duration of your stay. Do not come earlier than agreed, or stay beyond your expected date of departure. Any change of plans should be duly communicated.
2. Buy gifts. This is common in our culture. From the regular bread and bananas, to more expensive and enduring stuff. You may also take your host(s) out. This is a sign of your good nature.
3. Please do not turn your host into a personal driver. It is important to arrange how you move around to avoid becoming a burden.
4. Do not turn your hosts into personal maids or servants. Offer to assist with some basics like washing, cooking, mowing and vacuuming.
5. Do not come with any extra persons without the consent of your host. Also, do not take your pets – dogs, cats, birds, and so on to stay with you in people’s homes.
6. It would be overreaching to expect your hosts to change or adapt to your own diet regimen. You may have to make do with what’s on offer, unless you’re on a strict diet in which case you would make your own arrangements.
7. Always show sincere appreciation. Do not complain about things around and about the house – your bed, your room, conveniences, the food, and activities therein. You chose to come.
8. Maintain a high level of hygiene throughout. Respect and take good care of your room and all the things that have been put at your disposal – from bed linen to electrical gadgets.
9. Remember to call and thank your hosts once you’ve gotten back home.
1. Ensure that it is only guests that you are fairly acquainted with, and people you can permit to stay in your house that are invited.
2. Your guests should be made to know the duration of their stay in your house.
3. Intimate members of your family about the impending arrival of the guest. This prepares them to extend the same warmth and courtesy as you would.
4. Before your guest(s) arrive, make sure that the guestroom and toilet are clean and ready. Provide all the essential handy items that’ll make their stay worthwhile – bedsheets and pillowcases, extra clothes hangers, serviette, mirror, reading and writing materials, torchlight etc. Please remember to keep your electricity generator or other power sources in top working condition.
5. If your guests are coming for a special occasion which requires a particular mode of dressing or a unique style effect, inform them before they come.
6. It is always wise to have a good store of some of your guest’s favourite foods and drinks. Equally important is finding out beforehand if they have any allergies.
7. Your guests need to know the timing regime for activities in your house, for example meal times and prayer times. Also, point them to the usual positions of the essential items they may be needing in your absence.
8. You must politely inform your guest if any item in the house is running out so you do not leave them stranded.
9. Be gracious to your guests. Anticipate their needs and keep them as comfortable as possible till they depart. Even you can never tell how soon you will become someone’s guest.
Noela is an Image Consultant and personal development trainer. She helps corporate organisations and individuals achieve high performance through her bespoke trainings, seminars and workshops. She is available to speak at your professional events. Reach her on 07030514885.