This is a guest post from my wife, or “April’s pathetic rant on the other side of hospitality.”
It’s not pathetic, but we just joke around like that:
Did you know that hospitality is a two-way street? We are often encouraged to open our homes and hearts to others and rightly so. We recently had a large group of friends over and I’d love to share what they did that made me want to be hospitable every day to people like these:
How to be a Super Guest? It’s EASY!
Verbalize your gratitude to your host. Be specific and sincere, but not syrupy.
Offer to help (prep, serving, cleaning up). You’ll often be refused but it’s worth a shot!
BE INTERESTED and INTERESTING. Your hosts want to engage you, not entertain you.
ASK your hosts about what you see around you. Our homes are our inner sanctuaries and you can tell a lot about your hosts by their homes. Look around and take interest in what you see: Their cool photo collection, cooking skills, their obvious Ikea addiction, antique rocker, half-done remodel, their kids, HAM radio, track trophies, goldfish, Deer heads, gourmet coffee station, Raiders Shrine, Congressional Medal of Honor, WHATEVER. Ask your host about them (Our mammoth metal tuna fish tends to be a conversation starter)…
Be COMPLIMENTARY not CRITICAL: Yes, this is for all you stereotypical Mothers-In-Law! Ignore the laundry pile, they already know about it. (better yet, joke about it being smaller than yours) and focus on the houseplants or the new nursery, or the pretty sunlight in their apartment.
Bring your kids, but keep an eye on them, and allow them to explore in limited ways. This is a great time for kids to learn how to be guests too. (I seriously love kids, but our place is a House Of Horrors for them; leaning mirrors everywhere). They can learn that closed doors stay closed. That when they break something they can say ‘sorry’ and move on (this is inevitable so hosts, don’t be so attached to your stuff!). And can I just mention here that there’s nothing so sweet as little kids all saying goodbye with sweet words or waves or hugs? THE BEST.
Return the Favor: Let people into your world too 🙂
Check out the cool wreath on Etsy.