The Single Best Thing You Can Do When You’re Invited into Someone’s Home

published Apr 27, 2018
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Let’s say someone invites you (yes, you!) to their house for a dinner party. What are the main things you’d usually do in order to make sure you’re a good guest when you’re there? Typically, you’d offer to help with the prep in the kitchen. And clear the plates. Maybe even wash a few things, too, right?

Well, a new survey says those things aren’t all that important. According to the research, the gesture that hosts appreciate the most actually has nothing to do with manual labor.

The best thing you can do as a guest in someone else’s home: Compliment the space.

The study, by, asked 1,000 Americans how 11 different behaviors would affect their impression of a guest who happens to be visiting their home for the first time. The most popular answer was just to get a simple compliment.

It’s so simple! Tell your host you love her dining chairs, her art in the kitchen, or those new cabinet knobs you know she just painstakingly picked out. Ask her where she got her sideboard, tell her she has great taste, or just say she has a lovely home. That’s all it takes! It makes sense: Who wouldn’t want to hear something nice from a guest?

For what it’s worth, offering to do the dishes was the second most appreciated gesture, so it’s still worth doing. And bringing a drink (a bottle of wine or booze) came in third.

More advice for guests: 5 Ways to Be the Best Dinner Guest Ever

Some Advice for Hosts