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Social skills and etiquette: visiting someone’s home

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Whether visiting for an hour or spending a few days, you could wear out your welcome by failing to use proper etiquette as a guest in someone's home. Making the right impression is based on your ability to identify the culture and beliefs of the person you are visiting in order to avoid certain behaviors that could be offensive. If you have children teach them how to behave properly when visiting someone’s home. Explain different customs and expectations so that they know what to expect. Although most hosts will tell you to make yourself at home, it may not be wise to take that statement literally.

Respect the Customs. Show respect for all religious and cultural practices of your host. Be mindful of specific habits such as removing shoes before entering the home or remaining silent during meal times. If your hosts are vegetarians, don’t order chicken takeout to eat in their home.

Avoid Over Indulging. When dining in someone's home, eat in moderation. Enjoy a single serving meal and graciously thank your host for the food. When sleeping over, don't mistake your host as a hotel maid. Pick up after yourself and ask permission before using the family's personal belongings.

Bring a Gift. Proper etiquette calls for a small token of appreciation. When visiting someone's home a bouquet of flowers or a small plant is always welcome. Hosts appreciate considerate guests and are more likely to extend future invitations.

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