Being a good guest requires the same type of concern for the other person as being a good host. Your guest manners should be your standard home manners, so that you are pleasant to live with everywhere. Even so, we are nervous about our manners when we visit someone’s house, especially when we are sleeping over for a few days. Knowing how to behave puts you at ease, because it does away with your self-consciousness. Being a guest can be fun and rewarding if we learn our lessons ahead of time. Here are some good rules for the guest:

Be Upbeat
Enter your host’s home happy to see everyone. Even if you are tired, stop to thank your host for inviting you. Bring along a little gift of appreciation when you visit. It should be a simple gift of flowers or a fruit and cheese basket, or a box of good candy, a token of your appreciation for the household’s offered hospitality.

Be Neat and Orderly Throughout Your Stay
Once shown to your room, remove items from your suitcase and put them and your suitcase away. Usually there is an empty drawer for the guest. Put your undergarments and toiletries there. Hang up your clothes. Slip your suitcase under the bed if there is no other space for it. Don’t live out of your suitcase.

Ask Permission
Ask permission to use their computer, but don’t monopolize its use. It is rude and unfriendly to hold up in your room, working on something on a computer when you are an invited guest. While on the Internet, stay away from questionable sites.

Be Considerate and Go With the Flow
Keep your room area clean. Pick up after yourself as you go. Keep a bag for your used clothing so that you can help keep things neat. Be time sensitive when you’re in the bathroom. Leave everything clean and dry, free from hair in the sink and stray tissues and cotton balls on the vanity. Fit into the flow of the household schedule. If everyone gets up “at the crack of dawn,” then you do as well. If you’re a late person, smile at the experience. You can always look at it as an adventure. Pitch in during the day with clean up. Ask to help your host with the dishes. It’ll be fun cleaning up the kitchen and listening to the latest songs, or the neighborhood gossip. Be friendly to your host’s friends that come to visit her while you’re there. Ask questions of the friend that will keep her talking about herself, or about her friendship with your host, and the three of you can laugh at the funny things your host and her friend have gotten themselves into at their school, or on the job. Visits are always fun when everyone is included.

When Your Stay Ends
Before you leave, double check the closets and drawers to make sure that you have packed everything. It is an inconvenience to have your friend mail you forgotten items because you were hasty in packing. Do not leave the house without telling your host that you have enjoyed your stay. When you get home, write a thank-you note within a week of the visit, thanking your friend and her family for their warm hospitality. Return the hospitality in due time by inviting her to spend time at your house.