Introduce interesting topics of conversation - good movies you've seen, places you've visited. If you're stuck, ask the other person something - Do you have children? Did you get away over the [holidays]? Have you read [the latest bestseller]? Where do you work? Any of these questions will get the other person talking about their favorite topic - them! You'd be the most popular person at the party if that's all you did all night long!
Help in unobtrusive ways. Empty some ash trays, take abandoned dishes to the kitchen, whisk your hosts' kid off to the bathroom, pass around a plate of hot hors d'oeuvres. If you see something that needs doing, quietly do it. Your hostess has her hands full! At one party I gave, a candle caught fire in the den. I appreciated the guest who put it out, removed the tablecloth, cleaned up the mess, and then came and told me!
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END
Don't overstay your welcome, no matter how much you're enjoying yourself. Why? You had a nap, got your nails done, watched the football game. They've been cooking and cleaning for days.
How do you know when it's time to go home? USE YOUR INTUITION, an emotional intelligence component. You may've been told 2-5, or just "come around 8", but your host and/or hostess will give off nonverbal signals when it's time for you to go home. They yawn, suddenly get up, start fidgeting and twisting, let the conversation lag, or even start doing the dishes! Get a clue!
SAY GOOD-BYE. Even if it's a large gathering, seek out the host
and/or hostess and tell them good bye, and thank them!
Send a written thank-you note afterwards. It's just a nice thing to do.
Being a good guest means making a positive contribution to the gathering. And, oh yes, don't forget to have fun, because that's catching and everyone will appreciate it.
Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc, mailto:email@example.com. Susan coaches emotional intelligence, which include etiquette, and it the author of The EQ Course. She trains and certified EQ coaches worldwide in a fast, affordable, no-residency program. Make it a resolution to increase your EQ in the New Year. Email for information.