If you’ve ever been a guest at someone’s house, chances are you might’ve broken a few etiquette rules. Or maybe you’ve hosted rude and uncouth guests yourself?
We’ve all been guests or hosts at some point, but there seems to be a consensus among those who host: that there are certain things that undoubtedly get on their nerves. EVERY TIME.
So, read on to see if you can relate to the behaviors that annoy hosts the most. Or if you’ve got an upcoming stay at someone’s house, learn the etiquette tricks that will guide you to a more graceful visit.
Here are 10 Things Rude and Uncouth Guests Do That Annoy Their Hosts
Clog the Toilet
Okay. Anything other than toilet paper and things exiting your body does not belong in the toilet.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this an etiquette rule that all guests should follow, but more of a common-sense rule. It should be obvious to guests that flushing things like tampons or wet wipes calls for trouble.
Also, if you have little ones, be mindful of any toy they might want to send away and decide to flush. This can be amusing to your kid, but not funny when it ends up costing your host money. Plumbers often say that when they’re called to work on a clogged toilet in a house with kids, a toy is often the culprit. You may find this hilarious until, of course, it happens to you.
If for some reason you engage in sexy time while a houseguest, please do not flush a condom. This could cost your host thousands of dollars by ruining the plumbing. Also, imagine how embarrassed you’ll be if you’re little secret is revealed!
Engage in Loud Sexy Time
People’s opinion on whether guests should “get busy” while staying at their house appears to be divided. If you’re staying at the home of someone who thinks it’s rude or just plain weird (and you happen to know this) then honor their rules and wait until you vacate their premises to get it on.
Where do you stand on this? Are you in favor of the free flow of juices in your linens or do you feel that basic etiquette calls for the visit to be kept strictly “PG”?
Sometimes guests might confuse your house for a hotel. Maybe it’s your fault for making the place so nice and cozy that it just suggests the act! If you’re going to do this, you should at least be discreet.
Hang Wet Towels on Doors, Headboards, or Wood Furniture
Unless houseguests have an en-suite bathroom to leave their used, wet towel, they might feel tempted to take it with them. Hopefully, they get dressed in the bathroom and don’t leave it just wearing a towel.
Anyways, where would they hang it to dry? You’ve better provide a place for that! Otherwise, people can get creative and ruin an upholstered headboard or your furniture.
Another place where folks may hang their towel is on the edge of a door, and leave the door open. While this might be well-intentioned, you can rest assured that, if done repeatedly, it’ll end up messing up your door.
So, if you’re a guest, please avoid hanging a wet towel on any of these surfaces. If you can’t find a good place to hang it, ask your host what’s the best place (rather than improvising).
Open the Fridge and Eat Food Without Question
Thinking about eating that last ice cream bar? Don’t – or face the consequences. LOL.
As a rule of thumb, you should not alter the existing inventory of your hosts’ fridge. This means that you should not eat anything unopened (which could be reserved for a special occasion or someone), and you should not finish off anything (like eating their last slices of cheese or ice cream bars).
In fact, a graceful host that knows you’re coming and is happy to have you may stock up the fridge in anticipation of your visit.
Not Make the Bed
Even if you don’t regularly make the bed in your own house, this is a must if you’re staying at someone else’s home for many reasons.
First, not doing it suggests that you’re waiting for someone else to do it for you, like you would if you were in a hotel. Second, it’s an eyesore for others to see.
Fail to Bring a Bring-Along-Gift
This is one of those things that is not so much about the gift itself, but more about the gesture. It’s just graceful and shows your appreciation for your host. On the other hand, walking into someone else’s home empty-handed is just uncouth.
If you did not have time to get them a gift or forgot to, you should plan to take them out to eat and pay for it. If going out is not an option, then perhaps ordering food delivery from a nice restaurant might be your best bet.
Not Respect The Hosts’ Policy on Shoes, or Walk Around Barefoot
It’s probably safer to ask beforehand what do they do about shoes. However, if you forgot to do it or don’t want to ask, you can always take a quick look around and assess the situation yourself.
For instance, do they have carpets all over? If so, then you’re probably expected to take off your shoes at the entrance. You might even notice a designated place for footwear. If you’re not sure what to do, just ask.
This is not customary in every house, but something that may vary depending on the culture or city. Like for instance, in the USA, it seems more common in the Pacific Northwest during rainy weather.
Put Their Feet Up on Places Like a Coffee Table or a Couch
As a general rule, if you did not pay for the couch or table, you are not allowed to put your feet up on the thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing shoes or socks; it’s a no-no, but especially insulting if you have shoes on.
Every host has a limit on their acceptable level of annoyance. This common offense usually prompts a reaction from even the nicest, most tolerant ones.
If you’re skeptical about this behavior being considered rude, next time you’re with friends or making conversation with your work buddies, poll everyone on their thoughts on the subject of feet and coffee tables.
Do Any Of These Food-Related Things
Some people are very particular about food. On one hand, you have hosts that are proud to cook you a special dish and might be offended if you turn it down. On the other hand, you have guests that are really particular about their eating habits, including what, when, and how they eat.
One thing to bear in mind, though – when it comes to food, stick to these common-sense etiquette rules and stay out of trouble by not:
- rudely refusing their food;
- being a super-picky eater;
- bringing food to the bedroom (there will be crumbs);
- eating on their couch;
- eating and walking around, leaving crumbs or stains; or
- leaving your “finished” plate on the table.
Overstay Their Welcome
This is obviously also true for showing up unannounced. DO NOT. Even if you “announce” your visit with ample time in advance, it’s rude to say “I’ll be in town, can I stay with you?” (especially if you don’t know them super well or are not family). Rather, say “I’ll be in town and would love to see you,” and see if they offer you their home.
Most people are hesitant to deny a request to stay in their homes once you ask, but that doesn’t mean you should do it because you could be really burdening them by imposing, especially if they’re going through a rough patch in their personal lives that you may not be aware of.
Also, the length of your stay should be clear before you arrive.
Follow your hosts’ lead and wait for them to let you know what works for them in terms of your visit. To be on the safe side, always avoid staying more than 2 consecutive days unless the host invites you to stay longer beforehand.
Here are 10 More Rude Things Guests Do:
It may sound obvious, but somehow, to the dismay of many hosts, these additional basic etiquette infractions continue to happen. So, are you a graceful or rude guest? See if you pass the test:
Walk around in your underwear or skimpy clothes
Walking around in your underwear is an obvious act of rudeness. However, you might see blurred lines when it comes to what kind of clothes are acceptable to wear in your hosts’ home.
Are you frequently the only one in pajamas at the table? Are you the only one in shorts all the time? Follow your hosts’ lead and see how they’re dressed to be more in sync with their sense of what falls within their etiquette standards at their home.
Not do your own dishes
A simple way to fix it. Always clean up after yourself.
Leave hair and toothpaste in the sink
Just plain gross. Wipe the sink clean after you’re done using it.
Drink all of their alcohol
As a basic threshold matter, it’s rude to open up anything that’s factory-sealed. Also, you should not drink what’s left until it’s gone.
Impose your pet, especially when they’re not expecting it
Never, never, never do this. Not only because it’s unpolite, but also there might be allergy concerns, the safety of other pets might be an issue, they may have small children that are not used to pets, or your hosts may simply prefer to have a pet-free home.
Do “funky” stuff with your drinks, even if it’s just water
Things like failing to use a coaster on a wooden table, bringing bottles or glass around their pool, or leaving used cups in your room. Do the first two and, most certainly, you’ll quickly hear your host react to your transgression.
Let your kids roam wild
A missed opportunity to teach your kids basic etiquette and good manners. Do not miss the chance and lead by example and inspire your little ones.
Receive packages and letters without asking first (not once you’ve ordered it)
A very annoying thing to do as a guest.
Expect to be chauffeured
In this day and age with ridesharing apps, this should not be an issue.
The best way to avoid this is to plan ahead and have this all sorted out. Rent a car or coordinate other transportation if you know you’ll need it.
This includes going to and from the airport. Do not assume they can (or want) to take you. Too far to Uber or Lyft? Get Groundlink or a similar service, but do not overburden your host.
Play loud music or loud anything
This is also true for anything you play on your phone. Like for instance, YouTube videos, jokes, or videos that your friends send you, plus podcasts and the like. Basically, bear in mind that anything that emits sound will de facto impose that sound on people around you.
Sometimes following the simple rule of “always pick up after yourself” is not enough – especially if you’re staying over more than a couple of days (thereby increasing human interaction and possibly your hosts’ level of annoyance). So stick to these etiquette rules to be in the clear and vacate gracefully so they don’t talk too much smack once you leave.
That’s my take!
What do you think are the top etiquette rules that any guest should follow to guarantee a graceful stay? Have you ever hosted a rude and uncouth guest? What has a guest done that you found most upsetting?
Tom @ Dividends Diversify says
I thought that alcohol was put there just for me. I even took all the empty bottles out to their recycle bin. Hmmm. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been invited back. 🙂 Tom