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Manners to always mind as a guest

Little tips to impress your host

From SheKnows Canada
Want to make sure poor etiquette doesn't lose you an invitation to your hostess's next event? Impress your friends and family with your impeccable manners using this simple guide.

Dinner party

Bring a hostess gift

An easy way to show how much you appreciate being invited is by bringing your hostess a little gift. Something as simple as a bottle of wine or box of chocolates will do.

Wait to eat

As hungry as you may be, don't start eating until everyone has their food in front of them and your hostess is seated.

Don't put your elbows on the table

It's OK to rest your forearms or hands on the table, but don't place your elbows there while food is on the table.

Chew carefully

When it comes to chewing, make sure to keep your mouth closed so no one has to see what you're munching on. Also, try to finish chewing completely and swallow before speaking.

Turn off your phone

Nothing ruins the flow of conversation like a ringing cell phone followed by someone leaving the table to take a call. Avoid distracting sounds or the temptation to leave your other guests by turning off your phone as soon as you enter your hostess's home.

Excuse yourself before leaving the table

If you do have to step away from the dinner table for some reason, make sure to explain your departure. Sneaking off will leave everyone feeling awkward and confused, so simply offer a few words of explanation before getting up.

Use the correct cutlery

If you are placed in front of a confusing array of cutlery, start with the outermost piece and work your way in. That means the first course's knife and fork will be on the outside, while the last course's will be closest to the plate. A fork or spoon placed above the plate is to be used for dessert. Following these rules will ensure you don't use the incorrect utensils and wind up with the wrong ones when it really counts.

Don't use your hands

The wide array of cutlery is there for a reason, so don't use your fingers to eat. It may take more time to get that pesky pea onto your fork with a knife, but it's better to do so than to use your fingers. And if anything does happen to get on your fingers, wipe them off with a napkin rather than lick them.

Use your cutlery as an indication of fullness

An easy way to indicate whether you're done or are ready for seconds is through your cutlery. Placing your knife and fork next to each other on your plate means you're finished eating, while separating them says you aren't quite satiated.

Make conversation

Talking only about yourself or showing no interest in what others are saying is probably the worst etiquette crime you can commit. Show your host and other guests how much you appreciate being invited by making conversation and getting along with everyone.

more on entertaining

Is there such a thing as "fashionably late"?
Best gifts for a host
10 Dos and don'ts of being a guest

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