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Manners and Discipline Topics..

You are here : home > Manners and Discipline > Manners > Being Good Hosts

Being Good Hosts

Being Good Hosts

All of us at some time or the other play host to guests visiting us. Here's how to be a good host even if you have no free time.

According to a saying in Sanskrit "Atithi devo bhava", or a guest is similar to God. Looking after of guests well is very strongly ingrained in Indian culture. However, in today's world everyone is so busy with their own lives that if guests come visiting, we really cannot spend much time with them. And if we start catering to a guest's every whim, there will come a time when we will start dreading the arrival of guests, since it means subjecting ourselves to so much work.

We should, however, try and find a balance.

How much time and attention you can devote to your guests naturally depends a great deal on your profession, on how much free time you have, on where you live, on your economic status and so on. But irrespective of all these factors, there are certain bare essentials you should try and take care of.

Fresh sheets

Nirmala stayed over at her newly married nephew's place for 2 nights when she was visiting Calcutta on work. She was astonished when she realized that the sheets on her bed were not fresh. She went to the toilet, and the towel was damp. There was a hairbrush lying on her bedside table, which was full of hair. Needless to say, she was horrified, and her opinion of the new daughter-in-law of the family lowered by quite a few notches.


If you don't have a cook, ensure that even if you don't have the time to cook for your guests, there is always something in the fridge so your guests can make themselves a sandwich or a cup of tea if they wish to. Show them around the kitchen so they familiarize themselves with everything. Remember, if you don't have a servant, you are not expected to do all the cooking and serving. Your responsibility ends at providing them with an open kitchen and a bedroom. If guests are visiting you especially at your invitation, for example, if there is a wedding in the family, then you are expected to look after their needs.

Moderate your behaviour

Because guests live in your home as a member of the family, they see a lot more than an outsider can see, and they don't hesitate to talk about the habits of your family members to others. So don't fight with each other, and coach your children to be on their best behaviour around guests.

Entertaining guests

When someone has come just to spend time with you, entertaining them is your responsibility. But if they are staying over at your place because they had to visit the city for work, it is not bad manners if you don't move your schedule around to entertain them. However, try to make the time to take them out at least once for dinner, during their stay with you.

Be helpful

Often people visiting from out of town don't know their way around your town. Even if you cannot take them wherever they want to go, make sure you assist them in any manner possible. If they need to go somewhere, let them know how they can get there. If they are tourists, plan out an itinerary for them. Even if you cannot join them, you can let them know where to go and how to get there.
Monica had gone to stay with Radha during Radha's wedding, and she needed access to an Internet connection. Radha was at the beauty parlour, so she asked Radha's brother. Instead of trying to help her out, he simply said that they didn't have a connection at home and walked off. Radha then tried to find out from others if there was a cyber cafe nearby, and went around speaking to everyone else in the house, trying to organize a way for her to reach the cyber cafe. Fortunately, another local who stayed close by, took her to his house as he had a connection, and she managed to get her work done.
Instead, Radha's brother should have had the decency to ask around, and even if he didn't have the connection at home, to try and orgainse something for her. He, instead, turned out to be just another unhelpful, bad host.

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Saloni.11 years ago
we should always be helpful and polite to our guest. true said, guest is like a god. very well writtern..
kim.11 years ago
how to be a good host and guest
neha.11 years ago
i guess u r right but then when u feel the guests are very smart and r using you then , what do you suggest to do??
XYZ.11 years ago
very well said and very true too!!
XYZ.11 years ago
very well said and very true too!!
maya.11 years ago
excellent article. at times hosts can be so insensitive and can make guests feel unwelcome or awkward. dont invite people over if you cant be good to them.
Misha.11 years ago
guests often treat the home as a cheap substitute for a hotel.this personally irritates me to no end . i only entertain guests if they are my relatives and they have come on my invitation . otherwise i let them fend for themselves
to Misha and Richa from me
i live in singapore and recently had a copule sn-ex business associate and wife come and stay with us for a plan of 3 weeks . i had some exyended family as guests also at that time and thus my house was full. despite my resistance this copule insisted on devouring my privacy . the woman interfered in every family matter and worse off was just plain irritating .
the man was with the attidude that 'god will show me everything' resorting to us saying that 'your god won't show you amnything'. no itenary no plan all the hands of god and not willing to accept our ideas .
and then and then they forgot to recinfirm tickets which meant that they stayed for a week more . i finally made a stand . it was me or them in the house . i would have left them on the road had i some sense !i pity and understand your situation
mu foot
mu foot.11 years ago
though i appreciate our culture and recpect let me sau that huest is deamon not god
rina.11 years ago
oh god i so agree what a bane giests can be . but this doesnot apply to inlaws who live as members of the family .
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