There are some things we shouldn’t have to discuss, but the way some people behave (their etiquette) when they go to other people’s houses is appalling!
I can bet that no one behaves more badly than a Nigerian houseguest. Just because someone tells them to feel at home, they go ahead and spoil the remote. From appearing unannounced without a heads-up to overstaying their visit, there is a lot to unpack here.
Some people’s ancestors have gone as far as disowning them in the spirit world, due to the level of disgrace they’re always bringing.
Therefore, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help you with this etiquette list of how to behave in someone else’s home, so that both your friends and family (dead and alive) can stop avoiding you.
Visitor etiquettes to observe to avoid bringing your ancestors everlasting disgrace
Please, call before you visit anyone
I know in Africa it is a culture to just appear at people’s doors unannounced, but please let us stop that this year. Unless you are really close to the person or you want to plan a pleasant surprise, keyword PLEASANT surprise, call before visiting.
You don’t want to meet your host at an unexpected time. First, it makes them uncomfortable, and second, it makes you feel unwelcome.
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Take a gift along
When you are paying someone a visit, especially for the first time, please go with a gift. Your host is definitely going to cater to you, so you don’t want to look like you’re selfish.
It doesn’t have to be anything expensive; could be a small bottle of wine, a box of chocolate, or some snacks. Anything really.
Just ensure that you go with a gift.
Don’t go into bedrooms without permission
Some of you are very rude!
You just bounce into people’s bedrooms like you own the place.
Bedrooms are very personal and private areas of people’s homes, which is why you should stay clear of them unless you are invited in.
Stick to communal areas like the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms. This will ensure that you don’t risk overstepping the mark and making your host feel uncomfortable.
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Avoid the temptation to open the fridge without permission
If you have been doing this, I need you to put your hand on your chest and ‘never again’.
Also, why? Why would you do that?
Why would you go to another person’s house and help yourself to what is in the fridge? Are you a rat? Why not just ask your host for whatever you need?
You make your host feel uncomfortable if they notice you snooping, so unless you have the green light to do so, avoid heading into the kitchen cabinets or fridge without asking first. Visitor etiquette 101.
Appreciate and accept what they offer you
If you don’t eat semo in your family, that’s good for you. Keep that information to yourself.
When you visit someone and they offer you something you don’t eat, graciously deny it with an excuse. Do not open your mouth and say you don’t eat that and you would prefer something else. Especially if they didn’t ask you.
Even if they did, please just say you are not hungry and let it be.
Do not make your host go into the kitchen to make something for just you. If you do so, trust me they will not be around when you call again.
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Always flush the toilet
This is such a big one. It is something that should go without saying but we have to say it for some of you. Please flush the toilet always! Not just when you are visiting someone but also when you are in your home. Because it’s what you do in your own house that will follow you outside.
It’s grossly irritating to leave someone’s toilet unflushed after using it. And also please close the lid once you are done.
Keep your opinions on their decorations to yourself
Even if your opinion about the entire home is not dazzling praise, please keep it to yourself. Making negative comments about people’s homes and decorative choices is a no-no.
Even if you have the best intentions, please keep your opinions to yourself. After all, people’s tastes are different.
If you are visiting for more than a day, state that before you come
This is one visitor etiquette that most people ignore, especially family members. They appear, and then night falls and you still see them spread like mayonnaise on the chair, watching Telemundo. Then you ask and they reply, “Oh, I’m staying for a week.”
Make sure you inform your hosts of the duration of your stay even before you come. Don’t try to play smart and extend your stay once you’re in their home.
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Follow the house rules
When in Rome, act like Romans.
If you notice everyone taking their shoes off outside the door, please take your shoes off as well. If they go to bed at 9 pm, do the same. If they don’t use screens at the dinner table, then please avoid taking your screens to their table as well.
Take note of the peculiar things they do, and do them as well.
Be extremely helpful
Even if you are lazy in your father’s house, please use your hands when you visit other people.
Offer to help around the house. Clear the dinner table. Occupy the kids while their parents cook. Sweep and do the dishes.
Do things without being asked. Let them feel your impact in that house. This is one of the most important visitor etiquettes.
Do not dish your food yourself
Or at least take permission before you dish your food.
Do not go into the kitchen and take food from the pot yourself. Even when you are permitted to dish for yourself, do not take the biggest meat in the pot.
Learn self-control. Dish just what you can finish and don’t be a glutton.
Leave things better than you found them
Especially if you are visiting for a few days. Clean the room you stay in, and make your bed every morning.
On your last day, triple-check the bedroom and bathroom for your belongings.
Strip the sheets and put them in a pillowcase at the foot of the bed. Do a quick wipe-down of the counters in the bathroom for toothpaste, extra cups, or loose hair. Also, return any items to their place, like a book you borrowed from the bookshelf.
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Visitor etiquettes: In conclusion
These tips are really important in maintaining a good relationship with family, friends, and acquaintances. In fact, you need to do better when you visit someone than at your house.
And one final tip, when you visit someone, don’t forget to say thank you.