It is often said that ‘common sense’ is not common. I agree. However, these are some basic rules we must obey to be regarded as ‘Civilized visitors’.
1. CALL before you go: Come on… We are in the 21st century. And it’s a mobile age. There’s just no reason to suddenly appear at the door of your host like the second coming of Christ. Make it a point of duty to call the person you’re going to see before going. Firstly, it saves you the disappointment of not meeting them and it also give them the room to prepare for your coming (IF they want you to come)
2. DO NOT Knock more than THREE times: Think about it… If they’re around, they should have heard your knock the first time, or the second time, or at least a third time just to be sure. So having knocked three times, it’s either they’re not around or they just don’t want to open (for reasons best known to them). So respect yourself and leave. Stop disturbing. (well, except it’s an emergency in which case you should knock even harder, or perhaps break the door.)
3. NEVER hang around private discussions for long: Ok… Let’s assume you missed the first rule and you went there without calling first only to meet your host having a PRIVATE meeting (or discussion) with someone else, or they may even have told you to come, yet you met this situation. PLEASE EXCUSE YOURSELF and leave. Offer to come another time or say you have somewhere else to be at the moment. But no matter what, don’t hang around. It makes everyone uncomfortable.
4. DO NOT feel at home: Yeah, I know many hosts will always tell you to ‘feel at home’. Trust me, most of them don’t really mean it. You are NOT at home. Always remember that. Retain an air of self-restrictions. Refrain from over indulgence (Especially in food and drinks) it reduces the respect of your host for you. There is a certain prestige and honour that comes with a simple ‘No, Thanks’.
5. Make it BRIEF and RARE: Now this rule doesn’t really apply so much with close friends and relatives. But it still applies all the same. DO NOT stay too long there. Even if they are not complaining, you should know that they have other things to do than to simply sit there chatting with you. Once you’re done with all the pleasantries and catching up, a few more minutes (or at most an hour) should suffice before you leave. Don’t over stay your welcome. And please make your visit rare also. Too many visitation within a short time makes you come off as a nuisance to your host. So make your presence rare and create some value for yourself.
If you have found this useful and true, please share.