in: Character, Etiquette

• Last updated: May 29, 2021

Are You A Good Guest? A Quiz From 1944

Painting of a house party guests talking having coca cola.

Editor’s note: This excerpt/quiz is taken from a magazine published in the 1940s

Personal relationships and social contacts are acknowledged to be important to successful living. It is well worth considering how we treat our friends’ hospitality.

As you answer the questions below you will immediately see whether you make a selfish visitor in other people’s houses, or if you are the truly welcome guest. Answer “Yes” or “No” to each question.

  1. Do you make a point of arriving punctually when invited to a meal?
  2. Can you decide what is the best time to leave, and go without lingering?
  3. Do you realize your responsibility for contributing intelligently to the conversation?
  4. Are you always careful to avoid arguing or airing your views to your host?
  5. Can you, without being too personal, show a real appreciation of the provision for your entertainment?
  6. Do you, to save your host embarrassment, leave food fads at home?
  7. Do you talk of other people’s interests more than of your own?
  8. Have you really absorbed the fact that being entertained is not merely accepting a treat, but consists also of fellowship and mutual enjoyment?
  9. Do you avoid, even privately, looking around to criticize your host’s belongings and taste?
  10. Do you try to make the gathering a success, rather than concentrating on “making a hit” yourself?
  11. Do you refrain from doleful observations on the weather, the international situation, etc.?
  12. Have you tried to learn, and observe unobtrusively, such points of etiquette as make for good manners?
  13. Are you equally courteous to those present, irrespective of age, sex, or class?
  14. If any little hitch occurs do you try tactfully to help smooth it out, rather than leave all responsibility to your host?
  15. Are you soon invited again to a house after your first visit?

Add up your “Yes” answers and find if they are more than the “No’s.” To what extent the negative or affirmative answers predominate should be of definite interest to you.

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