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8 Hosting Mistakes That Might Make Your Guests Uncomfortable

Inviting people over for a dinner party or taking them out to a nice restaurant implies a lot of planning and organizing. The main secret to a successful dinner party is providing good food for your guests and ensuring a relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, a few misplaced words, controversial topics or suspicious looks and things can take a turn for the worse, making your guests running for the hills.

To make sure you’re not making any major mistakes when inviting people over for dinner, here’s what experts say you should refrain from doing so that your guests do not feel uncomfortable.

Photo by Dragon Images on Shutterstock

Expecting guests? Avoid these hosting faux pas:

  1. Not thinking about seating

If you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, one crucial thing for a successful event is making smart seating arrangements. According to relationship and body language expert Nicole Moore, it is the host’s responsibility to arrange seats so that all guests are comfortable with the people they’re seating next to.

“Many guests feel awkward if they approach a dinner table and don’t know where to sit and this can make for undesirable seating arrangements,” she warns. Hosting duties are important, but it is equally important to show guests where to sit so that they can enjoy their evening.

If you think placing name cards is too much, Moore advises hosts to at least suggest where they should sit. Most guests will feel relieved for not having to pick by themselves.

RELATED: 10 Effective Ways to Prepare for House Guests

  1. Using your phone at the table

Whether we like it or not, we all have to admit that phones are an important part of our lives. We’re constantly scrolling, looking for all sorts of things, shopping, working on our phones and whatnot. But when you have people at the dinner table, looking at your phone instead of paying attention to your guests is a major faux pas.

It is every host’s duty to make their guests feel important, appreciated and seen. Scrolling on your phone and engaging in mindless conversation is not the best way to make them feel valued. If not, it makes them feel ignored and unimportant. More than that, it is a clear permission for other people to do the same. And what kind of dinner is that where everyone is busy on their phones, without having any real interaction and conversation?

  1. Chewing with your mouth open

Using your phone while having dinner guests is not the only inappropriate thing you could do as a host. Oh no! There are plenty of other things you could do to make your guests feel uncomfortable, like, let’s say… chewing with your mouth open or talking with food in your mouth.

As explained by Mason Farmani, an intuitive personal and corporate life coach based in Palm Beach, Florida, it’s one thing what you do when you’re alone at the dinner table and a completely different thing when you have people sitting next to you. Not that we need to tell you this, but chewing with your mouth open is “generally considered impolite and off-putting” by most people. Even if you have a more relaxed get together, table manners are still important.

  1. Fighting at the table

No one likes to become involved in other people’s fights, even if as simple spectators. If you and your partner or another family member have something to say to one another, do it somewhere else, not in the presence of your guests.

“Nothing makes guests more uncomfortable than a couple or family squabbling at the dinner table,” warns Seth Eisenberg, relationship expert and CEO of the PAIRS Foundation. It’s even more frown upon that giving your dog something to eat while using your own fork or dealing with a fussy baby at the table.

To make sure everyone enjoys their evening and your dinner party is a success, avoid arguments of any kind.

Since we’re on the subject of guests, check out these 6 Things Guests Always Notice About Your Home.

  1. Discussing sensitive topics

Controversial topics are not recommended at the dinner table, says behavior and wellness expert Kubanych Takyrbashev, PhD. Of course, an interesting conversation is always welcomed to make the atmosphere more entertaining. But it’s better to stay away from sensitive topics such as religion and politics that people have different views on.

According to Takyrbashev, people usually assume that their opinion is the correct one and try to convince others that they are right. When someone is so vehement in sharing their opinions, it’s making others feel uncomfortable and affecting the overall enjoyment at the dinner table.

Photo by – Yuri A on Shutterstock
  1. Only talking to those closest to you

When you’re the host, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your guests have a good time. This means engaging them in conversations. All of them, says Moore. “Don’t fall into the bad hosting habit of getting so wrapped up in your own conversation, that you forget about your guests seated farther away from you,” she warns.

This can become a particular problem for people sitting at the middle of long tables, as they may feel left out of the conversation taking place at the ends of the table. As the host, it is important to cultivate an enjoyable atmosphere, find easy but enjoyable topics for discussion and make everyone feel part of the group.

  1. Dominating the conversation

Sure, you need to ask the right questions and raise the right topics to engage everyone in conversations and maintain a pleasant atmosphere. But make sure you don’t take up too much talking space and allow others to speak as well.

Yes, you are the host, and it’s normal for you to talk more than the rest, but this doesn’t mean no one else can contribute to the conversation. According to Takyrbashev, when the host takes control over the discussion, it makes guests feel sidelined and hesitant in expressing their own opinions and thoughts. At the end of the day, they will only remember you dominating the evening and them not being included.

  1. Disregarding dietary preferences or restrictions

Obviously, when hosting a dinner party, you get to create your own menu or choose the restaurant. You are practically the one that decides what others will eat. But if you want your guests to appreciate your efforts, try to take into account of their dietary preferences or eating restrictions as well.

Some might not eat gluten, others might be vegetarians, so giving them options to choose from will not go unnoticed. Paying attention to their preferences will make guests feel less anxious about what they will eat, eliminate discomfort and feelings of disrespect. Not to mention that having nothing suitable to eat, will turn them into complete ogres. After all, you wouldn’t want to be invited to a dinner party and left there to starve, right?


It’s not easy hosting a dinner party, we get it. But if you stick to a few healthy habits and avoid making huge mistakes such as ignoring guests, making them feel uncomfortable, not serving foods that they might enjoy, then your event should be a real success.

No one is saying that unexpected things cannot happen and turn your entire evening into a complete mess; but it pays off to be prepared and prevent mistakes on your part, so that everyone can enjoy the dinner party and compliment your hosting skills.

Read also: Expecting Guests? Put These 8 Things Away Before They Arrive


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