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Do My Hospitality Habits Determine Whether You Want to Invite Me Over?

There is a question that has been bouncing around in my head. I wanted to bring it up here to see what you all have to say about it. The question is this: Do my hospitality habits determine whether you want to invite me over?

See, I have been plagued with the notion that hospitality needs to be ‘perfection forward’. I am not a perfectionist, but I have this idea that I need to put forth that kind of effort if I invite someone over. I agonize and stress over it way too much. It pays off, though. My house looks amazingly different 5 minutes before a guest arrives than it did 24 hours prior.

A beautifully tidy living space: Do my Hospitality Habits Determine Whether you Want to Invite me Over?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At the same time, I have noticed that I am more hesitant to invite my friends whose homes are always show-worthy. I feel inferior and insecure about having them over. I worry they will notice details that I have overlooked and not feel honored, despite my best attempts.

So I have this nagging question about whether other people feel that way too. And if they do, does my desire to make a clean impression on my guests make them feel uncomfortable inviting me over? Does my attempt to welcome my invitees with my best faux-foot-forward cause them to assume I’m a great housekeeper and make them nervous about what I will see at their house?

I wonder if some of the people, who I think are amazing at keeping their homes immaculate, are actually just like me. Are they also barely keeping on top of the mess until they invite me over and then frantically clean for my arrival? Do I make assumptions about all-the-time based on what I see sometimes?

Scattered toys on a table: Do my Hospitality Habits Determine Whether you Want to Invite me Over?
Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

I’m not talking about my best friends. I know them well and they know the real me. And to be honest, most of them live too far away to get together very often, which is a bummer. I’m referring to hospitality towards people who I am still getting to know.

I’m anxious to hear what you all have to say. Do you feel more comfortable inviting someone into your space whose standards are a bit lower? Does it set you at ease to see a bit of their dust, realizing it might help them understand yours too?

Or is it more honoring to you when someone elevates their standards to welcome you? How does it work in your home? Do you prefer to entertain, and be entertained, with perfection forward hospitality?

Water glass toast at the dinner table: Do my Hospitality Habits Determine Whether you Want to Invite me Over?
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I realize that hospitality is much more than the cleanliness of a home. I would even say it is mostly about the way a guest is made to feel during the time we spend together. Related Post: SuperPower Sunday: Hospitality

I am specifically asking about the preparations that happen before the doorbell rings, because that is where I struggle most, both in thought and in practice. It may be a silly question, but it is an honest one. Do you think my hospitality habits would affect whether you’d want to invite me over?

21 replies on “Do My Hospitality Habits Determine Whether You Want to Invite Me Over?”

In my experience, it is comfort level, how well they know you, their own level of perfection-expectation and most importantly maturity that determines hospitality reciprocation. Also, take into account that we neber know the family dynamic behind closed doors. I would have people over all the time except my husband hates company with a passion ans I have to hear about it so much that I just don’t have people over anymore at all. It is not them at all. Just food for thought. 😀❤

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Maybe. I have trouble keeping an immaculate house. It’s just not possible with life. Also, who said that that is what’s most important? I’d rather spend time with my kiddos than scrub the bathroom!

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I agree with what you said it is more important how our guests feel in our presence than whether or not everything is perfect.
Guests will generally sense if a hostess is tense.
Here, ( before Covid) , people turn up at all hours, and don’t knock.
My house is clean, but , what you see is what you get.
I’m not a perfectionist, so people who aren’t perfectionists either are comfortable with me. 🌼🤗🌷

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I think you just defined my conflict. My preparation stress sometimes carries over into the visit. Thank you for that! It sounds like I’d definitely have to change my approach if I lived by you!

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I think you just defined my conflict. My preparation stress sometimes carries over into the visit. Thank you for that! It sounds like I’d definitely have to change my approach if I lived by you!

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Guests always appreciate hospitality. They are there to enjoy your company.
Yes, around here, we are all pretty casual.
I think it has something to do with the whooshing sound of the ocean waves. 🤗🌼

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Ahhhh! I love coming into your home! Always full of kids live and welcome-ness! I tend to do quick last minute before grandkids arrive and then spend an entire day cleaning when they’re gone so with kids dogs and country living it’s a last minute clean up at our house! I’d have you over anytime and would feel comfy on a “messy” day!

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We loaned out house to a dear friend who sometimes is a caterer while we were out of town for a couple days. When we came home everything was spotless, including all the pots and pans and cooking dishes . . . on the counter! 😲
She had noticed that Anita has such a particular way of compressing all our dishes and utensils that there was no way she could put them all back. She described Anita’s technique as “jig-saw puzzle storage.”
Anita says she was first attracted to me because I was the “neatest” American man she had met (not so much any more), so she keeps an immaculate house (except for ‘my space’ in the basement!)
But we have friends over all the time, and have never felt they were ‘put off’ by our “neuroses.” 😁 We make sure they feel welcome and loved, and if someone breaks a dish or an ornament, we just say, “Myeh, we were thinking of throwing that one away anyway.” 😉

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Thank you so much for weighing in from a different angle… so let me ask you, do you notice when you go to other people’s homes and their habits aren’t as immaculate as yours? And hey, congrats on being a “neat” American man… have you always been that way or were you taught (parents, military, etc)?

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Not in great detail. Once visited an elderly man who lived alone and could not bring ourselves to drink the waters he poured as the glasses were dirty, but that is the only time I remember noting something amiss. We realize not everyone maintains the same cleanliness standards, and focus on the company we are in.
Actually my sis is responsible for my neatnik habits! When I was planning on college, during my senior year she rode my case “mercilessly” – “Oh, c.a.’s room at college will be a mess in a week and NEVER clean!”
So just to prove her WRONG, when I went to college I made it a point to make my bed every morn, which cleaned up half the room! And the rest is history. 😉

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Thanks for your perspective, c.a., I really appreciate it! It’s nice to know that “being” neat doesn’t always “expect” neat :). And that is a great story about your sis! Sibling rivalry can produce some great things, apparently! 😁

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At times I have felt the way you describe in your post about hosting people in my home. I don’t really believe that people expect others to do things (house cleaning) the way they do. As you said, good hosting is in how people feel in your home. When you make people feel welcome, then they are definitely going to want to invite you into their home and hopefully return the feeling. I don’t worry so much about the house anymore when people are coming over. I do basic cleaning, like in the guest bathroom and running the vacuum. I try to just “keep it real”. Best wishes!

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I believe everyone does do that or the most part. I did as well when I was a wife and raising my kids. And now I see there was nothing wrong with a I kept house if someone came over it’s life. We can’t always have it together. 😊

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