What to Do When You're Going to Your Friend's House for the First Time

Show interest in the activity your friend plans for the day.
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Your friend has invited you over to his house and you are excited to see his place and hang out with him. Before you head over, remember it's important to mind your manners and be the perfect house visitor. Since it is your first time being there, show proper etiquette so your friend -- and his family or roomies -- will look forward to you coming over to visit again soon.

1 Go With the Flow

Before your visit, ask your friend about any house rules that everyone must abide by, including house guests. Show respect and take heed to the rules. You may disagree with certain house rules, but it is not your place to give your opinion about them, according to national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, in her "Huffington Post" advice article, "Ask the Etiquette Expert: How Can I Be the Perfect Holiday Houseguest?" Remember, you are a guest and should not have any say in how the household is run. If everyone must take off their shoes upon entering the house, remove your shoes without hesitation.

2 Do Not Play Detective

Your friend's home is not free range to sneak around as you please and impose on her turf. Guests who roam freely or look through personal items are viewed as territory invaders by a host, asserts psychologist Shawn Meghan Burn in her online "Psychology Today" article, "The Trouble With Houseguests." If your friend briefly leaves the room for a second, do not take the opportunity to go snooping around in her closet and drawers or take a trip to see what her sister's room looks like. Stay where you are until she comes back. Your friend will show you what she wants you to see.

3 Be Your Own Maid

It is not your friend's duty to pick up any of your messes. Cleaning up after yourself will make your host happy to have you again if you want to visit at another time, explains Gottsman. Maybe you end up eating a meal at your friend's place. Be sure to ask if you can clear the table and offer to wash the dishes afterwards. Perhaps you and your friend engage in a science experiment or make a recipe together; clean up any supplies you use. Additionally, use bathroom etiquette. Leave the bathroom neat after your use. Keep the toilet lid down and wipe up any water you splatter when washing your hands.

4 Be Courteous and Complimentary

Whatever way your friend decides to entertain you, be interested and engaged. Perhaps you are watching a movie or playing a board game together. Tell her how much you are enjoying it. Additionally, give compliments instead of criticism. For example, if you do not care for your friend's taste in room decor, do not mention it. Look around carefully and genuinely compliment an item that you admire to your host, according to corporate etiquette trainer Maralee McKee in her Manners Mentor article, "Ways to Shine as a Party Guest." Perhaps you can compliment her cool rock n' roll poster or pretty flower pillow. Additionally, when you are leaving, be sure to thank your friend and her parents or roommates for having you over.

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.