Are You A Terrible Houseguest?

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

Are you a bad houseguest? There is a very good chance that you may be about as welcome as Genghis Khan but fail realise to realise it. It’s similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect, where those who are the most incompetent fail to realise their own ineptitude and believe that they are superior. The old saying, “empty vessels make the loudest noise” applies.

When you phone a family member, friend or colleague and ask to spend a few nights, your soon-to-be host may recoil in horror while you are totally oblivious. You probably feel as if you are a delightful guest and that your host is lucky to have your company, but may be unaware that your host is considering arson, moving or faking his or her own death to avoid being anywhere near you.

Nobody wakes up and says, “I’m going to stay with the Joneses this weekend. What can I do to cause a divorce and/or institutionalisation?” But it doesn’t change the fact that some people need to become more self-aware that they are annoying and share characteristics with a virus. Here is a handy guide to help you settle on whether your host may be adding arsenic to your dinner. Your answers to these questions will determine whether or not you will need to get your stomach pumped next time you spend a night with family or friends.

Do people who invite you for short stay only do it once, and never again? You are the type of person who overstays his or her welcome. Nobody likes a cheapskate – cough up for a hotel room rather than trying to save a buck by becoming a burden on your host.

Is personal hygiene casually dropped into conversation? Apart from television advertisements, where random strangers invade homes and test the cleanliness of people’s bathrooms, personal hygiene is not really a common topic of conversation. Your host is trying to tell you that you reek of an air so foul even maggots decide it’s not worth sticking around. Remember, the bathtub is your friend.

Does your host invite other guests around for dinner while you are staying over? If not, he or she is embarrassed. You might want to try wearing pants and staying sober a little more often. At least until noon.

Does your host go to dinner parties or other social engagements and never invite you to go with? Yes? I hate to break it to you buddy, but people just don’t like you. That’s what you get for being a middle manager.

Have you ever caught your hosts locking a cupboard, or noticed that they never leave their wallets or cellphones lying around while you are in the house? Chances are you look like a thief, or worse, a politician.

Have you ever looked out the window and noticed that a giant tent is being draped over your host’s home? Or noticed canisters spilling out a noxious gas? They are fumigating the house and are trying to poison you “by accident”. Don’t expect a Christmas card.

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