There are always guests who offer to help out at your party, and we as hosts tend to tell them no. We are naturally inclined to tell them to sit back, relax and enjoy our party while we do all the work, because we want to be hospitable. After all, they are the GUEST! They shouldn’t have to do any work! But did you know that saying No when offered help is actually making your guests uneasy?

On a fundamental level, we all want to help others. We feel valued when someone thanks us for something we have done. It’s a balance that most of us naturally attempt to keep – returning a compliment, buying someone a coffee in return for one they bought us, or giving a gift in return for receiving one. It’s a natural give-and-take. When we are guests in someone else’s house, we instinctually feel that balance is off, and we offer to help in an attempt to re-establish that balance. When a host declines an offer to help, it can actually make a guest feel even MORE awkward.

The next time a guest offers to help, say Yes. Give them a small job, like cutting cheese or filling the ice bucket. It’s a small task, but it will help that person feel as though the balance is being restored. Plus, I have found some of my best bonding moments with friends and family have happened while we filled cracker trays together, getting a chance to have a private, special conversation. Give it a try to easily set your guests at ease at your next party!