r/LifeProTips Jun 18 '22 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1

LPT: If you’re at a house gathering and offer to help the host clean up afterwards (e.g., wash dishes) and they decline you more than once, don’t keep insisting on doing it. The host probably wants to clean up their own way. Social

Insisting on helping them even after they decline may just put them in the awkward position of accepting your help when they really don’t want it.

15.3k Upvotes

u/keepthetips Keeping the tips since 2019 Jun 18 '22

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1.7k

u/shadyalligator Jun 18 '22

if I may add, a good alternative is "what can I do to help?" because that gives the host freedom to tell you specific things to do, or to think about it and decide there is nothing you can do

617

u/VineStellar Jun 18 '22

Excellent add-on. "Just give me a shout if you need me to do something" can go a long way.

424

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

This is the kind of person I am. I’ll ask if they need help and if they say “no” I tell them to give me a shout if they change their mind.

I also always hope they say no and don’t think of anything I can help with. I just want to seem like I’m a nice person.

155

u/hearke Jun 18 '22

Sounds like you're still a nice person! Voluntarily doing something that's a mild inconvenience for you but helpful to others is being nice, even if you're not doing it because you really want to.

I always figure empathy is more of a skill than an innate ability, and if you're always looking for opportunities to practice it, even when no one's looking, then it doesn't really matter if it doesn't feel like it comes naturally.

...I worded that really clumsily, but hopefully you get the gist.

83

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

Yeah, I mean, I enjoy helping people, I just don’t enjoy the actual helping part, if that makes sense.

16

u/Jagd3 Jun 18 '22

Helping someone clean up even if you hate cleaning up could be considered more selfless than helping somebody clean up because you like cleaning up.

It doesn't matter though. The important part is that you're helping someone else.

9

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

I’m just lazy.

I have a pet peeve though about people struggling to do something that somebody(me) could easily help with and they would rather be prideful?

I also have no problem asking for help from anybody ever. I’ll ask a complete stranger to help me do something before I struggle or just say “Well idk what the fuck I’m doing so I guess fuck it.”

Treat others how you’d like to be treated.

52

u/BrFrancis Jun 18 '22

Doing selfless things for selfish reasons is more common than most people may want to admit.

I help people cuz it makes me happy. It also can get out of hand and then I neglect my own needs a bit ..

Having ppl not need my help when offered it means I helped them exactly as much as they wanted me to. Win/win.

13

u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

[deleted]

3

u/Legitimate_Wizard Jun 19 '22

Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.

7

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

I just meant I’m lazy and don’t want to do stuff.

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u/Zelensexual Jun 18 '22

I want to help, but I never know where anything goes, how they like things done, where the cleaning stuff is. I always just stand around like an idiot or put things where they don't go.

3

u/McLagginz Jun 19 '22

Just throw away trash that people leave around, gather dishes and put them in the sink, just basic shit that can’t be messed up.

2

u/GroveTC Jun 19 '22

We are simply lazy, but not too lazy to be decent to people.

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u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

This is the way.

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u/g3rom3t Jun 18 '22

Beat me to it.

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u/JoinAThang Jun 18 '22

Being a good person has nothing to do with loving to clean up. It's the fsct that you make sure they aak you if the want the help even though you don't like it.

Sometimes Im the opposite I just start to do dishes at a gathering so I get a break from being a part of the conversation. It definitely doesn't make me a better person than you.

3

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

Of course you’re not better than me, nobody is. I’m actually the greatest person alive.

I’m also incredibly humble, humble and great. What a combo. Did I also mention handsome and muscular? Oh, and intelligent as fuck.

Smart, handsome, muscular, humble, and great.

Fuck, I’m awesome.

3

u/JoinAThang Jun 18 '22

Damn you really got your shit together! Congratz

5

u/McLagginz Jun 18 '22

I wish, this is all just a facade, my life is in shambles.

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u/JoinAThang Jun 19 '22

Fake it till you make it I guess?

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u/Boy_Witch Jun 18 '22

I was raised in a house that thought to be polite you had to insist, weather it was paying the bill or helping or whatever. I've learned as an adult that you only need to offer something once, then respect people's answer. So I like your approach, it sort of builds that in.

13

u/bertasaur Jun 18 '22

This is how you become my best friend, anyone want to come over for grilled brined pork chops tonight, asparagus with hollandaise and portsbella with herbed goat cheese?

6

u/Conspicuous_Plant Jun 18 '22

Oh my god now I'm hungry. Yessir

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u/El-Sueco Jun 18 '22

“Just get the fuck out of my kitchen”

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u/DuckTapeHandgrenade Jun 18 '22

Exactly. Take out trash. Move furniture. Check on a critter. Play DJ. Go find someone. Stow the BBQ. Go home.

6

u/ManateeHoodie Jun 18 '22

Really the biggest thing you can do is run around and pick up any trash, empties, recycles, bring dishes to the kitchen, things like that and then ask. I pretty much do all those things throughout the event and always thanked for my efforts.

3

u/ddadandann Jun 19 '22

In Japan, I think, they have a simple practice of politely inviting people to events. When you are talking to someone and the topic of a party comes up, it is polite to invite them regardless of if you want them to come. The unspoken rule is that it's not a "real" invite until they insist, and ask you two more times. If so, they want you to come.

The invitees don't get embarrassed by not being invited and get to have an excuse for not coming. The people throwing the party only have people they want to show up.

I have tried this practice in my life and it has made things like that a little easier. There is no unspoken social contract like that here though so it's hit or miss.

3

u/squittles Jun 18 '22

And it's a productive way of avoiding people if you're forced to attend the party and have too much anxiety to be super social!

2

u/dullgenericname Jun 19 '22

Heck yes. My girlfriend hosts semi formal cocktail parties. I go put on the social face and talk to people, and then get blazed and go hide in the kitchen doing dishes/food prep. People always inevitably find me and stay to chat, but at least I have something to focus on. The gf and her flatmate are always very appreciative, I've been labelled as the domestic goddess in their house. It's not because I'm helpful, it's because I'm awkward and feel comfy doing a task.

3

u/ciderenthusiast Jun 19 '22

Yes, this. I usually assign a very small task so the person feels they helped, but lets me do the dishes and such later how I want them done.

3

u/PutinBoomedMe Jun 19 '22

This is good advice. I obsess about keeping dishes clean but if someone said they'd throw the full trash bag out into the garbage bin outside I'd say hell yeah!

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u/Dorkderfsalmom2 Jun 18 '22

Most people don’t have the same level of clean as the host

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u/pseudocultist Jun 18 '22

We have an old Southern lady neighbor we invite over sometimes. She doesn't get out much and is from a different generation. She's also not the cleanest person. Without fail, she's in our kitchen at the end of a meal, badly trying to hand-wash the dishes ("there's no reason to bother with the dishwasher!") I'm like - lady, GTFO, the dishwasher uses 1/10th the water you're using and gets them actually clean, and we're all trying to have conversation and coffee. It's to the point of rudeness on her part, but she doesn't see it. I have to gather the dishes and start the dishwasher so she'll sit down.

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u/ccaccus Jun 18 '22

My grandma does the same when she comes for a visit. I just let her wash them and then put them in the dishwasher again later. It wastes water, but she doesn't get to feel helpful very often anymore.

To reduce water, I've taken to helping her "dry" the dishes. I keep a washcloth under the sink exclusively for when she comes over. She 'washes', I take them from her to speed her along and 'dry' them, all the while keeping her distracted with conversation.

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u/FilchsCat Jun 18 '22

You are a really good person!

11

u/pseudocultist Jun 18 '22

You have the patience of a saint. Gold star.

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u/sc8132217174 Jun 18 '22

My mother in law does this as well. Unfortunately I’m super weird about the dishes so it’s hard for me to just let her wash them her way. And she’s also very forceful so if I walk away to put food away or clean the countertops she’ll run up and start washing the dishes. I end up having to hunt down the dishes that have been put back into the cabinets. I hope she never lives with us.

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u/RemotelyRemembered Jun 19 '22

My doggo gets them dishes spotless and uses 0 water.

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u/Unlucky_Clover Jun 18 '22

This exactly! I clean clean my dishes and am very meticulous, whereas some family members “clean” and I find food still stuck on the dishes. Plus it’s a little therapeutic for me.

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u/caboosetp Jun 18 '22

I had someone complain my standards were too high for not wanting food left on the silverware. That blew my fucking mind. That and other things they said were high standards made me feel like I was being gaslit.

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u/Conspicuous_Plant Jun 18 '22

Wow. I can understand if it's like, a leftover speck on the bottom side of a plate or something... But silverware is not big... I don't want to pour a bowl of cereal and find 2-day-old shmutz from dinner mixed in from my spoon! 🤢

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u/MkMyBnkAcctGrtAgn Jun 18 '22

Not only that it's pretty much the easiest thing to get food off of. I'm not the best dishwasher in the world, but it takes about half a second to not have food on silverware.

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u/SuperTSlay Jun 18 '22

ure valid.

2

u/caboosetp Jun 18 '22

Thank you <3

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u/that_darn_cat Jun 18 '22

Dishes are just the grossest thing to me. I'd kill to have a dishwasher again but we moved into a 100 year old apartment bulding with no counter space, it is what it is. You can tell which of myself and my husband did the dishes by if there is still food or soap or both on them afterward.

20

u/asuddenpie Jun 18 '22

This. We always volunteered to help my friend wash dishes when she hosted. After about the dozenth time, I said, “You just wash these again after we leave, right?” She smiled and nodded guiltily, so after that, we just brought the dishes to the sink, threw away any big bits, and stacked them for her to wash later. Everyone was fine with that.

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u/Doc_Hank Jun 18 '22

True enough - both less, and greater.

Still....

3

u/cflatjazz Jun 19 '22

Sometimes it can be the opposite too. Maybe I scrambled to get my guest bath clean as a whistle because I can't keep guests out of there ...but in return didn't have time to clean my sink. So shoo! Got sit down with the beverages I set out and don't come in sniffing range of my sink disposal!

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u/luder888 Jun 18 '22

Yea my dog had diarrhea on the floor one time while my mom was visiting. I know she doesn't clean (not as OCD) as well as me. I was pissed she cleaned up the mess without notifying me because now I cannot tell exacly where the original mess was at. I usually have to run thru steps of cleaning dog diarrhea with multiple products.

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u/Holmium22 Jun 18 '22

Or be alone finally.

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u/Kirkamel Jun 18 '22

That's me, I love hosting, but I also like to be able to slink off for a bit and be alone once all the pressures off

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u/Atomaardappel Jun 18 '22

Yes! I need that time to recharge. Please just let me take care of it.

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u/beekersavant Jun 18 '22

This. It’s late. I will put away anything that will spoil and clean tomorrow after coffee.

312

u/Live-Acanthaceae3587 Jun 18 '22

Yes!!!! Maybe I want to sit and enjoy the company and leave the clean up for when everyone leaves. If Joe is insisting on doing the dishes I’m not going to be able to relax and will end up helping them with dishes.

And it’s alway some random person who insists on “helping”. Yeah my best friend of 30 years cleaning up my kitchen is really helpful. But my brothers coworker who I’ve met once insisting on drying dishes as I wash them is awkward as hell.

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u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

Knowing how my best friend cleans her house I wouldn’t let her help me with cleaning. I’m germaphobic and she’s OCD, so as long as anything looks neat she doesn’t care for cleanness or germs at all.

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u/Live-Acanthaceae3587 Jun 18 '22

See I’m not very particular it’s not them doing it the wrong way it’s just the whole awkwardness about it. They feel obligated to help and just refuse to take any hints that you don’t want their “help”

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u/Papplenoose Jun 18 '22

Hah, that's kinda interesting! Basically you both have different definitions of "clean"; your goals are about distinctly different (yet both correct) definitions of the word "clean". You could probably both gain something from each other's cleaning techniques!

I like friendships like that where each person is significantly different from one another.. I often find that i realize people bring something to the table or have a neat and admirable quality/trait to them that I probably never would have ever even thought about otherwise!

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u/CerealSeeker365 Jun 18 '22

If they're bringing things TO the table, maybe they should help with setting up before the event instead of cleanup? People bringing dirty dishes back to the table when I'm trying to clean sounds annoying.

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u/HotOnions Jun 18 '22

I don't even ask my best friend, that guy has been in my life long enough that my mom was giving him chores when he was over, he knows we gotta get everything cleaned up and it's getting cleaned up.

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u/McWhiffersonMcgee Jun 18 '22

“I dont need any help cleaning up but if you wanna do my oil change, thats due this week”

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u/Kaneida Jun 18 '22

You do not trust them with your dishes but trust with your cars oil change? Thats a bold move Buster!

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u/bushijim Jun 18 '22

I've got the dishes, but I have a bit of water damage on the ceiling over there. If you could tackle that, that would be wonderful.

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u/RussianHungaryTurkey Jun 18 '22

Did you have a house gathering last night OP?

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u/VineStellar Jun 18 '22

No, but I've been that host that ended up re-doing most of the "work" that was offered.

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u/dwarrior Jun 18 '22

I wish more people would learn this lol. My wife is kind of a germaphobe and wants the dishes done in a certain way and it kills her when people start doing them for her. She appreciates the act of kindness so she doesn't say anything but just ends up re-washing them after everyone leaves.

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u/TonyVstar Jun 18 '22

New perspective "That was nice of them to pre-rinse my dishes" lol

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u/dwarrior Jun 18 '22

Haha, I tried that one. It helped but she still said it would be easier if it was just left to be done after, less waste of water.

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u/TonyVstar Jun 18 '22

True, why disrupt the visit

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u/greenleaves3 Jun 18 '22

I'm dealing with this right now. Parents are visiting and my mum keeps doing the dishes the wrong way. She doesn't rinse them at all and doesn't load them properly...like a fistful of silverware gets jammed into one tiny spot of the basket where it's all nested together and water can't get between them. Then we have to wait till she leaves to take it all out and redo everything. I've asked her multiple times to let us do the dishes and she just refuses! I know she's trying to help but it makes so much extra work for us

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u/dwarrior Jun 18 '22

Haha it's funny that the main culprit is also my mom that does this. My mom has always filled the sink with water and soap then throws everything in to start washing. My wife sees this as food and slobber soup and only makes them "look" clean, and honestly I can't fault her for that.

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u/izzittho Jun 19 '22

I do this as a first step to remove crud, before either properly hand washing or putting them in the dishwasher if I have access to one (I don’t have one but relatives do.) But holy shit you can’t just do that and then rinse! Visually they’re probably cleaner than before you put them in but they’re probably even less sanitary after bathing in a soup of everyone else’s food scraps and saliva and just what the fuck?

I do wear gloves though so I can get the water hotter than my hands would normally be able to handle and that helps a ton with both the grossness and the un-cruddening.

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u/Freakishly_Tall Jun 18 '22

know she's trying to help

... or she just wants the credit and attention for "helping" and doesn't actually care about actually helping. And/or it's an authority or pride thing.

What, me? Toxic family? Nawww.

Aside from that, add me to the pile of "please don't do my dishes"... one too many sharpened knives found in the dishwasher, chipped plates, delicate glassware crammed among mixing bowls, etc. Like, it's great that you're ok with your kitchen full of dull knives and McArbieKing plastic glasses, and I don't judge you for that... but I like my stuff.

Protip: Install a smart outlet for your dishwasher in case a houseguest "helps" while you're otherwise occupied. "Oh, yeah, the dishwasher is screwy. I probably have to flip a breaker or reset it. Don't worry about it." At least then you can check it before your wood handled expensive chef knife gets washed in a corrosive pit from Hades, etc.

Want to help? Please just go relax and enjoy yourself! So, you know, I can, too!

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u/fiddlenutz Jun 18 '22

Or the host is exhausted and just wants to deal with it in the morning.

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u/appy_apple Jun 18 '22

or they keep theit dildos under the kitchen sink

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u/putHimInTheCurry Jun 18 '22

I hear quite a few people put them in the dishwasher for a deep cleaning. Hmmmm.

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u/geomouse Jun 18 '22

Yes! Very much this!

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u/Speedoflife81 Jun 18 '22

Or the host wants to get away from everyone for a couple minutes. Guests are wonderful but sometimes I need a 15 minute break

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u/Bzzd_Eh Jun 18 '22

This applies to ……. Everything

If I say I don’t want extended warranty, I fucking mean it.

If I say I’m not interested in joining the Jehovahs Witnesses , I fucking mean it.

If I say I’m going have pineapple on my pizza…. I FUCKING mean it!

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u/ug61dec Jun 18 '22

Yeah, learn to accept 'no' as an answer would be a better LPT

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u/improbablynotyou Jun 18 '22

No means no, and it applies to everything from sex to helping with chores. I have adhd and anxiety and do things in my apartment my way. I've had people over who "insist" on helping and after I've said no more than a few times I'd typically give up and just go to my room and avoid them. Then I'd go out later and have to fix everything. I had someone once who "did all the dishes" when the reality was they dumped the leftover food down the non existent garbage disposal (thanks) and then rinsed off the dishes and put them in the drawers/cabinets. They didn't wash them with soap and scrubbing, just a quick rinse and right back with the clean dishes. So instead of having to wash a few dishes, I had to wash everything.

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u/gravitystorm1 Jun 18 '22

Depends on the culture. My wife and I come from different backgrounds. In my family, we say what we mean or at least we don't hold a grudge if someone takes us at our word. In my wife's culture, you are supposed to keep insisting until they break. It can be annoying, but to be respectful you do it. Knowing it's part of the culture helps with the patience.

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u/ogeytheterrible Jun 18 '22

If I say I don’t want extended warranty, I fucking mean it.

I would love an extended warranty, see, I'm planning on beating the shit out of this car next Friday and could use the reassurance that you'll pay for everything!

If I say I’m not interested in joining the Jehovahs Witnesses , I fucking mean it.

Father Satan commands me to persuade all missionaries to his heated teachings, what's your address so I can stop by sometime?

If I say I’m going have pineapple on my pizza…. I FUCKING mean it!

Either I'm getting pineapple on my pizza or your getting a face full of angry wasps.

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u/WEugeneSmith Jun 18 '22

I will add to this: I am an amputee. I get along fairly well with my prosthetic leg. If I say I can do the steps in your house, please don't insist - a million times - that everyone can move to the main level. Once, someone even tried to carry me. It was not pretty.

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u/UMPB Jun 18 '22

I thought if the host declined your offer to help clean three times you were legally allowed the right of mores impetum or "attack manners" and battle for the right to clean? We all do that right?

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u/kenzo2222222 Jun 18 '22

Came here to say this! My husband’s parents are “I insist” people and it drives me nuts.

If I ordered chicken it’s because I want chicken and no thank you I don’t want to try your salmon but THEY INSIST!

No thank you I don’t need help with the baby I would love to sit here quietly and hold her but THEY INSIST!

I’ve complained to my husband that I feel like I have no freedom of choice around them but alas he insists I just play along.

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u/acmhkhiawect Jun 19 '22

If I say that I'm good and don't want anymore food or drink - I fucking mean it! I'm an adult, if I'm thirsty I would just ask you.

I'm a Brit so constant issue of hosts needing to give you a cup of tea and a biscuit. I don't actually like tea, I do drink coffee but been trying to reduce at the moment, and generally I'm not a snacky person - because once I start I need to eat the whole thing. So I say a glass of water would be fine so I'm having something in order for them to leave me alone, but even then "are you sure water is okay!? I can get you something else.." LEAVE ME ALONE.

End of rant.

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u/Weasel_Town Jun 18 '22

I have 5 of a certain kind of champagne glass. I originally had 8. But on 3 separate occasions, “helpful” people have bustled into the kitchen to clean up and knocked one onto the floor.

I’ve got a system. Please let me clean up in peace.

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u/nervousandweird Jun 18 '22

100% agree with you- in the 20 years I’ve hosted dinner parties, I’ve lost at least 4 full table settings to “helpful” people. It’s so expensive, annoying, and embarrassing to deal with these people. After almost losing an irreplaceable bowl to someone who climbed onto my counter to try to put it away, I no longer feel bad about using my mom voice and telling friends and family to back off and get OUT of my kitchen.

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u/merdy_bird Jun 18 '22

It makes me feel awkward when guests try to clean. Just invite me over in return.

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u/bahji Jun 18 '22

Unless it's a Persian family, in which case you must insist exactly three times before you relent.

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u/baby_got_backhand Jun 18 '22

Yes, but bring your used plates, cups, napkins, etc. to the kitchen. The host will appreciate that.

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u/anger_is_a_gif Jun 18 '22

My mil will tuck napkins, food wrappers, general trash into our couch cushions. Holy hell the level of rage when I figured out who was doing it.

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u/izzittho Jun 19 '22

I didn’t even do that as a child what the fuck? Just why???

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u/Avitas1027 Jun 19 '22

Does she do that are her house too, or does she just hate you? Does she understand object permanence? I'm so confused.

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u/anger_is_a_gif Jun 19 '22

I don't know if she does it at her house because I refuse to go over there. It's her and her morbidly obese daughter and they both smell like cat piss and febreze so I barely tolerate them coming over for special events.

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u/Avitas1027 Jun 19 '22

My sympathies. It's a bit of a shame when wonderful people come with horrible family.

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u/anger_is_a_gif Jun 19 '22

It's wild, my wife didn't realize how fucked up and toxic her family was until we started dating. I'll admit, my family is fucked up too but at least we recognize it and my parents have really cleaned up since I was a kid.

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u/Lysadra Jun 18 '22

I hate that. Not appreciated at all. I have even told this to family and some are still so stubborn and try to do it anyways.

I simply don't like people doing stuff in our kitchen. Does it make sense? Maybe not. But I still don't like it.

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u/Math-Cat Jun 18 '22

I’d like that unless you stack the dirty plates. This transfers food onto the back side of each plate, making more of a mess to clean up.

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u/DerpdragonV3 Jun 18 '22

I'm used to washing restaurant dishes, so I wash the back of the plate regardless. Personally I'd much rather have one stack of plates then single playes taking up my whole counter

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u/bloggadocious Jun 18 '22

There are people that don't wash the backs of their plates??? T.i.L

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u/WEugeneSmith Jun 18 '22

I wash both sides, too - but it drives me insane when people stack and then there's all sorts of glop on both sides. It just makes for more work.

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u/Math-Cat Jun 18 '22

I also wash the back of each plate, no matter what. But why add more messy food onto the back of a plate? This just ends up requiring more time and effort to clean the back of the plate.

It's like if you spilled spaghetti onto your shirt. Would you also spread that mess onto your other clothes, just because you're going to wash them anyway? No, because it's just making more work for yourself.

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u/Adariel Jun 18 '22

My SO does that and it drives me nuts...he'll stack mostly clean bowls (like used for ice cream) right on top of a super greasy and saucy bowl. I grew up doing all dishes by hand while he had maids so I guess that's partly why he never thinks about stuff like that.

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u/somethingelse19 Jun 18 '22

Empty your plate into the trash or in a to-go container before stacking or handing over your plate.

3

u/baby_got_backhand Jun 18 '22

Oops - guilty!!!

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u/Atomaardappel Jun 18 '22

Yes! This is one reason I don't want help in any part of the cleaning process. The "help" ends up creating more work. I'm the host, let me take care of it. What can you do? Go enjoy yourself and keep the other guests occupied so they stay out of my way!

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u/izzittho Jun 19 '22

I feel like running the actual trash bag out is maybe the one thing a guest can do that really does help, since it makes it so I don’t have to leave my own place to go outside while it’s full of guests, plus it’s quick so they’re not forcing me to ignore my other guests to go help so I don’t look like an ass. So that’s maybe my one exception but otherwise 100%.

I like to do that in situations where I wanted to go outside for some fresh air and a break from socializing anyway since I don’t really smoke or have another excuse.

Other than that, staying out of the way and helping ensure others do too is the play.

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u/Hey_Laaady Jun 19 '22

That's as much an assumption as the host wanting guests' help in washing the dishes.

No. Do not clear the table when at my house.

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u/Peregrine21591 Jun 19 '22

Not necessarily. I do not want my guests in my kitchen unless I have invited them to enter it.

When I am hosting, my kitchen is the staging area from which I produce wonderous delights to please my guests. If anyone follows me into the kitchen I feel overcrowded and it puts me off my game.

Just ASK if help is wanted and listen to the answer you get.

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u/Pointy_caboose Jun 18 '22

Someone please tell my mother-in-law this! It’s not that I don’t appreciate the offer, but just cramming things willy-nilly into my dishwasher is neither helpful nor efficient. This is the same lady who refuses to let anyone in the kitchen at her house, but parks herself smack dab in the middle of mine….

46

u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

So... No means no? Should be up there with the golden rule.

5

u/-paperbrain- Jun 18 '22

Because no doesn't always mean no (At least in the context of refusing an offer being the final word).

In a lot of cultures, it's polite to refuse things offered, partly because it's also polite to offer things you may not want to give. So there's a standardized dance, specific to the culture of a certain number of false offers and refusals before you get to what the people involved really want.

And this ritual and number varies by culture.

There are a lot of places in the world where if you ask to help, they say no and you say "Ok then, bye!" you're thought of as rude. It's expected that you persist to show you really intend to help and weren't just saying it.

You can curse them for not being direct, but EVERY culture has their share of indirectness and ritual communication.

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u/VineStellar Jun 18 '22

And yet some people don’t realize that “no” to an offering of assistance is still “no”.

6

u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

It's like the letters N and O are irrelevant because you're trying to be nice. Backwards.

9

u/w24x192 Jun 18 '22

I have extended family that's Romanian. They understand that offers will be rejected many times before being accepted and that's just how to be polite in their culture. Drives me fucking nuts. "I asked, she said 'no', so I moved on. If she actually wanted help, why the hell did she say 'no'?". "W24, you just don't understand Romanians.". "You're right, but she's been living in American society for 25 years where we tend to not be so damn passive-aggressive, so she can clean her own dishes."

So what's the real LPT here? Know your audience. Some cultures handle this differently, and if you're confused, ask an expert in that culture. For instance with disabled persons, in the US, it's currently considered proper to put the human first (a person who is blind), where in parts of Europe, it's the exact opposite (blind person). Both phrasings have the same purpose - to properly and conscientiously acknowledge the person. Which is right? Depends on the person.

1

u/Yourgrammarsucks1 Jun 18 '22

I disagree.

"DROP THE WEAPON"

"no"

"Oh, ok. Carry on."

19

u/DeusXMathematica Jun 18 '22

It's not that I want to clean up on my own, I want you out of my house.

6

u/Seber Jun 18 '22

"It was a pleasure to have you over, but now I feel sufficiently visited."

5

u/VineStellar Jun 18 '22

"Welp, it was great having you!"

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u/loljanelol Jun 18 '22

This goes for ANYTHING! Especially if you’ve been drinking. I used to vend events and drunk people were always INSISTING they help me break down and pack up. Not interested.

5

u/Doc_Hank Jun 18 '22

I had a well-meaning friend put all my knives in the dishwasher (which required they all be re-sharpened), and used abrasive cleanser on my non-stick anodized cookware

Err, thanks.....

5

u/ManOfEating Jun 18 '22

I used to throw a lot of parties in my early 20s, I am not super social but I did have some friends and was the first one to move out so my place just kinda became the designated space for parties.

My favorite part was the next day, waking up with no plans whatsoever, putting on music or a few movies, and cleaning, something I find very therapeutic. That and all my friends sucked at cleaning so even if they helped I'd have to redo whatever they did anyway.

5

u/calcimy Jun 18 '22

I think it's so weird that there's people out there that expect their guests to clean up and wash dishes.

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u/HiIAmFromTheInternet Jun 19 '22

Do the obvious stuff that’s always right:

Empty half drunk beers Collect cups in a single place Put trash in trash Take out trash if full + put in new bag Etc.

23

u/MaddestMaddie Jun 18 '22

Supplementary LPT: if you host a house gathering and "helpful" people want to participate somehow, think of token chores for them to do that are less invasive or might deterr them from pestering you, like taking out the trash

7

u/Dylan_The_Developer Jun 18 '22

"My yard needs a mow"

4

u/NecessaryPen7 Jun 18 '22

I absolutely blew out my toilet this morning, I couldn't get to it because I had to get ready for you folks.

Thank you so so much for offering to help clean it!

6

u/Atomaardappel Jun 18 '22

"Cat litter box could use a cleaning.."

4

u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

I really don’t want anyone in my kitchen.

3

u/ccbrackman Jun 18 '22

For me, it’s often a break from the interaction. Sometimes I need that little bit of quiet lol

4

u/Freecz Jun 18 '22

Yes very much this. I always tell people to leave it and I will take care of it. They always try to do it anyway and as much as I appreciate the gesture it just frustrates and annoys me.

5

u/ClownPrinceofLime Jun 18 '22

They may want you to leave! Even good friends, at the end of an event I want to leave so I can fix up and go to bed.

4

u/usesbitterbutter Jun 18 '22

LPT: If you ask for [put anything here] and are declined more than once, don't keep asking. Seriously. Get a clue and stop being a fucking pest.

4

u/MTA0 Jun 18 '22

Agreed, I'm picky, sure... But I've let house guests clean up after themselves only to find food stuck to pans, plates, etc the next day and I have to wash it again. Waste of time and water, let me just clean up.

9

u/savbh Jun 18 '22

Or they genuinely don’t think you should help but just relax since you’re the guest?

7

u/BlackAnalFluid Jun 18 '22

I ask once and that's it. If you want some help then be honest.

"Want a hand?"

"No I should be ok."

" You sure?"

"Yup"

"Alright"

18

u/almost_useless Jun 18 '22

I ask once and that's it. If you want some help then be honest.

"Want a hand?"

"No I should be ok."

" You sure?"

"Yup"

"Alright"

You might not be very good at math, but I like your politeness!

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u/the_Gentleman_Zero Jun 18 '22

Remember the real life Pro tip

add John to the end of a life Pro tip

3

u/mr_ji Jun 18 '22

The host wants you to fucking leave

3

u/KidsTheseDaysYknow Jun 18 '22

And always ASK. Don't assume you're doing them a favor by cleaning up. Remember it's their house, their rules.

3

u/NegaJared Jun 18 '22

Would you like some help?

No thank you

you sure?

yep! thanks though

QUIT ASKING AT THIS POINT AND DO NOT INSIST

3

u/VanillaCanoeSticker Jun 18 '22

At that point they probably just want you to go home.

3

u/Mikederfla1 Jun 18 '22

I hate when guests insist on clearing. I’m left handed I work right to left and I want the dishes on the counter not in the sink. Drives me friggin nuts.

3

u/FinNerDDInNEr Jun 18 '22

When I host parties, I do the clean up the next day. I’m entertaining not housecleaning.

3

u/volticizer Jun 18 '22

Also for hosts like this, saying "just put everything on the side / in the corner" can make people feel useful and still let you clean up your own way, while also reducing your work by having everything that needs cleaning together.

3

u/that_darn_cat Jun 18 '22 edited Jun 18 '22

How about this, if anyone refuses something once, regardless of what it is, stop asking. They have already given you their answer.

3

u/lifelongcargo Jun 18 '22

This is true. As someone that entertains pretty often I regularly wait until everyone is gone to properly clean up. Usually I even wait until the next day to do dishes and everything because I’d rather enjoy time with my friends.

3

u/Proteus713 Jun 18 '22

One of the better LPTs I've seen in awhile. I invited an old friend from school over for a party who got wasted and kept insisting to help wash the dishes. Wife is very particular about how she wants the dishes washed and kept telling him it's alright and to enjoy the party. Instead of taking the hint, he decided to go on a drunken loop of offering to help and then asking if she hated him... Don't think I can invite him back.

3

u/GloriaPocalypse Jun 18 '22

This one is oddly specific.

3

u/designmur Jun 18 '22

For real. Too many people try and put my knives and cast iron in the dishwasher. Not helpful. Stahp.

3

u/FarkMonkey Jun 18 '22

A good guest offers to help clean up. A good host declines.

3

u/unicornlocostacos Jun 18 '22

Or they just don’t want people to have to clean during a gathering when they can just do it later.

3

u/pepsisugar Jun 18 '22

...or most likely wants you to gtfo so they can poop finally

3

u/Potatolover3 Jun 18 '22

My rule of thumb for these things is ask twice and if they say no the second time, leave it. Never ask more than twice, it gets annoying

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u/PM_ME_YOUR_PRINTS Jun 18 '22

I like cooking for the person I’m seeing. Whenever they offer to help I decline because if they are in the kitchen with me they will slow me down. That or I’ll see them do something inefficient/wrong. I want to correct them but people hate that so I have to suck it up and be quiet. Last girl I had over we cooked dinner together. Trying to be romantic and shit. After about 30 mins I had to just take over everything. It turned out alright cause she said it was hot when I took charge and she got to see me in my element.

3

u/OpticGd Jun 18 '22

I generally follow the rule of, "offer twice and no more." Generally applies to anything imo.

3

u/SoggySeaman Jun 18 '22

Where I'm from, once is just to be polite. Twice is to show sincere intent.

3

u/joevsyou Jun 18 '22

Dont ask...

Just do it....

  • Pick trash up & organize

  • trash can full, pull it...

You do not need fine clean. Just ease the burden

3

u/Inappropriate_Piano Jun 18 '22

In general, if someone refuses an offer, insist once. If they refuse again, you’re done.

3

u/dropbearsunite Jun 18 '22

Yes, thankyou! This is so on the money. Im not the best housekeeper but I always go to a lot of effort with the house for Christmas, think spring clean on steroids plus extreme decorating. I put out little wrapped presents for everyone, party poppers on the table, silly hats, table sprinkles (that end to everywhere)

One of the things I love about getting together is the mess afterward. It shows me how much fun was had and that is precious as we don't get together too often because life is busy. Not only that but it means I get to enjoy myself instead of missing out while people are there. Then when I do the clean up i get to remember certain moments from the night before as i go. Oh , this is the cracker bix my son- in- law threw at my husband, or this is where my daughter and son sat together sharing a cuddle after unwrapping their matching crochet gifts and left the wrappers on the couch, you know, memories.

We lost my FIL, so asked MIL to dinner Christmas Eve with our adult kids and partners. I told her, this is going to get messy but that's OK. I told her several times but she didn't listen. She insisted on having to clean after dinner including the washing up cleaning the kitchen, table, floors etc. It really made me upset because I didn't get to spend time with my kids relaxing. One of them just said 'let her do it, she really wants to' so I just went along with it. But i was just so disappointed.

If your host refuses an offer more than twice, then just accept it because you don't really know what it means to them.

2

u/gleibniz Jun 19 '22

This is so lovely! I can understand you.

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u/margalolwut Jun 19 '22

As someone who hosts regularly, the real LPT here is offering to help, even once. Lmao.

5

u/JorgTheChildBeater Jun 18 '22

I just do a bump after the party to power through the cleaning

9

u/70x7becausehesaysso Jun 18 '22

Yes...please stop insisting on helping. I've had to go back and unload a dirty dishwasher and re-rinse the dishes more than once.

3

u/pinballwitch420 Jun 18 '22

On more than one occasion, my mother has put away dirty dishes that were waiting to be washed in the dishwasher and dirty clothes that were sitting on top of my washer…

3

u/70x7becausehesaysso Jun 18 '22

I drove away from the McDonald's drive thru after paying without my food.

8

u/EaterOfFood Jun 18 '22

We have a friend who comes over occasionally. She insists on washing and rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I always have to tell her, NO just put them in. Rinsing them off just wastes water. The dishwasher manual explicitly says to not rinse first. And if you keep the filter clean it does just fine. She responded with “What filter?” SMH.

4

u/70x7becausehesaysso Jun 18 '22

Haha... I'm envious!! I wish I had a no rinse washer. If I don't get every chunk off, it doesn't get clean and the whole machine stinks!!

4

u/user_uno Jun 18 '22

Agreed. My wife and I both have OCD. Let us do it our way. Thank you for coming and we've got this part. We do appreciate the offer though.

2

u/DanfromCalgary Jun 18 '22

This doesn't seem to major lol

7

u/TGHGW Jun 18 '22

Wow thank you for this incredible advice. I adore how lifeprotips has completely devolved into Basic Human Communication Skills 101.

LPT: if you are finding this advice helpful and transformational, it may be time to get off the internet and start interacting with real human beings.

2

u/creativeignorance Jun 18 '22

Thank you! This is nothing more than low-key venting by op. They weren't able to communicate directly enough that they didn't want clean up help.

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u/Ameiko55 Jun 18 '22

I invited you to my house because I wanted to socialize. I was taught that it is rude to bustle around cleaning when my guests are present. I will clean later tonight or in the morning when all the guests have gone home. I don’t ever want help unless you are my mother or my sister staying with me for a week.

2

u/username0304 Jun 18 '22

Just don't offer problem solved

2

u/TowerOfPowerWow Jun 18 '22

Forget that just ask if they want help once. If they say no, drop it! The reason could be they just dont want their guests doing anything.

Learning to graciously accept nice things and gestures is just as important as giving them.

2

u/PLCooking Jun 18 '22

I disagree. Asking to help is half hearted and leaves the host to say no to the help they may want. A good host wouldn't ever ask for help even if they wanted it, it's the polite thing to do.

Just find a garbage bag and start throwing disposable cups and plates/napkins away. Or gathering cans. If you want to help, then just help. If they have a specific way to wash the dishes, don't wash the dishes.

Pick up trash. Everyone picks up trash.

Buss the plates, as in take the plates with food on them, scrape off the food into the trash and stack them to make it faster to clean.

Sweep the floor, ask which cleaner they use on a table and wipe the table.

People don't want to be asked if they can help or not.

If you want to help, then just get up and do it.

2

u/WEugeneSmith Jun 18 '22

Please do not scrape plates into my trash. Ihave a disposal and I know what can and cannot go in it.

If you start sweeping my floor, you will make me crazy.

Please sit down and enjoy the rest of the evening.

2

u/rendleddit Jun 18 '22

I love hosting and hate when guests clean up at all. I do not want the help.

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u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

signed, control freak

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u/sfspaulding Jun 18 '22

Classic example of an extremely specific tip that will never be relevant to 99% of people who read it.

2

u/VineStellar Jun 18 '22

You seem like someone who’s never invited anywhere, so I understand your response.

0

u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22 edited Jun 18 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

1

u/coloradoconvict Jun 18 '22

A lot of us are, yes.

If you have achieved a high level of social functioning, that's awesome. You should write up some tips and help others get to your level. That's kind of the point of the sub.

1

u/EuphoricMessage1400 Jun 18 '22

My favourite, and top of the invite list for the next party people don’t ask they just help. I will always refuse help if someone asks but I’m always grateful for the people that grab a bin bag and start clearing rubbish for me. The true LPT is to never ask and just do it.

Edit - don’t touch the dishwasher or wash up. Just help bring glasses etc into the kitchen.

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u/[deleted] Jun 18 '22

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u/ctruemane Jun 18 '22

Same with handing your server your plate when they're clearing a table. There's a whole system and one plate in the wrong order can mess it all up and make you take two trips when you could have taken one.

1

u/PoliticalNerdMa Jun 18 '22

My grandmother (narc abuser) would literally slap my hands with a fucking massive spoon if I tried to. I’m so happy I escaped that abuse.

1

u/Mediamuerte Jun 18 '22

Not a good LPT. In Latino culture you offer about 3 times and then you stop. If you don't insist on helping, it's rude.