American Etiquette? A friend has invited people several times out to lunch and over to his house for dinner and even though they have always?

accepted his invitations, they have never once invited him out for lunch or dinner.

I am American and to me I thought that it would be common courtesy for them to return the food favor in some way.

Even though I am American, am I wrong about this aspect of American culture.

I want him to realize that Americans are better than this, at least I hope so.

So is it common courtesy for Americans to reciprocate in this way, or Not?

8 Answers

Relevance
  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    i think they should reciprocate too

  • geegee
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    Generally reciprocation is appreciated, but clearly there are reasons why some people might not.

    Physical condition, budget (limited income) or non standard living arrangements are all possibilities. You -or me- invite people over for a meal not expecting anything in return.

  • Ann
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    Sure he should reciprocate but there could be plenty of reasons he hasn't.

  • 9 months ago

    Presumably this is the same 'friend' (but I suppose it's actually you) who cooked food and took it to the workplace and was upset when people there didn't bring in cooked food too.

    Your 'friend' should back off and realise that while providing food to loads of people whom you don't know very well is common in some cultures, it is not standard practice in the west.

    If he invited people out to lunch and to his house even once and they didn't reciprocate, he was foolish to invite them again. Nobody asked him to, nobody EXPECTED him to. It was entirely his own choice.

    Different cultures, different expectations, that's all. Tell him people can and DO mostly buy their own food, make their own dinner arrangements.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 months ago

    It's common courtesy to get an invite, it's not an American thing. It doesn't seem to matter to your friend so why does it matter to youse much?

  • 9 months ago

    Reciprocation is not an automatic and there are many variables to consider. Some individuals simply does not feel it necessary to return an invitation, some people will not want others in their home for different reasons (e.g., shame, embarrassment, small dwellings, other household members to consider, protection of privacy), some people will purposely keep different areas of their life separate (home v friends).

  • 9 months ago

    It's quite likely there's something else going on that hasn't been made clear to you. For example, perhaps his home is overwhelmingly impressive and luxurious, and his table is incredibly elaborate - so that none of the guests feel that they are visiting a friend, but rather are being hosted by a person who is clearly out of their social league. They feel their own home and meals would appear shabby and modest in comparison, and would seem like an affront instead of a compliment. You laugh - yet, it IS one of the things that can go wrong.

    Frankly, some Americans "are better than this" and some are not. You might check to ensure that his idea of a typical lunch and dinner, and of the general form of social custom are not too different from casual American notions. Most other cultures are more structured in imparting social customs to their children than America, where it is largely taught peer-to-peer and trial-and-error.

    (Keep in mind it's also remotely possible that your friend is just offensive, tedious, or alarming after a drink or two.)

  • A C
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    It's not required to return the favor. And some people are not able to do so for a variety of reasons.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.