Do You Prefer to Be a Guest or a Host?

For those who view humankind as a collection of dualities–man and woman, young and old, rich and poor–it’s readily apparent that hosts and guests are two distinct human types. True, the natural host will sometimes find himself in the role of guest, and vice versa. But such occasions disrupt the lovely symbiosis between those who have a knack for extending hospitality and those adept at graciously enjoying it. Think of the people you know well. Chances are, many of them fall clearly into one category or another. But which is the more common type? In a nationwide survey conducted for Adweek by marketing research firm Alden & Associates of Hermosa Beach, Calif., people were asked whether they prefer to be guests or hosts. Happily enough, the numbers weren’t lopsided in either direction, with 55% preferring to be guests while 45% would rather be hosts. There wasn’t a gender gap, but responses did differ by age group. Notwithstanding the rosy image of grandma cooking a massive turkey for the extended family, respondents age 50 and over were the least likely to opt for hosting. Respondents in the Great Lakes and Central states were the likeliest to prefer being hosts.

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