You aren’t as awkward as you think you are.
And hey, even if you are, we’ve got some great tips for you.
Music is everything
Don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist. It gives people something to talk about, dance to, and covers a lull in conversation. Start the music while you’re preparing dinner, well before your guests arrive. Let yourself jam out to your favorite tunes. It will calm your nerves and bring you out of the awkward zone.
Invite your chatty friend
You know the one. He or she could literally have a conversation with a house plant. At times this chatty friend can drive you nuts, but this is their time to shine. They will bring an endless supply of conversation topics. They won’t shut up so you can.
Ask another guest to be in charge
The MC is a close neighbor to the chatty friend. They like speaking to the crowd and make everyone feel at ease. Want to pass some conversation cards around? Have a group game? Let them own this part of the gathering. I bet they’ll enjoy it. And you’ll get to step out of the spotlight for a while.
Let it be
The anecdote for the awkward host is a relaxed atmosphere. Don’t feel like you have to plan out the whole night. Time for dessert, but your guests are really engaged in conversation? Wait until there is a natural lull to bring out those creme puffs. Paying attention to the vibe of the room will put yourself and your guests at ease.
Be ok with you
If you throw out all the other tips, follow this one. Your guests are coming because they LIKE you. Stepping into the role of host does not mean stepping out of your own skin. Even if you’re a little weird, chances are your guests can handle it. It’s ok if you aren’t the gregarious jokester. Let them see the real you. And if that’s a little awkward, it’s really ok.
Everyone has their own version of makeup. It may be a spotless house. Or maybe it’s a “my life is wonderful” face put on just before guests arrive. Makeup covers what we’d rather hide and enhances what we wish was better.
About a year ago, God began nudging me about my relationships with the mothers in my life. I am the oldest child, born fiercely independent with a natural mothering instinct (read bossy, protective, and at times overly nurturing). During my growing up years, I always wound the “mom” of my peer group, with little siblings, neighbors, or friends marching behind me.