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201120September

Avoiding Fear of Entertaining

Strawberry loveMost reluctance around entertaining is based around fear. It’s terrifying to attempt new things in front of guests. Even scarier when it’s about entertaining. You’re doing it wrong in public!

I sure know that fear.
Fear of doing it wrong.
Fear that that twenty dollar cheese you just invested in is Gross and Wrong and Embarassing and not only did you waste your money, you have put your shameful ignorance on display.
Fear that they’ll talk about you.

I hear you sister.
But you’re wrong.

So how do you get over it to bold and fearless entertaining?
I take one of three routes to overcome my fear of entertaining (FOE).

Research.

If you are reading this on the internet, you have access to a great deal of humanity’s collective wisdom. You can find video tutorials on how to make gumbo, detailed instructions on how to give a toast and illustrated guides on how to open a bottle of wine all over this internet. Do it.

Hack.

Don’t know how to open a bottle of wine? Research high quality screw tops or boxed wines. Done and done. Relying on tried and true recipes instead of the latest culinary fad gets you quickly on your way. Find ready made foods, glass soda bottles and great napkins to help shore up your confidence. Find entertaining mentors that know good shortcuts. (And remember: We’re all faking it in some way or another.)

Admit.

I’ve found that my favorite (and most successful!) approach is to say, “I have no idea how to do [insert task here].” You’d be surprised how a simple admission of what you don’t know can break down barriers you didn’t even know were standing between you and your guests.

Really. What would your reacction be to a friend that admitted that?
Anger? Mockery? Highly doubtful.

You’re a reasonable sort, I can tell your reaction would be one of caring and helpfulness.
(Just like your friends.)

Have any latent fears keeping you from having people over to your home?
Let’s bust through that FOE together!

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3 Responses to Avoiding Fear of Entertaining
  1. Oh man, this is so me. This is why I never have people over. I want to be effortless when entertaining but instead I run around like a chicken without a head, nervous and sweaty and sort of hoping for people to go home. Definite FOE.

  2. Oh man, I TOTALLY get this. I have never been afraid to entertain, but then I broke my foot two months ago. As if breaking my foot and having a cast and not being able to work weren’t bad enough, I also felt like I couldn’t have folks over and have dinner and drinks and laughs in the backyard. Such a bummer for the end of the summer! It ended up being such an entertaining lesson for me, and I think if I were learning to entertain now, I’d want that lesson from the beginning. I realized at some point that I should just say, “Hello, friends! I’d love everyone to come over and have fun! I’d like to make something and I’d love to have some of your favorites, too!” It gave me the chance to entertain without so much of the pressure, and it gave my friends the chance to make food and bring music and flowers and enjoy contributing. It’s just a potluck, but it really does make it so fun for the crowd when everyone has something to be proud of.

    I am almost fully recovered, so I plan to start hosting lots more fun times, and I am excited to enlist all my friends and favorite stores to bring even more fun!

  3. Oh @Jaclyn, friends don’t let friends get sweaty and nervous. Next party you want to throw, give me an email and I’ll help you with timing so you’re cucumber cool.

    And @AlysonLaurel Oh dear, your foot. You need to have some friends over stat. And you can always make a playlist from the couch. Heal up, m’lady.

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