Be A Great Host/Hostess: 5 Ways To Make Party Guests Feel Welcome

We are headed into the season of social gatherings. For many people (especially those who suffer from anxiety), these get-togethers can be awkward or uncomfortable.  Hosts and hostesses hope that their guests will be comfortable, mingle, and have a good time. Of course, guests want exactly the same thing.  So, the question becomes, “How can you help your guests?”  Here are some ideas from psychology, group dynamics, and watching real pros at work.

           Tips for Hosts and Hostesses

 1. Welcome begins at the door. Keep an ear on the buzzer and an eye on the door. Greet people enthusiastically so they know that they are welcome.

2. Give guests something to do.  Don’t ask them to make your bed but, when the first guest, or a lone guest comes in, give her a useful task like filling the ice bucket. In that way, she becomes involved immediately and naturally meets people while she passes a plate of appetizers or opens a bottle of wine.

3. Create your guest list with intention. You can invite people who already know each other and that makes mingling easier, but you are playing it safe. Mixing your friends is more interesting but, when you do that, keep an eye on the outsiders. You can think ahead and decide which guests might need help making connections. Also, encourage guests who will not know anyone else to bring a friend. 

4. Be an active host. Don’t hesitate to take a shy or singleton guest by the arm and walk her over to another friend. Let them know what they have in common, i.e., they both love the Cubs, know the same people, have twins, enjoy Gregorian chants, or work in the same industry. You have broken the ice for them.

5. Build a team. You know everyone on the guest list so, plan ahead. Enlist the help of a couple of good friends and ask them to watch out for so-and-so and to step in if he looks lost.

We are headed into the season of social gatherings. For many people (especially those who suffer from anxiety), these get-togethers can be awkward or uncomfortable.  Hosts and hostesses hope that their guests will be comfortable, mingle, and have a good time. Of course, guests want exactly the same thing.  So, the question becomes, “How can you help your guests?”  Here are some ideas from psychology, group dynamics, and watching real pros at work.

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