Entertaining at Home and 4 Happiness Stealers

4 Happiness Stealers

My husband and I recently heard Dr. Brene’ Brown, PH.D. speak at a conference and I loved her positive spin on life. Of course my mind goes directly to entertaining at home, and the message here at RE, that you can feel genuine happiness by opening your home to others.

Some people will say, I’m just missing out on stress, or I’ll be spending money I don’t have, or It’s just too much work. True, but I say, and I think Dr. Brene’ would agree with me, that “connection” is what the world is missing out on.

We all want to fit in, be involved, be loved, and get invited to the party. But when it comes to opening our homes, so many of us shy away.

To get down to the nitty-gritty of entertaining, when you have the dinner party all worked out and things are coming together, I’d say there is one thing to focus on, once the party gets started. That is, whether you really want to host a meaningful party or not. Along with a pretty table and good food, you and your spouse or partner or friend need to decide ahead of time that you’re going to make the best of the evening together. And that includes being vulnerable, opening up to your guests, being honest with what’s happening in your life, and being interested and curious with your guests.

That means asking questions about their lives and going deep with them.

RE Dinner Party, photo by David Gibb

My husband, Paul, is actually a lot like Dr. Brene’, being an introvert (but speaking in front of thousands of people), and not really being a big-party person. He gets energized in different ways than I do, but at the same time, he’s learned to come on board and get involved in what I love: Hosting a dinner party!

I still think it’s the sweetest thing that my husband would do this for me! Marriage is about give and take, and he says I glow when people come to our house for a meal.

So together, we work as a team when it comes to hosting a dinner party.

Check out these 4 Happiness Stealers and see if you fall into any of these categories. No wonder there is stress involved, and possibly the family hates it when you say people are coming for dinner, if you lose your happiness.

4 Happiness Stealers:

1. Perfecting. Being imperfect actually makes you more real and relatable to others.

2. Pretending. Faking that you have it all together only causes more internal stress, and doesn’t show true love.

3. Over-pleasing. Figure out your entertaining style and what works for you and don’t stray from it and feel pressured to please everyone.

4. Proving myself. This puts a ton of pressure on yourself and expectations that if you fail, you’re a flop or a bad person.

4 Happiness Stealers

I’ve learned to just be real. Be honest. Let the guests know what’s going on, while you also show that you care about them.

Show love, which comes from your spirit, attitude, and countenance.

Get down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to conversation.

It’s a guarantee that your guests will leave happier than when they got to your house.

I’d say that happens in our home, almost every time. And I promise, it’s NOT about the food.

What more could people want when coming to your house for dinner?

Do you struggle with any of these happiness stealers? Do they stop you from entertaining?

If you struggle with vulnerability, and it stops you from opening your home, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes and watch Dr. Brene’s talk on Ted.com. It may just change your life …

   

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10 Responses to “Entertaining at Home and 4 Happiness Stealers”

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    Jess — August 13, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    I loved this post – thank you for sharing! I often struggle with not ‘feeling’ like entertaining because I know the house won’t be clean or I’ll be too busy to make a good meal. But you’re right, those are exactly the times I should connect with others. My go-to in that situation is to order pizza, make a salad, and eat with friends around the living room coffee table. It helps my guests feel at home and keeps everything ‘no fuss’ and attainable.

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    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — August 13, 2013 @ 6:39 am

    I love her, she is a great speaker. I saw her two years ago in Miami and is very inspiring. I love dinner parties too, you can’t beat what you feel after inviting people into your home.

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    kathy — August 13, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    What are some conversation pointers that you’ve picked up?

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 15th, 2013 @ 4:52 am

      Kathy, if you go to my archives you’ll see the categories. Click on “conversations & etiquette” and you’ll see lots of posts on conversation starters! :)

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    Elisa — August 13, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    I love her! She just wrote a book I am wanting to read about imperfection. I first ran across her a couple of years ago and shared it with my women’s group at church. It’s a different link than you have, you may want to watch this one as well. It’s about vulnerability and connection….. why didn’t I think of that?! :)
    http://www.papercoterie.com/blog/connection-belonging-and-being-enough/

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    Kristin — August 13, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    Such great reminders Sandy. As a perfectionist by nature, I needed to hear this again. Thank you!!!

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    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — August 13, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    Great advice – something that everyone needs to be reminded of! Not just when entertaining, but also for life in general! :)

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    bridget {bake at 350} — August 13, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

    Love Brene…and YOU, and Paul! I’m naturally an introvert, so I can roll off the excuses to NOT entertain. ;) Great tips, Sandy….so true!

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    Joan - My Cookie Clinic — August 13, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

    I enjoyed your post. Entertaining is a “giving” thing and guests appreciate it. My husband and I entertain often, usually dinner parties and I always get nervous just before everyone arrives. It’s well worth the nerves as it’s a good way to get together with friends and not let too much time pass. P.S. Came here from Bridget’s tweet about this posting.

    • Sandy Coughlin replied: — August 15th, 2013 @ 4:51 am

      Thanks for visiting RE, Joan! :)

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