Entertaining: It’s not about You, it’s all about Them

Entertaining: it’s not about you, it’s all about THEM. I love this post shared by a friend, about true hospitality. I hope you are inspired to think about hospitality in a new light. Don’t get caught up in the weeds of entertaining versus hospitality, JUST INVITE AND DO IT. The world needs more hospitable people!

Entertaining: It's not about You, it's all about Them

My friend Kendra is sharing some wise words today. Entertaining: it’s not about you, it’s all about THEM.

Enjoy this thought-provoking message. I took it to heart years ago and it’s helped me with my mission today when hosting guests in my home. Now eight years later, these words often go through my mind when I get of course.


I’m about to get all nerdy on you. Did you know that the word entertain is a transitive verb? Some of you are now twitching at memories of sentence diagramming and rules for proper comma usage and ohmygoodness all those red marks on your papers. Don’t hate me for the reminder; I promise my intentions are honorable.

A transitive verb is a verb that requires an object to complete its meaning. It has to do something to something else. I kicked the ball. Without the ball, kicking makes no sense. I ate the donut. Without the donut, eating makes no sense. (I totally agree with that sentiment by the way.) I entertained my friends. See where I’m going with this?

Peony - Entertaining: It's not about You, it's all about Them

Without people, entertaining doesn’t exist

So often when we prepare to have people over, we get tunnel vision. We focus on presenting Martha food, having floors you could eat off of, a table setting worthy of a Food & Wine photo shoot, and all of this while wearing cute shoes and having skin and hair like Jennifer Garner’s. It’s too much.

It also takes the people out of entertaining

When you have people over, it’s about them. It’s not about you. It’s about making them feel comfortable, creating experiences where they can enjoy who they’re with and what they’re doing, and keeping all pretense from showing up at your dinner table. When you’re comfortable, so are your guests. When you’re flawed, they feel free to be themselves. Sure, it’s great to have food that tastes good and looks pretty in a setting that makes everyone enjoy the process, but without people, all of those things are unimportant.

Did I say anything in there about impressing these people? Because that’s not what entertaining is either. If you’re trying to impress, it’s still about you.

Entertaining: it’s not about you, it’s all about THEM

Entertaining message: It's not about You, it's all about Them

If I find myself apologizing to my guests about the sauce being cold or the mac and cheese being bland or the table setting being a bit boring, I know my priorities are wrong. Why would I want to put my guests in the position to make me feel better? Isn’t that what I should be doing with them? That’s the whole point of entertaining – to make people feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. And when you take yourself too seriously, that point is lost.

Entertaining is not about you. It’s never about you. It’s always about them. I promise you’ll have more fun that way. And who said you’d never use anything from English class…

How’s your attitude when it’s time to entertain?

Some yummy entertaining recipes: Turkey Meatball Margherita-Style Fondue RecipeBEST Chocolate Mint Walnut BrowniesPedro’s Special Mexican Casserole, Veggie Crescent Bites [Mom on Time Out], and Glazed Kielbasa Bites [Real Housemoms].

18 comments on “Entertaining: It’s not about You, it’s all about Them”

  1. Sandy, I need you to tell me this monthly. I’m bookmarking this post to read before I have people over because I want to live Romans 12 … all of it. Especially verse 13. It’s about *practicing* hospitality … not being *perfect* at hospitality.

    In fact, I think I need to blog about this. :)

    Bless you!

  2. I’m so blessed to know Kendra! Blessed to live in Greensboro nearby her, blessed to have cooked with her in her kitchen just 2 weeks ago! This girl rocks a kitchen like no one else. Oh yes, I’m blessed to have savored her Lemon Blueberry Scones!
    .-= Mary Jean Taylor´s last blog ..Mr. Fuggles =-.

  3. Sandy, I love you! That post is spot on! Names for your appliances, though?!? Now that’s a new one for me. But I likeee! ;o) (btw, I agree with ALL the previous comments too!)
    .-= Ginger´s last blog ..I met P-dub!!! =-.

  4. Love this post! Great reminder ~ I think I should post this in my kitchen. :-)
    .-= Pat´s last blog ..~ Getting To Know You ~ =-.

  5. I really like this one!!! She’s a girl after my own heart!
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..WINNER of the Eclectic Whatnot Camera Strap Cover =-.

  6. It was good to be reminded that I don’t need to apologize over every little thing that I deem to be “wrong.” Guess I hadn’t thought of it from the perspective that it brings the focus (uncomfortably) back to me.

    Awesome post! I’m headed over to Kendra’s to look around. :)

  7. Ohhhh…what a great perspective on the whole apologizing bit. I needed to hear that. Thank you!

  8. Such a wonderful perspective-it’s so easy to get this backwards. I’m going to remember this next time we have guests, friends, family, anyone over. I love this post!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Sunday Gratitudes =-.

  9. I enjoyed this post! It really is about making others feel comfortable in your home.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Tuesday Tip – Let the Outside In! =-.

  10. Great article–thank you! One of the best hosts I ever knew made sure there were drinks and a couple of appetizers for guests when they arrived, but then got some to help her in the kitchen while the others sat at the counter and talked. Made everyone feel like part of the family!
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..“Texas Gardener’s Resource” =-.

  11. I’m off to name my appliances….JK. Great post and so very true!!! I really enjoyed reading it, loved the pictures and I’m going over to Kendra’s site now to check it out.

  12. Wow! What valuable and good lessons here! I’m excited to learn this wisdom…and very happy to find her blog. Thank you.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Big Love from my Boys =-.

  13. I was JUST complaining yesterday about how stressful it is to have large parties. I have 65+ people coming on Saturday and it is really making me crabby. As I’m prepping the rest of the week I will definitely change my thinking. Thanks.
    .-= Suzann´s last blog ..God Speak =-.

  14. Thank you for this post! GREAT reminder!!!! It is NOT about us! I can think of times we have gone to others homes and I definitely feel the difference when the host is focused on herself or on us…. I so do want to be a hostess that is all about OTHERS!!

  15. What a great fit: Kendra + Sandy = the perfect entertaining perspective. Love this post.
    .-= emily´s last blog ..tuesdays unwrapped =-.

  16. Oh man, I USED to get all work up about everything being just perfect but I’ve gotten over it and focused more on just letting the course of the night unfold without me trying to control EVERYTHING. I’m a much happier hostess because of it. LOL!
    Great post!
    .-= Kim @ Homesteader’s Heart´s last blog ..So Who Needs 13.5lbs of Baking Soda? =-.

  17. Great food for thought! I love to entertain and have people into my home. When I am too distracted about the food, or the way my home looks I waste that energy that could be spent on being gracious and having fun with my guests.
    Wonderful reminder!
    .-= Yvonne´s last blog ..Decorating With Dishes =-.

  18. Great post!!

    Way too many times (oh, BTW, my attitude stinks sometimes.) I feel the need to be “ready” before my guests arrive – so that I can BE READY to bless them. But, it doesn’t always work that way… and you’ve done a pretty good job a shooting that theory out of the park anyway.

    I needed to hear this fresh perspective, today. One thing, I feel I am learning and working on, is to “let go”. The more often I entertain in our home – the more I’ve been relaxing and enjoying.

    thanks again. Now off to check out “My first kitchen”. ;)
    .-= Bevy´s last blog ..Smile! and start today. =-.

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