Steering Lunch Party Conversation in a Positive Direction

LoveFeast Pumpkins

Awhile back, I wrote a post about inviting neighbor ladies to my home for a luncheon. And today’s post is about steering lunch party conversation in a positive direction!

I’m so glad I branched out and made the invite, because it not only made me feel safer in my neighborhood, it made me feel like if I ever needed anything, I could ask for help. And that I’ve (we’ve) done many times with our neighbors, and helped them in return. Like eggs and flour … all the time. :) We are blessed.

It also introduced me to some wonderful friendships.

But now it’s time for a true confession: During that luncheon, there was one neighbor who dominated the conversation. In a way that was very rude, annoying, and I believe was making my guests uncomfortable. It sure was making me squirm in my chair.

Keeping Positive Conversation around the Table

Ouch! Why couldn’t it just have been a nice, simple, lovely lunch party?

That’s when one of my older, wiser neighbors stepped in and helped me out.

After eye contact with each other, we both knew that something needed to be done before the conversation went from negative to more negative. I think we’ve all  been there when that has happened. Not fun.

This older, wiser neighbor graciously spoke up, changed the subject, and helped me move the conversation on.

Yes! Whew! Relief!

LoveFeast Pumpkins

Now, years later, I’m thankful I’ve learned as a hostess that it’s okay to be assertive and to jump in and switch things up a bit.

With different personalities, it’s a given that these things will sometimes happen around our lunch and dinner tables, but being the wiser, it’s up to us to not let one person spoil the time for everyone else.

Grace and freedom and love – a good amount of all three is what’s needed.

So in my case, the next year I hosted, I decided to not invite this neighbor into my home. This didn’t make her a bad person, just an inappropriate person for what I was trying to accomplish (provide a positive environment for some of my elderly neighbors over good food).

Have you experienced this type of situation, and how did you handle it?

Want some of these soft cuddly pumpkins (photos above)? You can buy them from LoveFeast Table. They are adorable and so fun for autumn entertaining!

10 comments on “Steering Lunch Party Conversation in a Positive Direction”

  1. Love the table decorations and the super-practical advice! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Thanks for the reminder! So true . . . it’s not necessary to let someone who is being inconsiderate dominate and keep others from enjoying the company of one another.

  3. Sandy – You sure do know how to set a table!
    Thanks for sharing the velvet pumpkins from LoveFeast Shop!
    The LoveFeast Girls

  4. I second a post on practical suggestions! As an introvert, I often can’t think of something to say in the moment – only after the fact (if it all). If I come prepared to be an assertive guest or hostess, I might have a better chance at saying the right thing in the right tone. :) Thanks for acknowledging this phenomenon, though. It is SO TRUE. And it’s something most of us don’t plan for, yet we need to anticipate it!

    • Sounds like we are alike-in more than name :). I, too, as an introvert have trouble knowing what to say, either I flee the confrontation by silence or if it is directed against someone I over-do it defending them! It’s a hard thing, and I’d like suggestions, too!

  5. I would love to hear about how, exactly, to steer the conversation in a new direction in a smooth manner. Suggestions? Thanks,
    Linda

  6. Sandy, Thank you for this practical advise for a problem all hostesses face from time to time. It happens in Bible study groups, and can occur in any gathering. Most of us feel quite helpless to do anything about it.

    But you are right, for the sake of our other guests, the direction of the conversation must be changed. May the Lord give me the grace and wisdom to bring about needed change the next time I’m in a group where this happens.

    Thank you for your beautiful blog. I have lost track of how long I’ve been subscribed to your posts, but they are wonderful, uplifting, and wholesome.

  7. Excellent post, Sandy! I’m sorry you experienced the actions of a difficult personality while you were entertaining the ladies in your neighborhood. It can be awkward, it’s only natural. But, these instances are best countered with a quick change in the subject of conversation, as you mentioned on a positive note, and exchanging smiles and laughter all around the table. The offending guest will get the message that talk of that sort is not welcome and others will appreciate your leadership in getting the positive vibe back for the gathering. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Stacy. Actually, the offending guests often does “not” get the message, so that’s where you have to step in and move the conversation, or make a change. It’s an interesting dynamic, and one we’ve all experienced. Thanks for sharing, girl!

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