With the return of Spring and Summer comes a host of social occasions for the classic woman: bridal showers, weddings, graduations, barbeques … the list goes on. The classic woman knows that being the perfect guest requires an adherence to certain social rules.
1. Arrive on time; do not be late. Also, never arrive more than a few minutes early, your host may be busy with last minute details and not quite ready for receiving guests.
2 Upon arriving at the social function, the first order of business is to find the host, greet them and present them with a gift such as a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates.
3. Start conversations with others in attendance. Breaking the Ice is always a little awkward, just remember to ask questions of the other person and keep the subject matter light and cheerful. Never, never, divulge too many personal details to a total stranger. The goal in mingling is to meet new people and make new connections; it is never a substitute for a therapy session.
4. Avoid stepping into a conversation that is already taking place, rather look for someone who is not talking to anyone and start there.
5. When talking to people, always look them in the eyes. Even if you have a million other things on your mind, make them feel that they are the most important person in the room at that moment. Ask the other person questions and wait for him to answer. After he is finished, add your own thoughts, always being careful not to hijack the conversation. Remember, good conversation is like a game of ping pong, each person must have a turn to talk and then to listen.
6. Although considered a bit old-fashioned, it is still a good idea to avoid discussing sex, politics, and religion unless you are quite familiar with the other person’s viewpoints. Not everyone is comfortable with a lively debate and a party atmosphere is not always the best place for that discussion. Instead, start the conversation by asking general questions. Hopefully, you will hear a response that will trigger a mutually shared interest; if not, try talking a little bit about yourself or something you have done and let the conversation branch off with some questions from that angle.
7. Additional conversation pitfalls:
- Letting people know that you are richer than they are.
- Bragging. Boasting.
- Talking about yourself nonstop.
- Be sensitive. For example, if you pick up on the fact that someone may be struggling financially, do not talk about how you throw money around and never blink an eye.
8. Barbara Walters’, in her book How to Talk With Anybody About Practically Anything (1970), states: “Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties.”
9. Always inform your host that you are leaving and thank them for a wonderful time.
10. Although not required, sending a thank you note after attending the party is always a lovely gesture and, in today’s social environment, often quite unexpected. Your thoughtfulness will neither go unnoticed nor unappreciated.