Wednesday, February 22, 2012

8 Ways to be the Life of the Party

I’m not talking lampshade on your head, doing the moonwalk while singing “Party in the USA” in your best Miley Cyrus voice kind of life, but I will not stop you if this is the kind of life you want to bring to a party.

What I am referring to is the kind of soul who breathes life into a room because of their spirit of generosity, kindness, willingness to engage others in conversation, their bright outlook, thoughtful nature, and expression of selflessness.

Anyone can draw attention to themselves. But not everyone can attend a party and cause those they’ve interacted with to feel uplifted—to feel more vibrant and alive. It’s this kind of life I’m talking about.

And here are 8 ways to bring it:

Bring a thoughtful gift (for the host or hostess)
I remember when we first moved into our house a new friend brought me spices. You might be thinking what’s a stressed out newcomer going to do with spices in a house crammed with brown boxes (aka best toy in the world for toddlers). But that’s just it. Spices would have been the last thing I would have gone digging for. I know it wasn’t a party, but that friend brought a little life to me the day she gave me spices.

Pass along compliments
If a friend has shared something kind about another mutual friend take the time to pass along the kind word.

Ask questions
Demonstrate interest in others. There is no better way to get out of a pity party for yourself than to adjust your focus and become invested in others. And don’t pick favorites. Be open to talking with any and everyone. Great conversations might be waiting with those you least expect.

Introduce two friends who share a common bond
This is truly one of my favorite things to do. It’s so fun to watch a friendship develop in this scenario.

Offer to help
With the dishes. Passing out food. Collecting coats. Most hostesses are stress cases. An excellent way to bring life to a party is through helping when it is least expected. Trust me, it’s remembered.

Smile (and heck, laugh at yourself if you spill something on your dress or trip as you enter a home)
Woo hoo, you’re real. You’re likable. And smiles go a long way when it comes to stirring a room to life.

Respect party hours
Don’t show up too early or leave when your hostess has yawned (without covering her mouth) four times in a row, let you know it’s past her bedtime, and has slipped into her fuzzy Velveteen Rabbit slippers (do they make those? If so, I want them). One of the above should be enough of a clue.

Take the time to absorb
Take in your surroundings. Instigate conversations worth remembering. And register what others are saying to the point where you can refer to topics spoken about previously. Establish connections in conversation and with people.

Has anyone ever brought life to one of your parties by notably doing one of the above? Can you think of other ways to be the “life” of a party?

*photo by stockXCHNG


  1. Let's get this Wednesday party started ... Hm, how about, the life of the party overcomes their fear of singing and rocks the Karaoke :)

  2. But I LOVE putting a lampshade on my head...can I? Please? Please?

    OK, but seriously, I love this list. You're so right...being friendly, helpful, and respectful are so appreciated. :) I'd love to attend a party with you!

  3. Love this post, Wendy! And I totally agree that these tips bring real life to the party. :)

  4. Excellent list, Wendy. These are points we can put into practice most of the time, too. Not just as parties.

    Love you girl!

  5. Ha, this is a great post! I am the one who usually spills something on herself. :P The silliest thing brought to my house was a set of plastic flamingos from my silly friend. :P

  6. There are lists, the boring I-gotta-do-this-even-though-I'd-rather-not kind. And then there are Lists--the kind I want to follow because doing so will enrich my life and make me a better person. This is most definitely the second. I want to live this list, not just at parties (where I tend to be a wallflower anyhow) but every day.

  7. These are all so great. One of my best friends, Maggie, is like all your tips embodied. The laughing at yourself tip is especially useful to me since I spill pretty much on an every-other-day basis. :)

  8. My husband is one of those "never meets a stranger" kind of people. He's great at getting even the shy-est of the group to talk.

  9. Oh Joanne, you should see me on one of those. Oh yeah. ;)

    Lindsay, We'd bring it, wouldn't we?

    Heidi, Sheds some perspective, doesn't it?

    Katie, Yep, life is a party for me so it applies to every second.

    Karen, Pink, I hear that color is back "in" and I spill too. Guaranteed when I've bought something new for myself. Just give me, say, a few seconds.

    Keli, Yeah, I hope I'm livin' this list too.

    Melissa, It's so freeing to laugh at yourself, isn't it? Keeps life fun.

    Stacy, Even though I'm an introvert, I feel like one of those. I can't figure out how that works, but I don't try too hard. Makes my brain hurt and I'm already thinking about enough as it is.

    Hey all, glad your comments came through. I've been informed there's still been some grief with folks commenting. I really am not sure how to fix this. I'm kicking around switching to a new commenting system if this keeps up and in the meanwhile am grateful people are at least letting me know.

    On another note, spent some rockin' face time with an old friend and her kiddos today. Such a blessing.

    Thanks for partying with me today.
    ~ Wendy

  10. Awesome tips, Wendy. I really like what you said about helping out. We host a small group every Sun. night, and I'm always refreshed by my friends who help pick things up (aka, the tornado of toys that all the kids left behind). It makes my life so much easier and keeps my energy from getting too sapped. (I get tired enough cleaning up after my 2 children, let alone after 12.) :)

  11. Love this, Wendy!!

    Another thing I do is to listen to what God's telling me. Sometimes I'll have an incredible urge to call someone (maybe someone I haven't talked to in a long time), and I always obey. More times than not, the recipient will say something like, "how did you know I needed to talk today?" I didn't! But God did. :)

  12. A fabulous list! All true. When we pastored college kids, they did not know these tips. Also, I think they take the stay awake and alert scripture in the Bible too seriously and never sleep. I have many times put on PJ's and come out, yet they don't leave! LOL Finally, I got to where I just said, "Stay all night, but put your dishes in the sink. I'm going to bed."

    If you help me clear the dishes, you're the life of the party!

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