12 September, 2011  |   Comment

Avoiding Fear of Entertaining

Most reluctance around entertaining is based around fear. It’s terrifying to attempt new things in front of guests. Even scarier when it’s about entertaining. You’re doing it wrong in public!

I sure know that fear.
Fear of doing it wrong.
Fear that that twenty dollar cheese you just invested in is Gross and Wrong and Embarassing and not only did you waste your money, you have put your shameful ignorance on display.
Fear that they’ll talk about you.

I hear you sister.
But you’re wrong.

So how do you get over it to bold and fearless entertaining?
I take one of three routes to overcome my fear of entertaining (FOE).


If you are reading this on the internet, you have access to a great deal of humanity’s collective wisdom. You can find video tutorials on how to make gumbo, detailed instructions on how to give a toast and illustrated guides on how to open a bottle of wine all over this internet. Do it.


Don’t know how to open a bottle of wine? Research high quality screw tops or boxed wines. Done and done. Relying on tried and true recipes instead of the latest culinary fad gets you quickly on your way. Find ready made foods, glass soda bottles and great napkins to help shore up your confidence. Find entertaining mentors that know good shortcuts. (And remember: We’re all faking it in some way or another.)


I’ve found that my favorite (and most successful!) approach is to say, “I have no idea how to do [insert task here].” You’d be surprised how a simple admission of what you don’t know can break down barriers you didn’t even know were standing between you and your guests.

Really. What would your reaction be to a friend that admitted that?
Anger? Mockery? Highly doubtful.

You’re a reasonable sort, I can tell your reaction would be one of caring and helpfulness.
(Just like your friends.)

Have any latent fears keeping you from having people over to your home?
Let’s bust through that FOE together!

Hooray for replies!