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In our year long series “Guide to Charm” series which applying the tips from the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm, to our daily lives. To recap we’ve covered the following steps:
- Step 1 Hair and Makeup
- Step 2 Hands and Feet
- Step 3 Posture and Weight
- Step 4 Cleanliness and Sleep
- Step 5 Defining Chic
- Step 6 Your Wardrobe
- Step 7 First Impressions
- Step 8 Outgoing Personality
- Step 9 Be Smart
Today’s lesson is about being the “Life of the Party”. When it comes to social gatherings charming people have a way of being noticed, in a good way. They the type of individual you are always happy to invite and know that they will always enjoy themselves.
What makes one the “Life of the Party”? According to the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm , there are a few things to consider.
When in doubt ask?
One of the biggest mistakes we make these days is being afraid to ask questions. When someone asks us to a social gathering, whether it’s an informal get together with friends or a formal event, we don’t always get all the details we need before attending.
What to Wear
The first question should be what to wear. Charming individuals always dress for success, thus if we don’t have a clear understanding of what the dress code is we might find ourselves under or overdressed.
If we underdress we have the potential of coming across as if we didn’t care enough about the event to bother with dressing up. If we over dress we come across as if we are too good to be attending such an event.
While dressing in the middle, say a nice day dress, might work in most occasions, it’s probably best to just ask the host what the dress code is, or at the very least try ask what they will be wearing.
What’s the Menu
The question of food doesn’t really come up in the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm , however in today’s times so many people have different dietary restrictions. Whether you are on a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, sugar-free, no beef, no pork or some other kind of diet, it helps to know what to expect.
You might ask the host what the meal plan is for the night. If you do have some dietary issues that are in contrast with the meal, let the host know. You don’t want to appear rude for not joining in the meal, thus, giving a heads up to the host about what you can and can’t eat is helpful.
Just because you have let your host know about your diet, don’t expect them to make any changes just for you. Food for any kind of party is expensive and well, it’s not always feasible to make last special dishes for one individual.
Having experienced this first hand, I personally like potlucks, because you can always bring a dish you know you’ll be able to eat. Also, if you are the host, always have a simple dish that will work for nearly everyone, like a vegetable or fruit tray.
At the Party
There a many misconceptions when one hears the phrase “life of the party”. We sometimes think of the individual who makes a grand entrance or attends with an entourage around them at all times. This is not so, when we consider the “charming life of the party”.
You may not know everyone at a given event, and sometimes your host doesn’t have time to introduce you. Don’t be a wallflower and sit in the corner by a few familiar faces. Go up and introduce yourself to everyone.
Ask the other individuals how they know the host, and if they are enjoying themselves. Remember that many times these people are just as timid as you.
I’ve used this technique at many conferences and events I’ve attended, sometimes I was completely by myself at these events. I just walked up and started a conversation. It helps to start with a compliment to get the conversation going.
Ask to Help
This is another tip that isn’t in the book, but I’ve found that it really helps making a lasting impression on your host. Whenever I attend an event, I always ask the host if I can help in any way. This could be by setting out food trays, refilling drinks, whatever.
There’s a lot that goes into any kind of get together and the host often is too busy to be apart of it. By offering to help out, this gives them the opportunity to mingle and they won’t forget the help you provided.
It should go without saying, but whenever in any kind of public setting a charming individual should follow proper etiquette.
The book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm cites that one should be familiar with good etiquette, but does gives only a few pointers.
The biggest thing to remember is to mind your manners. Please and thank you really do go a long way. Before leaving for the evening don’t forget to always thank your host of a lovely evening. It’s also nice to say good byes to others you talked to that night and even exchange contact info, when and if appropriate.
First off since we are talking about get togethers it it’s important to have good eating etiquette. This doesn’t have to mean that you know the difference between the dinner and the salad fork. (FYI: the salad fork is the shorter of the two forks). However, you should always chew with your mouth closed, be discreet if something isn’t to your palette liking and always thank the chief or server for their work.
In our modern lifestyles a lot of basic etiquette has been forgotten, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
I can’t think of anything more annoying than someone texting while in a middle of a conversation. This seems to be the norm now days, but it still is rude. If you do get a text unless an emergency you probably don’t need to respond right away, so just ignore it for the time being. If it is an emergency and you do need to respond, let the other person know. Say something like “Sorry to interrupt but I have to respond to this” . Take care of your message and return to the conversation, apologizing for the interruption.
There are lots of other great modern etiquette rules we can follow and it just so happens that The Glamorous Housewife blog has a great list of articles regarding modern etiquette.
Do Unto Others
Finally to wrap up step 10, the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm , that one of the most important rules about charm is to “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It may be a more often quoted than followed phrase but it really is the best rule in the book, thus far.
Remember you can copy of Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, here.