The Challenges of Dinner Party Guests

I am at my most content when I am surrounded by my nearest and dearest friends, sharing food over dinner, chatting, laughing and drinking wine. However throwing a dinner party or planning a birthday event or special occasions seems to become more difficult for some reason as you get older. Planning the guest list may be a challenge because so and so do not get on, personalities clash and some people may even leave you feeling drained, or quite negative.

I was listening to Stephen Fry the other night on the radio, a character that’s presence (even via the radio) brightens the room (or car).  He was discussing his latest book Mythos, based on Greek Mythology. This topic for some would only have been discussed age 11 in the classroom of a Latin lesson accompanied by some mental snoozing (myself possibly included). Yet I really admire his ability to draw in and engage the audience or his company. He does this without leaving you feeling like you are completely inadequate to discuss such a topic with a highly intelligent man. Instead he inspires and enthralls one to learn more about Aphrodite, The Goddess of Love (my knowledge of whom is limited to Mamma Mia…)

This got me thinking as to my own impact on people, the impression that I leave on others, as well as how I have felt after encounters with friends, family, work colleagues etc.  Perhaps this isn’t something you too have thought about, or maybe it is. For me, I think it is my sole fascination in wanting to understand relationships which led me to studying Psychology and ultimately even writing this blog post has resulted in the pondering over such things. In general I would like to think that I am approachable, kind, open and dare I say relatively likeable?
So why is it that people who once upon a time we considered as friends, can leave us feeling completely deflated and doubtful of our value and worth. I think everyone at some stage in their lives have experienced this. You may had to cut ties with these toxic friends who only brought you down and rarely filled your life with positivity.  Despite it being a completely rational thought to say “So why invite them to the party?” it persists to be a tough decision and unpleasant circumstance to deal with.  In retrospect, these are of course necessary choices for the quality of your happiness. The saying that “The quality of your life is measured by the quality of your relationships” (Harvey Mackay) couldn’t be more true.

This piece of advice along with the simplicity of remembering to ‘enjoy what you have now and don’t let life pass you by, because before you know it you will be 75 on the outside, but 18 in your head’ has already has began resonating with me just at the age of 22.  When I think back over the last five years when I was turning 18, I passed my driving test, worked hard, achieved good A-Level results and began University, time really has gone past in just a blink of an eye. Moving into my 23rd year I hope that I remember these sayings, so that I can celebrate life with those whose company I shall eagerly be awaiting until the next glass of Prosecco.

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