The angst of attending events

Have you ever noticed that it is so much easier accepting invitations to events then attending the parties themselves? The invitation comes in and you’re honored your friend invited you, it sounds like a fun party, you don’t have plans that night, etc. But as the event approaches suddenly you start dreading attending.

Maybe another friend called and invited you to go to the spa that night. Perhaps your favorite TV show is on and wouldn’t it be nice to stay home and watch TV. Or maybe the reality of having to get dressed up and mingle with people you don’t know very well gives you heart palpitations. Whatever the excuse, I’ve been there.

In fact, it happened just this past weekend. I was invited to attend a milestone birthday party for a high school classmate’s husband. I hadn’t seen either of these folks for probably 20 years. Yet, I was so honored to be invited that I eagerly said yes to the invitation.

As the day approached I started wishing I hadn’t said I would attend. I felt nervous about not knowing many people there, especially since I hadn’t seen the hosts for so many years.

I came up with all sorts of reasons I shouldn’t attend. But, there was this voice in my head that said you have to honor your commitments. I thought about the many parties I have hosted, how much work they take to put on and how disappointing it is when people don’t show up who had responded they were attending.

So, I gathered up my resolve and my courage and went. And you know what? I had a great time. I was so happy I did go. It was nice to see the hosts and their lovely home, to meet their friends and to reconnect with other classmates.

It can be so easy to blow off a party we committed to attending, but I urge you not to. When you agree to attend an event, you must stay true to your commitment. The host invited you for a reason and you will be missed if you aren’t there.

Show up, have a good time and be thankful you are loved.


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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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