There’s always that guy (or girl) at a dinner or party. The one who always shows up late, the one who flakes last minute, the one underpays the bill, the one who constantly hijacks the conversation…
The problem is, you may be that person without even knowing it. If you’re finding your invites are starting to dwindle, here are some reasons that might explain why:
You’re Always Late
Somehow, there is always a reason for why you’re late. Unfortunately, as legitimate as your excuses may be, after awhile, people get tired waiting for you on their time.
Have the forethought and consideration to show up on time. Being chronically late is not due to circumstance, it’s because you are doing a poor job of managing your time. And someone else has to ‘pay the price’. Do you notice that there are people who are always on time, and people who are always late, to the point where you can expect that they won’t show up on time? Again, it’s not because one person is busier than the other, it’s because the tardy person has adopted bad habits.
Don’t know the location? Map it out ahead of time. Plan that it will take you 10 extra minutes to get a cab. Build in time for parking, getting lost, bad traffic and so forth. If it were a job interview, you’d find a way to be on time right? Same method of planning should go into your dates with others as well.
You Can’t Commit to an RSVP
Yes or no. It’s quite simple. If you’re personally invited to a get-together, especially where reservations or food preparation is involved, have consideration for the organizer and commit to attending or not. Sure, work may come up or some unforeseen situation may stop you from being able to be certain if you will be available. However, if you’re waiting until last minute to see if something better comes along, then you surely don’t deserve to be invited again. And, if you respond to the invite as “Yes” and something comes up unexpectedly, have the courtesy to let the host know with as much advanced notice possible. Don’t just not show up. Don’t wait until the host calls you wondering where you are to finally inform him/her that you no longer will be attending. It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate and it’s amateur.
You’re Not Present
Merely showing up physically does not mean you are actually present. Attend with the intention of socializing, meeting people, contributing to the conversation and engaging. Put your phone away, and if you absolutely must check it, wait for a non-disruptive time such as a bathroom break to do so. Don’t be so disconnected with distractions on social media that you forget the importance of authentic, present, human interaction. Instagram can wait. The person in front of you deserves your attention.
You Don’t Ask Questions
Being an able conversationalist comes naturally for some, but generally it’s a skill that you learn through practice. Approach your next get together with the intent to improve your conversational skills. Think of a few questions you can ask to strangers. Some potential questions to find common ground could be, “how do you know the host?” or “Any travel plans for next year?” Approach people with curiosity and you may be pleasantly surprised at how being open can create enriching relationships with people you never thought you’d connect with. Want to be more interesting? Learn to ask interesting questions.
You Hijack the Conversation
Be careful to not over dominate the conversation at a dinner party. Even if you are extremely opinionated about a topic, remember there is a time and a place engaging in a monologue or a full fledged debate (that time does not happen to be at a dinner party). Part of being a great conversationalist is to be able to keep the flow of a conversation, ask engaging questions and include the introverts who are typically quieter amongst the extroverts.