Wahh Waahh: Entertaining a Debbie Downer?

Wahh Waahh: Entertaining a Debbie Downer?

Grace Shu
Nov 9, 2009

Since November is entertaining month here at AT, we figured it might be beneficial to share some tips on how to handle tough social situations. Say one of your good guy friends starts dating a new girl and he wants to bring her 'round to your party...only to find out that his new girlfriend is a bit difficult to pull out of her shell...

At best, she's probably uncomfortable in a new social situation and wants to make a good impression. In which case, the easiest way to cut the small talk is to find some kind of common ground or similar interests--and be genuinely interested in what she has to say. We like Ina Garten's advice about how to arrange guests at a dinner party: Seat the outgoing people in the middle and ends of the table as it will keep the energy flowing and encourages everyone to be a part of the conversation.

At worst, your friend's new girlfriend is simply a dud and has no interest in anything or anyone at your party. If that's the case, we would chalk it up as a bad job: Be polite and attentive in your hosting duties, but don't go overboard trying to lure her into the fold. If she's as bad as you think she is, she probably won't appreciate the effort and finds it annoying.

Do you have any stories to share about tough social situations? Tips and anecdotes--both good and bad--are welcome in the comments!

(Image: NBC Saturday Night Live)

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