In order to have people over, you have to ask them. And asking can be scary and/or stressful. It doesn’t have to be, though. After years of inviting people over, I’ve learned a few tricks that make it easier.
- Ask people that make sense. What I mean is – choose someone you have something in common with or a connection. If you’re not sure or don’t know them very well yet, maybe wait a little longer before extending the invitation. I can’t remember the exact details but I know I did this at least once. After I asked, they looked at me like I was crazy. I knew immediately I had made a mistake. I can’t remember if we ended up getting together or not.
- Rather than asking someone to come on a specific day, give them a couple of choices. Everyone’s so busy these days that it’s hard to find time. So if you give them a couple of options, it might be easier to get a yes.
- Don’t extend vague invitations unless you don’t want it to actually happen. “We should get together sometime” will never result in you getting together. “Can you come over Friday night?” is better.
- Ask the right amount of people. This will vary from person to person, but for David and I, our preference is one other couple. We’ve been to dinners with three or four couples and those are fun, too. But when we have a choice, we prefer one couple.
- Don’t take it personally if they say no. Just because someone says no doesn’t mean they don’t want to come. People are SO busy these days that sometimes they really can’t find any free time or can’t handle one more thing. Even if having dinner with you sounds fun, they just can’t fit it in. Don’t take it personally.
- Don’t be afraid to ask someone because they have more money than you do or a nicer house. Years ago we had friends who told us a story about a situation like that. There was a family in their church who was wealthy. My friends were very poor and lived in a tiny house and didn’t have much money at all. They really liked this couple and finally decided to invite them over – for water and popcorn! The couple gladly accepted and told them that no one ever invited them over. They didn’t care that my friends’ house was tiny or their snack was popcorn and water. They were just thrilled to be invited over.
- Don’t assume someone won’t want to come over or that they’re too busy. You just never know. They may be thrilled to receive your invitation.
- Sometimes it’s easier to invite someone via text message or email. The benefit to doing that is that it gives them time to check their schedule. And if they have to say no, it’s easier for them and for you.
- Don’t extend the invitation in the middle of a chaotic situation – like passing someone in a hallway or while you’re picking your kids up from day care. Try to ask when things are calm and less rushed.
- After you’ve extended the invitation and they accept, ask if they have any dietary restrictions or if there’s anything they don’t like. You sure don’t want to serve something they hate or can’t eat. And some picky eaters or people with restricted diets don’t like eating other places because of that very issue.
So no more excuses. If you’ve been thinking about inviting someone over but haven’t gotten around to it yet, go for it! You’ll be glad you did.
Do you enjoy having people over? Does the asking part stress you out?