Dinner Parties...

What do you usually talk about? I have always been a really shy person and I tend to tense up at social gatherings with people I do not know. I went to a dinner party tonight and I was pretty much quiet the whole night until someone spoke to me. I feel like I need to get over this. I am not sure what to do to ease the transition into being more social.
 

Laurie8504

chocolate...where?
O.G.
Sep 10, 2007
2,814
7
Often I find it's easiest to strike up a conversation with someone if you begin with a genuine compliment. You know, "Oh, I absolutely love your shoes!", which then gives them the chance to tell you that funny story about how they were really supposed to be her sister's, or you can ask where she got them and find out that, hey! you were there last weekend and don't they just have the best stuff, and before you know it you're exchanging emails and arranging playdates for the kids.

Also, pay attention to what people say to you at first; how did this person who finally got you to open up begin? Perhaps you can use this tactic since it worked well on you!
 

jan228

Member
May 3, 2008
1,502
17
I usually go with surroundings. Observe what's around you and make conversation about it.

For example, if they have a tasty pie for dessert, I could relate it to the time when my husband and I were bumped from a flight going home from Vegas, and the airline put us up in a hotel next to a restaurant that served the best peach (or any flavor) pie I'd ever had. It happened to be owned by one of Wolfgang Puck's number one students.

That opens up the conversation like, "What were you doing in Vegas? What did you do without your bags? Etc." And people can probably relate to the hassles of flying. It tells people something about yourself and allows them to say, "Oh I hate flying, once we waited 3 hours...."
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
O.G.
Jun 1, 2006
28,441
688
I agree that people do love to talk about themselves. Another great ol' standby, along with a geunine compliment, is "How do you know [host or hostess?]" You'll hear how they are a friend of a friend or work colleague or any number of things that can segue off into other conversation!
 

Leelee

Up On My Toes!
Jun 6, 2006
7,315
6
I am completely out of my element at dinner parties -- or any gathering for that matter. I'm so quiet and I don't really want to change. But, I think other posters have given good suggestions for conversation topics, especially asking someone how they know the host or hostess and offering a compliment. These seem like good ways to start someone talking.
 

Vegas Long Legs

Traveler
Nov 13, 2006
11,001
12
I usually go with surroundings. Observe what's around you and make conversation about it.

For example, if they have a tasty pie for dessert, I could relate it to the time when my husband and I were bumped from a flight going home from Vegas, and the airline put us up in a hotel next to a restaurant that served the best peach (or any flavor) pie I'd ever had. It happened to be owned by one of Wolfgang Puck's number one students.

Please give me the name of the restaurant! lol

Everyone has a comment to make about the weather, especially if its been crazy lately. Recent events is good too. City officials/filthy rich who've been arrested recently. This keeps us talking in Vegas.
Just stay away from politics or religion.
 
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Liberté

O.G.
Jan 5, 2007
8,631
1,815
Sex, drugs, and/or rock and roll. Seriously.
Actually a glass of wine might not be such a bad idea. I don't have any other advice really, I'm naturally very talkative if I have to and don't mind smalltalk at all and sometimes after drinks I'm like a hurricane = too much. I guess if you focus on what you will say and don't think about when or to whom it'll be allright. If you don't really want to and it gets you stressed than have a drink and try again or don't worry about it simply. It's not a big deal, every party has it's quiet participants and that's a good thing.
 

caxe

-+-+-+-+-+-
O.G.
Mar 31, 2007
4,409
5
Most dinner parties I've gone to we sit and just talk about whatever. Politics, television, what everyone is doing these days. Now, if I'm at a dinner party with my BF's family, I usually don't say much and I don't know what's going on; they all speak in Spanish 90% of the time. LOL. The conversation could be about me and I'd be pretty much unaware.
 

lolitakali

Member
Feb 6, 2007
5,107
5
What do you usually talk about? I have always been a really shy person and I tend to tense up at social gatherings with people I do not know. I went to a dinner party tonight and I was pretty much quiet the whole night until someone spoke to me. I feel like I need to get over this. I am not sure what to do to ease the transition into being more social.

Find common interests.. like if the food is wonderful & you are interested in cooking, discuss recipes. If you folks have similar aged kids, discuss the kid's activities, or fashion or movies or wine.... just find a common ground.

Although at many dinner parties even among strangers, I find joy in listening as much as talking.... I'd be someone who would ask questions to keep conversations flowing. ;)
 
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