So it was my birthday last week! I’m now 24, and I have to say I actually feel older. Even though I would consider myself an introvert and I don’t like to be the center of attention, I enjoy having a day that’s all about how I want to enjoy it.
But every year, I simultaneously dread the celebration, because I get a bad case of ‘The Host Syndrome’ – the stress you feel about having guests and keeping them entertained.
But is that really a thing or is it just me?
I have a whole bunch of friends from different aspects of my life and my boyfriend has wondered about it numerous times, because he has a clique that is a set society and everyone is friends with everyone. And going by that, parties are always super easy because everyone just gets along.
Never had that honor at my own parties, my 18th birthday was empty at 11 pm, my sweet 16 was okay but I did get kicked out early for being underage in a bar (fair enough) and then I just started scrapping the idea of parties altogether. Just having some nice dinner with my family. But I was always sad when it went over so quickly.
My 24th birthday was a complete success and the best party i EVER HAD! So I feel like now I know the secrets of how a good party is achieved.
Step 1: Invite exclusively friendly people
This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s hard to go through with actually. I always had one or two friends who were not too awfully kind or someone who had to be watched the entire evening, either because they would start a fight or they wouldn’t even try to have a good time and I was the one to fix that problem.
So I would recommend to invite only people who you know are kind to others and are willing to get to know your other friends.
(In my opinion all good friends would do this, so reevaluate the friendships of those who can’t be arsed to behave on only one day of the year)
Step 2: Have at least one calming presence around you
Your friends and loved ones aren’t all equal. There are some who make you laugh without a break, even if you don’t want to. Some that always know just the right thing to say, or some who you have incredible memories with. But there are those type of friends that give you a sense of security and ease just by being there. And that’s what you need in times of stress. I had two of those at my party, and they would validate that everything is going alright just with a simple gesture so I was able to rely on that in times where I felt overwhelmed.
Step 3: Don’t plan ahead too much
I bet you have either heard or said yourself that the best parties are always the spontaneous ones. But a spontaneous party doesn’t always mean it’s also a good party. It’s just a relieving and good feeling to do whatever you may please and if you’re in the right mindset, that is a good opportunity for a wonderful night.
Of course, a bit of planning never hurt anyone but I’d say keep the end open, don’t limit yourself and be spontaneous as to how the party will unfold naturally.
Step 4: Ideal framework conditions
This should go without saying but I sometimes forget how important this is. So make damn sure you are well fed and hydrated, you took care of yourself with all means necessary, had a nice hot shower and enough time to wind down beforehand. That you know what to wear in advance and make sure it’s not just pretty but also COMFORTABLE. Don’t wear shoes that are too tight or a high maintenance dress, just wear nice but easy clothes and shoes that you will want to wear all night.
And of course:
tl;dr quick fire tips:
- Invite good people
- Have people with you who give you a sense of calmness
- Don’t plan every minute
- Don’t neglect your physical needs
- Don’t stress out too much
- It’s gonna be fine.