Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dinner Party Suggestion

Yesterday I invited a couple to dinner next Sunday. I put a question to them:

Matthew: Is there anything you really don't like to eat?
Wife: Peas
Husband: Olives
Wife: Sprouts
Husband: Sprouts aren't in season, darling.
Matthew: Okay, no peas, olives or sprouts.

Guess what I said to them next?

Matthew: I do ask people to take their shoes off. You might want to think about what socks you wear.
Husband: That is fine. We never wear shoes in our house either.

Notice what I did with the question? I asked them to state a preference. I gave them a say in what took place in the dinner party by inviting them to comment on the food they did'nt like. I showed that I was concerned about their enjoying the occasion.

Having done that, I was then in a strong position to state my own preference, which was for them to remove their shoes.

I think if you invite people over to dinner, this can be a really effective tactic. It is negotiation. By showing initial concern for the guests comfort, your guest will be more willing to respect your need for shoes-off.


Bob said...

An excellent way to inform first time visitors about a no shoes rule

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Bob.

Cilicious said...

I dunno.
I still would feel coerced.
I personally am fine with shoes off, but when someone announces this custom as a part of a dinner invitation, you begin to wonder which is more important to the host: their carpet or their guests?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for visiting.

If the carpet was more important than the guests, surely I would'nt have invited them?

Bob said...

Cillicious, why would you feel coerced if you are fine with shoes off? If this was the first time you were visiting someones home, would you prefer to be asked to remove your shoes when you arrived rather than knowing before hand?