New On The Blog

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Lisa Lou

Create Small Talk Like A Pro

Updated: Aug 25



“I don’t know what to say when I enter a room full of strangers!” I encounter this fear often when mentoring other women (and men!). Knowing how to engage in small talk is an essential tool we need to increase our social knowledge. Being able to engage others will instill confidence enabling us to thrive in all social situations. But before we learn these tricks, we need to change our psychology.

1. Realize others in the room feel the same way you do. Instead of making yourself the focal point of your internal feelings, turn those feelings around and say, “Today, I am going to rescue someone at this party.” Look at each guest and tell yourself you are the only person who can save them from feeling awkward and alone. Find someone standing by themselves and introduce yourself. Usually you will see a sigh of relief in their body language that screams, “I am so glad someone came over to talk to me!”

2. Some people advise to “keep things light” when speaking with someone for the first time. I do not always agree. When I converse with someone that is “small talking” me with shallow stories and information, my immediate reaction when they leave is, “That was a waste of time.” Studies show people prefer deeper conversations that are rewarding. I am not suggesting you dive into your solution for the world’s nuclear crisis. I am suggesting you put on your counseling hat and say, “Tonight, I am going to help someone by providing a much-needed referral for a job.” Or, “Tonight, I am going to help someone make a connection within my sphere of contacts that they might not have access to.”

3. People love to talk about themselves, so ask questions. By being the instigator in the conversation, this also takes the spotlight off you. Open ended questions work best, because the other person cannot give you one-word answers. Instead of asking, “Did you enjoy the movie you saw last night?” Say, “What did you enjoy most about the movie last night?” The first question will give you a one-word answer. The second question requires the response to become a discussion. My favorite conversation starter with someone I do not know is, “Tell me a little about yourself.” This has endless possibilities and allows the person you are speaking with to take the conversation in any direction they wish.



4. Find common ground to start your discussion. If you are both at the same social gathering, then you obviously each know the hostess. Your first question might be, “How do you know Suzy?” The answer to this simple question will provide you with enough follow up questions to successfully small talk your way to the next person. A normal progression for this type of conversation might look like this:

Person A: “How do you know Suzy?”

Person B: “We went to college together.”

Person A: “Oh, where did you attend school?”

Person B: “State University down the road.”

Person A: “I had several friends that attended school there. There was a favorite restaurant everyone went to called Spanky’s. My best friend, Kristi, worked there.

Person B: “I know Kristi! We became good friends because I always went to Spanky’s!”

5. People love to feel like an expert, so seek the expertise of the person you are engaging. Out of professional courtesy, I am not suggesting you ask the doctor you are speaking with to diagnose the pain in your leg. Rather, if you learn their children go to a nearby elementary school, you might say, “My husband and I have been considering that school for our children. Have you been pleased with your choice?” Or: “If we decide to send our children there, we will have to move into the area. What do you find are the pros and cons of the neighborhood?”

6. Use your body language to show you are interested. We have all been in conversations where the person is speaking TO us but not fully engaged IN us. They continue to glance around the room or take quick peaks at their phone. This inevitably makes the recipient feel undervalued as though they are a place holder until someone better comes along. When you speak with someone, make eye contact, and do not allow yourself to be distracted. Learning to listen effectively is a skill that needs to be mastered.



Here are some tried and true small talk questions that will give you confidence to enter any conversation:

1. What brought you to your current company?

2. If you know they have children, ask how old they are, where they are in school, etc.

3. Are you originally from (name the hometown where the party is being held)?

4. When you are not working, how do you like to spend your time?

5. What is the most enjoyable theatre performance you have attended?

6. Are there any books you have read recently you would recommend?

7. What is the best vacation you have taken? Why?

8. If you could only take one more vacation, where would you go?

9. Did you participate in any extracurricular activities in college?

10. And my favorite, “Tell me a little about yourself.”

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

© 2020 Lisa Lou by Kaio

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Spotify