Are you a perfectionist? If so, then you know the Party Perfection Monster is always lurking.
By Betsy Pruitt of Belly Feathers
He’s that little discouraging voice telling you your house isn’t spotless enough for company, or that if only you could do ‘this’, you’d throw that party you’ve been dreaming about. Don’t let him keep you from entertaining. Here are four things you need to know to keep him away.
Don’t get discouraged.
Once you acknowledge the Perfection Monster is there, you can fight him off. The book The Reluctant Entertainer by Sandy Coughlin made me realize that perfection is really an unattainable goal. In fact, she says that, “perfection comes from a place of great need – usually to avoid criticism and gain praise and approval from others.” Yikes! I know I’m guilty of that. When I set attainable party goals and strive to do them well – not perfect – it’s pretty hard for the Perfection Monster to make me feel discouraged.
Simple is better.
The Perfection Monster loves intricate details and complicated parties that would take more time to plan than you actually have. That’s just the way he is… always overreaching the bounds of what is truly realistic. In my Frazzled to Fabulous: How to Plan a Party video series, I explain that it only takes three elements to execute a party theme well – just three! Don’t feel pressure from the Perfection Monster to do any more than that. It’s much better to keep things simple than to let the Perfection Monster drive you crazy.
Imperfection creates comfort.
You probably know that the Perfection Monster is a cruel taskmaster who will push us to any lengths to impress guests. But oftentimes instead of impressing them, he’s actually making them feel uncomfortable. For example, when people enter a perfectly spotless house, it can feel stuffy and uninviting. A little clutter here and there makes people feel like they’re entering a real house, where real people live. The imperfection is what helps them relax and enjoy themselves. As hostesses, we’ll feel more comfortable by allowing imperfection, too. So take that, Perfection Monster!
Expect things to go wrong.
The Perfection Monster has a rigid plan for how things will happen at the party, and he gets M-A-D when things don’t go exactly according to plan. Well, guess what? Things always go wrong, so plan on that. You won’t know exactly what those things will be or when they will happen (probably on the day of the party if I had to guess!), but if you’re mentally prepared that something could go, will go, wrong, you can quickly bounce back without all of the drama and stress that the Perfection Monster loves to bring into the mix.
When you keep these four things in mind as you plan your parties, you’ll scare the Party Perfection Monster back under the bed where he belongs. Of course, then you’ll have a monster under your bed…well, you get the point!
If you’d like more tips on how to plan a wonderful, stress-free party, check out my Frazzled to Fabulous: How to Plan a Party video series. It’s full of easy tips that I’ve honed planning social and corporate events over the last 10+ years.