Do you want people to feel warm and welcomed into your home and have a lasting positive memory of your party? As a host you should always make it a point to greet your guests as they come into your home and say goodbye as they leave. A bad host is so caught up in the food and other details of the event that he or she ignores the most important element, the guests. Immediately greeting your guest says nonverbally, "You come first." Greetings are designed to let those entering the space know everything is safe. Our primal limbic brains are wired to be on guard until we are warmly welcomed into a space. If you are extremely busy in the kitchen, you can give a close friend or family member the job of greeting the guests. Tell them exactly what their "job" is. Whether that is standing near the door and welcoming with a hug or a handshake, taking coats or serving each guest their first beverage. Making sure everyone feels welcome is the MOST important thing. (By the way if you have a excitable dog that barks and jumps make sure you arrange for a positive greeting from your pet or put the pet out of the way with a chew toy till most of the guests are there.)
In addition, kissing and or hugging goodbye symbolically says, "I leave you with affection." With a touch goodbye, the last memory your guest has of leaving the home is that he or she is surrounded by love. Touching on greeting are small social rituals with big impact. There is one fallback tactic that allows you to change this ritual.
So if you are hosting a large family gathering, office party of friends these are tips to make you a great host.
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.