How To Create A Stress Free Seating Arrangment
“No politics, no religion.”
It’s a hard-and-fast rule of keeping the peace at family gatherings. But even if you stick to this decree, there’s no way to ensure that there won’t be conflict when everyone sits down to eat.
That doesn’t mean you’re helpless. When we were putting together our Holiday Guide for this year, we were pleased to come across an article in Real Simple that suggested seating people according to their personalities. Try it this year and see if it leads you to a lively-yet-civil gathering.
This one speaks for itself. You’re the host, seated at the end of the table, close to the kitchen so you can change courses, refresh drinks, etc. Keep things light and upbeat and your guests will follow suit.
This is the guest who can’t stop talking, so seat them next to a guest who is happy to just sit and listen. Seat them at the end of the table, so they don’t swallow the conversation from the middle.
This is the guest who is up to date on all the juiciest information and doesn’t mind passing it along. Seat them next to yourself, the Charmer or the Outsider.
Do you have a Diva on your guest list? Sit them next to the Introvert, who will be happy to let others fill up the quiet spaces in the conversation.
Any gathering would be lucky to have the Charmer, the guy or gal that will delight whatever guest they encounter. They’ll make everyone feel welcome, and take some of the hosting duties off your shoulders.
This guest will likely ignore the first half of the “No Politics, No Religion” rule. You can let them, if you get them to dial their opinions back. If they know what they’re talking about, it can make for good conversation. Sit them with the Diva or the Entertainer, away from the Introvert or Gossip.
This guest has the best stories or the coolest job or the most interesting talent, and can command the room without exhausting everyone.
This one is a wildcard. They’re another guest’s new significant other, or a last-minute invite. They should sit next to whoever invited them, or next to you or the Charmer.
To learn more about dealing with distressing guests, setting the table and other entertaining tips, be sure to download our holiday guide for 2016. Good luck!