Hospitality. It can be intimidating, even scary. You might think your life is too crazy and your house is too messy. Besides, you are an introvert and you wonder just how to be hospitable as an introvert. Isn’t it too stressful?
Hospitality can be hard mentally for an introvert – it takes work to put yourself out there and you feel vulnerable.
And for introverts and extroverts alike it’s easy to want perfect – food, house, entertainment. We want to impress our guests. Less than 100% isn’t good enough. It becomes work.
That puts a lot of pressure on us and on our families. A lot of unnecessary pressure.
(If finances are your bigger concern, be sure to check out this post on how to be hospitable on a budget!)
Sometimes one of the best ways to learn, is just by doing something.
The same goes for this. When you decide you want to learn how to be hospitable, decide to start letting people in!
A few years ago, we decided to make it a year of focusing on opening our home and just inviting in those in our lives. Even when we otherwise might have considered it too inconvenient, even when it might seem scary.
It was a good year and a lot of fun. We got to know people, made memories, and had conversations we wouldn’t have otherwise. Coming from an introvert, don’t let stepping outside of your comfort zone or your personality hold you back. You will miss out on so much!
Here are a few tips for you fellow introverts when it comes to learning how to be hospitable and opening up your home and life.
How to be Hospitable as an Introvert
Stop trying to do so much.
An elaborate 4 course meal isn’t necessary. You don’t even have to do a meal. Try inviting a new friend over for tea and muffins or having a family over for popcorn and a game.
Decorate if it’s your thing, but if not, don’t worry about it.
We all have our own lives, our own strengths, our own likes and dislikes, our own way of doing things. You don’t have to try and copy what someone else is doing.
Instead just start right where you are at. I love this quote from Jen Schmidt’s new book, Just Open the Door:
This one right here is probably my biggest stressor. 3 kids, working, homeschooling, projects. Sometimes it’s hard to keep on top of things.
A perk to our focus on hospitality has been keeping the house a little tidier than it typically was. Sure, some days are chaos, but generally we aren’t too far off from a house that’s clean enough for guests.
That relieves so much stress and makes it much easier to say yes to having people over.
If this is a struggle for you, try implementing a cleaning schedule to make sure you stay on top of things. Involve your kids, they are a part of the family and can learn to help clean and keep things tidy.
Go for Good Enough.
If everything had to be perfect before I went for it, let me tell you, it wouldn’t happen!
House projects take longer than expected. (We’ve lived in the midst of these for many seasons of our life.) Kids keep on playing. Cooking has to happen.
Embrace the imperfection. Now, I know there are some basic cleanliness things that need to happen. (Who wants to use a filthy bathroom or eat food from a grimy table?)
But at the same time, remember that everyone else has the same sorts of things happening in their lives. You opening up your home, especially with real life happening, might encourage others to do the same.
Move Outside your Home.
Okay, so maybe your home is undergoing an extensive remodeling project. Or maybe right now, trying to clean in order to host people really stresses you out. Maybe being in your own home makes you feel more vulnerable.
Don’t let that stop you. Instead, be hospitable elsewhere. Bring cookies and water and meet up with a new friend at the park. Use the coffee shop or a restaurant to visit. Invite a mom to go on a walk pushing strollers. There are so many options.
Look for ordinary moments that you’d normally spend by yourself and invite someone to join you.
Start with Your Friends.
As you begin to get into the habit of opening the door of your home and opening the door of your heart and life, start with someone who is already a friend.
You’ll will have a great time and won’t be as stressed. That will help you be brave and motivated enough to reach out to someone you might not know as well the next time.
Have More Than One Person Over.
Maybe your biggest stressor is fearing an awkward silence. Will you be able to carry on a conversation? Or maybe you worry that you won’t click with someone you don’t know well.
Try inviting over two friends/couples/families so there will be multiple people to keep the conversation moving.
Have over a good friend and also someone you don’t know as well.
Think of Questions.
Most of the time, conversation really does flow easily. As you start talking, subjects naturally come up as you are asking questions and sharing with each other naturally.
If you are still worried about conversations, though, think of 10 questions you can ask if you feel the dialogue has stalled.
Even questions like: “How long have you lived here?” “How many siblings do you have?” “Do you have any trips planned for this summer?” “How did you meet?”
Ask about their kids, interests, hobbies, favorite books or movies, jobs, family life.
If you are a good listener, you will most likely have follow up questions that can be asked and the conversations will go deeper and you can really begin to get to know your guests. Often times your guests will ask you the same questions in return and dialogue just happens.
Relax, and simply enjoy getting to know people!
There are my 7 biggest tips on how to be hospitable as an introvert!
Just decide hospitality is something you are going to do!
Don’t stress or over think it, just do it. It is good. It really is enjoyable, even as an introvert. Take that step and simply invite someone in.
People and the relationships you form really can change your life.
Just open the door!
What tips do you have for being hospitable as an introvert?
Money is another big obstacle to hospitality. Be sure to read this post for ideas on ways you can show hospitality on a budget.
Jen Schmidt has new book out called (affiliate links used) Just Open the Door. She’s the queen of hospitality and loving those around her. To hear her story and glean from her years of experience you’ll want to read her book!
Originally published April 3, 2018. Updated August 17, 2020.