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What Are Your Feelings on Forced Mingling?

Recently I attended a 60's themed party at a friend's house. The house was decorated, the drinks were plentiful, and the guests wore costumes. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a fabulous party, right? Wrong. Nobody really knew anybody at the event, and everyone hung out in cliques on the outskirts of the kitchen. Instead of being awesome it was awkward. The hostess in me was dying to organize some sort of forced mingling: a card game, introductions, dancing... anything to get the party going. Although I believe in making your guests feel comfortable, if your friends from college refuse to talk to your friends from high school, it's your duty, as a hostess to encourage the flow of conversation between all of your guests. I've been known to choose names out of a hat for teams in a pool tournament, require that everyone play a drinking game, and force friends to sit Spanish-speaker, English-speaker, Spanish-speaker. In my opinion it's up to you as a hostess to make things go smoothly and if you have to force invitees to mingle, do so.

How about you? Have you ever done something crazy to get your party started? What are your feelings on forced mingling?

Join The Conversation
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
Yumsugar, you could try this tip for mixed-language parties. Provide a few notes with different phrases in different languages on them (ie Spanish for the English guests and vice versa--it's even better when there are 3+ languages in the room) and get the guests to ask each other to translate them (the catch: guests have to PRONOUNCE the phrases and not show the other person the notes so it adds a little twist to it). That way there is a recognition of the fact that people speak different languages at the party and it will give people a chance to speak to each other. It is fun, also, to have to play interpreter at the dinner table and have each guest see what they came up with. :D
Marci Marci 10 years
I have lots of different groups of friends. Sometimes people have parties and bring all their groups together, which is what this party sounds like it was. Sometimes those are fun, but for myself, I don't mix my groups much. All the personalities are different so I don't put them together often, if at all. Forced mingling usually feels just that: Forced. I don't care for it much.
arianell arianell 10 years
I'm really shy, but I like forced mingling activities because they make me come out of my shell a little bit and talk to people I otherwise wouldn't have met.
yayita yayita 10 years
Thats the weird thing, if you throw a party it's for your friends right? dont all your friends know each other? I through a party a few weeks back and we are all in the same crowed so everyone knows eachother
riotgeek riotgeek 10 years
I hate forced mingling. I can understand why hosts sometimes do it, but its not for me.
puddinpie puddinpie 10 years
Hmm...I've never been to a party (or hosted a party) where people didn't start mingling on their own. Usually I just introduce people and they take it from there. It would seem kind of pushy to me if the hostess/host decided that we had to play a certain game...I mean, we're adults, not in grade school anymore!
rubialala rubialala 10 years
These games can be fun, but it's not always appropriate.
yayita yayita 10 years
I am quite shy and stick to the people I know, I hate when I am forced to mingle. You get trapped in those awkward moments and it just feels awefull
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