Are At-Home Parties Fun Fetes or Stressful Soirees?

This morning I picked up the phone, only to hear my friend in an utter state of panic on the other end. The cause of her anxiety? An at-home jewelry party she absolutely had to attend in order to remain in the good graces of her new boyfriend's family.

Now, my friend loves her boyfriend. And she loves his family. What she doesn't love, however, is this type of jewelry. In fact, she absolutely hates it.

So, like many women who go to these parties - whether they're selling jewelry, plastic food containers, beauty products or even "toys" - she felt obligated to make a purchase simply for attending.

Hearing the stress-levels rising in my friend's voice made me think about my own at-home parties of years past. Had I caused the same anxiety? Did my friends feel a duty to come to my party simply because I'd invited them? And did they feel compelled to make a purchase for something they hated - or something they wouldn't have bought otherwise?

As strong, confident women, it's amazing that so many of us still find it hard to say "no" in certain situations. For some, it's pressure from commissioned salespeople. For others, it's an obligation to attend each and every family event (Suzie became a "woman," and we're having a celebration!). And for others still, it's tackling every job requested by higher-ups - even if it means sacrificing a personal life.

Now I'm not at all saying that this is the case for all women. It just seems to be a theme I've seen among some I know (myself included). And I'm certain that the brands behind these at-home parties actually want to empower women - not cause them heart palpitations.

So who's really behind this anxiety? It looks like we have no one to blame but ourselves.

In the end, my friend went to the party. I accompanied her for moral support. And we both left with some jewelry we would have been completely happy without. But in all, we had a fun time, and the end result - a stronger bond - made the experience completely worth it.


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