(Adapted from Chapter 11, The Party Bitch: Never Invite Her, from The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic, by Jacqueline Plumez, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.)

Last week I posted ways to overcome The Bitch when “she” tries to make you too uncomfortable to go to a party. But many people are equally uncomfortable about giving a party. Unless you are Martha Stewart, The Bitch will stop you before the invitations are even written, telling you that most people won’t come, and those who do come will be bored and hate the food.

Here are three ways to ditch this Party Bitch:

1. If you don’t like to cook, don’t do it!

The Bitch in your head will try to make you believe that everyone will be disappointed if you don’t cook like a famous chef. Don’t buy that load of crap. There are plenty of inexpensive take-out options. Even platters of delit meats and cheese for sandwiches is a fine option. The point is to get friends together in a relaxed atmosphere at home – not to prove you are a gourmet.

2. Even if you like to cook, make it easy on yourself.

One complicated dish is enough! Anything more will probably take so much time that you will be too stressed to enjoy your own party. Keep a file of recipes that are extremely easy, but look and taste delicious. Ask people to bring hors d’oerves and dessert. Make a salad and serve it separately as a first course. Voila! You’ve created a fancy dinner with very little stress and effort.

3. Keep it small.

The Bitch makes it sound so easy to add more people to a dinner or cocktail party. But then she will roast you afterwards because you didn’t have time to talk to everyone. And you will be too exhausted to defend yourself, much less to have had a good time at your own party!

What to do:

The secret to enjoyable entertaining is to know your limits. Even if you think you are the new Martha Stewart or the living embodiment of Julia Childs, no one has a good time if the hostess is too stressed and sweaty to sit down and enjoy her own party. Even a small party takes a lot of work, so keep it as simple and fun for yourself as possible. The Bitch might say you are being lazy, but I say you are being smart.

To learn more, go to www.thebitchinyourhead.com. And help others by passing this along. And post a picture of you with The Bitch on Facebook!

Read Part 1 here!