One of the most difficult situations you come across is handling house guests who stay too long. Whether it is for a few hours or days, this SocialMettle article suggests some ways in which you can manage guests who overstay their welcome.
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
― Benjamin Franklin
You may be a gracious host, and guests just love your hospitality. However, there comes a point when you feel, “Okay! That’s it. I have had enough now. Please, give me a break.”
Having a house guest disrupts your daily routine as well as spoils your plans for the day. You make the necessary arrangements to accommodate the visitor and be a nice host. You entertain him and see to it that he is comfortable.
Then comes a time when you realize that this house guest has been with you for too long, and he is not showing any signs of leaving. This puts you in an awkward position as to how to tell him to leave. Here are a few cues you can leave for these house guests, indicating that their visit time is over, and they should be going home now.
Dealing with House Guests Who Overstay
Communication is the key to many problems. Let them (subtly) know in advance how long you would be able to entertain them. It is better to be direct and clear in conveying your decision to your guests beforehand, than having any misunderstanding later, which may spoil your relation with your guests. You may say, “Yes, we can have a great time during your two-day stay with us!” or “Yes, we are available tomorrow until 5 pm.”
Providing hints through your behavior like looking at the watch/clock repeatedly, thanking them for their visit, or yawning are indications that the visit needs to be wrapped up. Saying things, like “I am so tired and sleepy …” or letting the guest know how happy you are about their visit and that you will be happy to have them the next time indicate that it is time for them to leave. You may say things, like “We look forward to seeing you in the future” or “Are you taking a bus home?” Your guests may take the cue and wrap up their visit.
Remember that it is your house, and the rules in your house are applicable to everyone. You may explain the rules to your guest in a polite way. Setting ground rules and expressing your expectations clearly will help avoid unpleasant situations or circumstances. For example, if smoking or drinking is not allowed inside your home, make sure that your guests know about this before they come.
Discuss with your family about the arrangements and their comfort levels before inviting a guest. Asking everyone’s opinion regarding the duration of the guests’ stay will put everyone on the same page. This way, you can agree on a time frame which is suitable, comfortable, and adjustable for each member of your family.
Candidly express your feelings about the behavior of your guest. If you openly appreciate his help, then with the same frankness, tell him about his annoying conduct. This openness will send a message across that you will not tolerate everything he does. If you have children, especially toddlers, you need to be more careful. You will need to be direct and make your guest understand the ways to behave and act around children when in your house. You setting clear boundaries can make your guest feel scared or threatened, and he may push off at the earliest.
Plan Outdoor Trips
Plan excursions and picnics so that the guest spends his maximum time outside. This will save your time, and you won’t end up working and doing things for the guests all the time. Also, if he offers to pay for food, tickets, or transport, do not hesitate or deny his help. It is not necessary to pamper your guests so much and drill a hole in your savings. It is okay if you let your guests bear some expenses or you share the cost equally amongst yourselves.
Even after providing hints, if the guests are unable to understand, you can then start cleaning things and wrapping up. Thanking them or mentioning about their next visit are other ways to provide hints that it is time for them to leave.
Involve Them in Some Chores
By assigning tasks to your guest, you are indicating that his visit is not going to be full of leisure and relaxation. As a result, he might want to leave your home in search of an easy living arrangement. However, make sure the chores are not backbreaking. Watering the plants, buying house utilities, walking your pet dog, etc., are tasks that need to be done almost every day, and by engaging your guests in such activities, you’ll be making sure he searches for other living options.
Say That Someone Else is Expected
When your house guest doesn’t seem to be moving out too soon, tell him that some guests are en route and you have promised to spend some time with them. Sometimes, you have to lie to a rigid guest, if he doesn’t realize that it’s high time he leaves your home.
If you are a host who gives too much, then you will be taken advantage of. So, learning to say no when you are expected to entertain a house guest is very important. Being direct and open in your communication will help you avoid guests who overstay. I end this write-up with a quote by Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye―The first day a man is a guest, the second a burden, the third a pest.