How To Handle Guests Who’ve Worn Out Their Welcome (With Tact)
Playing hostess is always fun. Having your own place means having a chance to host friends and family, enjoy some quality time with those you love, and embrace your inner Martha Stewart.
For a little while that is. Everything under the sun gets old after a while, and even your favorite people can hang around too long. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page about just how long too long is.
Putting someone out politely is one of a hostess’ hardest jobs. Especially when a guest just doesn’t seem to want to take the hint. When things get awkward, try these techniques for telling someone you ain’t got to go home, but you got to get the hell out of here (i.e. my house).
Put An End Time On Invitations
Getting clear on how long someone will stay before they settle in is the best way to avoid an awkward situation.
End a dinner party with a time and you can announce that it’s time for everyone to leave when the clock says the party’s over.
Suggest A Stay Length
Guests who want to come stay with you “for a while” need you to respond with “I’d love to have you for two weeks.” When they don’t put an end date it’s up to you to make it clear that this visit is only temporary.
Offer To Have A Goodbye Dinner
Say that you want to send your guests off in style with a dinner at a restaurant they’ll love. You just need to know what day they’re leaving so you can schedule it.
This subtly implies that they need to leave soon but you’re going to miss them when they go.
Make It About You
Instead of saying that it’s time for them to leave, tell them that you’re the one who needs some alone time — even though you’d otherwise love having them there.
Tell Them How Much You Care About Them
And that you’re glad you’re close enough that you feel comfortable asking them to leave. When you have to flat-out tell someone to leave — and sometimes you have to — starting with a compliment is the best way to do it.
Get A Little Boring
You’ve been showing them a good time like a good hostess. Now that it’s time for them to go, it’s time to get boring. Most guests will opt to head back home after the fun ends. No more restaurants and movie nights, they’re on their own for dinner and entertainment.
Do Something They Don’t Love
Housing someone who likes peace and quiet? Have more house parties than usual. Scheduling several activities that they don’t enjoy is a gentle way to make your house a less inviting place to stay for the guest who won’t take a hint.
Get Busy Doing Your Own Thing
A little bit of a cold shoulder gives them a subtle hint that you’re ready to get back to your own routine.
Get Them An Uber
Ride sharing can come to the rescue in more than one way. This move works best with tipsy guests who are threatening to crash for the night (and maybe the weekend).
Just tell them that you wanted them to get home safely and that the car is already on its way.
Have Somewhere Else to Be
It’s an extreme measure, but some of us have extreme guests. Plan to stay at a friends, arrange a mini weekend vacation or whatever you can schedule to make it clear to your guests that they can’t be there anymore because you won’t either.
Tell Them The “Bad Guest” Story
Tell them about the last guest who stayed too long at the beginning of their stay (and make sure to include how long of a stay was too long).
The story will gently remind them that they can stay too long and hopefully they won’t want to be a bad guest too.
Give Them A Few Chores
Let them know that they’re crossing the line from house guest to roommate territory by giving them responsibilities around the house.
Worst case scenario you have some help that lifts their stay off of your nerves a little bit. But most guests would rather do their own chores at home than help you with yours.
Find Them Another Place to Stay
If your guest is overstaying their welcome because they don’t know their next moves, sit them down and tell them you want to help them figure that out.
If you share friends or relatives, ask them to play host for a while. Or help them find them a hotel — or a ticket back home. If it takes the cost of a plane ticket to get your peace of mind back, it might be worth the price.
Don’t Wait Until You Get Frustrated
If you have to choose between losing your cool and bluntly saying “It’s time for this visit to be over,” choose to get honest before you get mad.
It’s great to be polite — until you’re dealing with someone who just doesn’t get it. Then it’s time to be clear.