I invited some friends to have supper at my place a few days ago. I cooked a luscious meal including starters, dessert and the works! So, by the time it was 11 o' clock I was just about pooped!
In desperate need of a hot shower and my pillow, I politely asked my friends to leave… But , this didn't go down so well with them.
While one of them left in such a huff because of my "rudeness", the other proceeded to lecture me about my manners. "Whaaaaaaat?" was all I could say in response, "I'm tired!"
I've had some problems with friends overstaying their welcome in my home recently and couldn't seem to find the right way to ask them to just get out!
Some people say that they just don't invite the same friends over again, preferring to make the trip to their houses instead, but that’s not always fun! I like to entertain…
There's always the yawn… "I am sooo tired, shoo!" and hope they'll get the hint. I tried that a few times along with, "I had such a hectic week and I have deadlines to meet!" These seemed to have worked fairly well a couple of times as well.
In desperation, I asked my mother to give me some tips.
"Don't offer them snacks anymore," She says, "If they're getting hungry, they'll go home to eat. And if they want to order in to your place, just say 'no' firmly, because you're not hungry."
When I asked her what to do if they ask to stay over and I don't want them to, she said: "Say you need to be up early to be somewhere. If they become persistent, say no. There's nothing wrong with being assertive.."
Then she told me the story that my father tells of when he and my mom first got married…
His friends would visit them at their home and stayed for hours on end. In order for them to get the message to leave my mother would start to clean all around them. She even went as far as to sweep and mop the floors and polishing furniture!
No one seems to have overstayed their welcome in my mother's house again. Although the story has become a recurring dinner joke, in our family.
So, from my mom's experience and some help from my colleagues, here's what I think may help:
- If you invite people earlier, they will leave earlier.
- If you like to be in bed by 11 o'clock, then don't accept visitors after 10 o'clock
- You're allowed to want to be alone and not feel like company and you're allowed to tell your close friends that. Just say, "I'd like to have some 'me time'."
What do you do when your company overstays their welcome?