Manners Monday: How To Handle Drop-In Guests

One of the trickiest things to manage graciously while being caught off guard is a drop-in visitor. You know the ones who show up uninvited and unannounced? It typically takes place at a time that is completely inconvenient, when your home is the least presentable or when you're dressed in a nightgown while relaxing at home or are otherwise engaged.

Now, I'm all for fun surprises and I love my friends and family dearly but I find myself in this situation from time to time and it's sometimes a bit awkward. There are basically two choices, let them in after you become decent/drop what you're doing or find a clever and gracious way to let them know you're unavailable. Technically there are three, because you could just simply not answer the door at all and pretend as though you aren't home (which if you are sick, may be a good option) however, I personally prefer not to lie or pretend and just face whomever arrives.The key is to do what feels best to you and respond in the most polite and kind way possible. There is no sense in inviting drop-by guests into your home if it's truly a bad time for you, they'll sense it, you will likely regret your decision later and it will make everyone feel uncomfortable.

A classy woman does not feel an obligation to invite an unexpected guest into her home simply because they've arrived on her doorstep. If she does, she'll be left dealing with how to get them to leave. The best response is so say, "Thank you for dropping by, so and so, but this isn't a good time for me. Give me a call in a couple days and we'll get together sometime soon."

If the same person tends to drop-by on a regular basis unannounced or gives you very short notice via voice mail, text message, e-mail etc., it may be time to have a conversation with them to let them know your boundaries and what you're comfortable with. They may not have even thought twice about it if they were raised with an open-door, drop-in anytime kind of family. On the flip side, they may feel a bit annoyed and may not see what the issue is if it's commonplace for them (we've experienced this with family over the years).

At the end of the day, you need to live authentically, stay true to yourself and do what makes you feel most comfortable. Some people (myself included) enjoy more quiet time and privacy than others and guests must respect this.

Of course, this is also a good reminder to all of us to always call ahead before arriving at a friend or family member's home. Most people like to have a bit of advance notice and preparation if for no other reason than the opportunity to be a good host/hostess. If you do show up on short notice and are invited in, adhere to these simple rules on how to avoid overstaying your welcome.

Have you found yourself in this position? What do you say and/or how do you typically respond?

Thanks for Reading!


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