So your friend decides to come and stay with you for a few days. Sounds fun, right? You’re excited to hang out and at first, their company is a welcome change. They don’t seem to be showing any signs of leaving, and you don’t really mind. However, what you do mind is the rising electricity bills, the cost of groceries that they haven’t contributed to, and the bathroom time you have to share in the mornings. This can be a real problem if you didn’t set up some house rules beforehand. You might even notice some questionable glances from your roomi when they see your friend lounging on the couch, digging into munchies that you all pitched in for! Well, you need to call in your roomis because the house rules committee is in session.
Here’s your guide to talking the difficult talk with someone who has overstayed their welcome.
1. Talk to them directly
Well, you don’t need an elaborate set of house rules for this. Because if they’re your good friend, you shouldn’t need to beat around the bush in the first place. So talk about your pain points and how them overstaying their welcome is affecting you. Maybe your roomi hates your friend hanging around for so long. Or maybe you are low on cash and can’t afford to host them any longer. Or maybe you just need your personal space! So talk it out with your friend and assure them that you’ll plan another stay sometime soon!
2. Are they in a sticky situation?
If you’ve been the friend indeed by offering help to a friend in need, but feel like they’ve really overstayed their welcome without trying to get back on their feet, what do you do then?
First things first: don’t ignore the feeling that they’ve overstayed their welcome just because they’re your friend. If they are really trying to get out of the sitch, you’d know. But if not, you need to talk to them about it. After all, a true friend should feel comfortable when telling the truth. So ask them what their plan-of-action is and discuss whether you can continue to help them out. Maybe you can bend the house rules for them for a bit, but not indefinitely.
3. Give them a timeline to work with
If they’ve given you their reasons for overstaying their welcome and you can’t possibly just shove them out the door, tell them how much time they have to turn things around. Make a schedule and book in some activities you could do.
Maybe they can chip in with the housework. Maybe they’re an amazing cook and can feed you while they’re there. Basically, think of ways they can help that alleviates their guilt (if it exists) and ensures you as the host doesn’t feel the burden so much. And make sure they too follow all the house rules!
4. Are they swallowing all your ‘me time’
This is more of a personal rule than one of the house rules. But if they’re overly clingy and want to spend all their time with you, there’s a way out of this! Make it clear that it’s your home and you need some time alone to recover from the day-to-day routine.
Even if it’s your best friend, you’re allowed to have ‘me’ time while they’re around – unless you’ve adopted a pet, of course.
5. Tell them the house rules
The worst kind of house guest is someone who doesn’t care for your way of living. So to prevent your guest from becoming one of those, state the house rules to them well in advance and tell them if they want to stay, they need to follow the house rules! Call in the house rules committee if you have to!
6. Let this be a lesson
No matter if it’s your friend, relative or a family member, if you have an experience where someone overstays their welcome, let this be a life lesson for you. Next time someone asks to stay with you, make sure you set a timeline for how long you can bear with them hanging around your home, and let them know the house rules!
The house rules committee is now adjourned!
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