We all experienced this situation: Some kind of friend or acquaintance telling us he/she will come by for a period of time he/she sets and us not being able to say “Sorry, I can’t”. This happened to me lately and got me to thinking about possible escapes and ways to make time pass fast until the – as French say “l’intrus” which I find more appropriate to the situation – gatecrasher will leave my house.
- Dive deeper into work: Stay at your work place after closure time, work on the follow-up of your projects, clean, prepare everything for the day after and get home right before dinner.
- Be clear about house rules: If you are used to living in a clean house, tell the “host” that they will have to respect the same rule and be cooperative.
- Set a rule for shopping contributions: You do not have to spend the double amount of money for food and drinks. You are two: two of you pay. If they have particular eating habits, they will have to take care of them on their own; your house is no restaurant.
- Plan your day following your personal schedule: If you need to see friends or relatives, plan your meetings, as you would have done if nobody gatecrashed your house.
- Second big rule: No parties with unknown people. Your house is no disco too. Moreover, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. It will be better if you avoid the uncomfortable situation of discussing basic civilization’s rules with somebody who will leave anyway. Tell them the neighbors already complained about noise and nighttime curfew.
Nevertheless, the most important rule to solve this and many other bad uncomfortable situations involving social rules and good manners is to learn to say “no”. It is not difficult: it only requires us to be direct and not give too much value to the opinion of someone who definitely does not take into account our private sphere and our feelings. Anyways, saying “no, I can’t” is definitely more polite and well-mannered than gatecrashing your home.