Most people have, at one point or another, found themselves in a situation where they have house guests that stay too long and just don’t want to leave. Whether they have come for a few hours or a few days, it can be awkward to be put in a spot where you have to ask your house guests to leave. Here are a few tips.
Step 1: Discuss the visit with others who live in your house before you make plans for guests. Let each person voice his opinion on how long is too long. If there are extremes in your opinions, agree on an amount of time that falls somewhere in the middle and feels comfortable to everyone.
Step 2: Make it clear to your guests when you are inviting them to come, how long you would like them to stay. There are ways to do this without offending your company. If they are coming for an evening, try something like “I would love to see you Sunday, but I have an early morning on Monday, how about 6 to 9 p.m., does that work for you?” If it is an overnight visit you are planning, say “we would love to have you come for 2 days.” This eliminates the miscommunication that often leads to a house guest that stays too long.
Step 3: Inform your guests about house rules. For example, if there is no smoking inside your home, make sure that this rule is clear to the guest before shy decides to come.
Step 4: Do all that you can to make your house guests feel welcome while they are visiting. You invited them into your home, so it is important they do not feel like they are intruding.
Step 5: Use a sense of humor with house guests that have over-stayed their welcome. Only try this approach if they know you well and understand your sense of humor, or you might offend them. Say something like “Gee, I really have enjoyed your visit, but I didn’t know that I should have made up the guest room for you,” if the hour is getting late and they are showing no signs of leaving.
Step 6: Approach the topic of your house guests leaving by setting up a time in the future to see them again. A good way to do this is to say “I have really enjoyed our visit today, what are your plans for next week? Maybe we can get together again.” Having plans for another visit makes your house guest understand you are just trying to get rid of them for the day, not forever.