How to Handle Uninvited Guests

Nosy neighbors. Pushy "friends." Well-meaning missionaries. Do you know how to handle uninvited guests, or do you get trapped in your own home, unable to move on with your day? There comes a point when company is neither pleasant nor enjoyable, and knowing how to rid yourself of uninvited guests is a must for any homeowner.

Start politely

The polite brush-off works for most. Simply stand up briskly, say, "Well, it's been great seeing you, but I have some things I have to do today," and hold out your hand to shake. Most people will take the hint and exit at this point, allowing you to still come out graciously. If that doesn't quite do the trick, mention that you have an errand to run, grab your purse and keys, and usher them to the door with you. If you have to take the car around the block and back again, it's a small price to pay to get the unwanted company out of your hair.

If you have small children, you can always use them as an excuse. "It's time for Timmy's bath" is a good one, or try, "The baby needs her nap now." You also can cite the need to supervise music practice or help with homework. Of course, you'll need to follow through so your children see you are as good as your word.

Feign illness

When the dreaded door-to-door salesperson or evangelist comes to call, faking illness is often a great way to get them off your stoop. Simply throw on your oldest, rattiest bathrobe and open the door bent over and hacking. Spit vigorously off the side of the porch, and wipe your mouth with your hand before offering to shake, saying weakly, "I'd invite you in, but I fear it's contagious." Most sensible people will beat a hasty retreat.

With a little effort, you'll soon learn how to handle uninvited guests with dexterity. If worst comes to worst, though, fall back on the blunt: "I'm sorry, but you really need to leave now." Sometimes plain talk is the only thing that truly works.

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