We all struggle with saying no to a friend or family member, especially if we are close to them. You might experience feelings of guilt or worry that you are letting them down or that they will be mad at you for saying no. Saying no is an essential social skill, but is not something that comes naturally to many people.
The best way to say no to a friend who wants to stay at your place uninvited is to firmly and politely tell them that they cannot stay with you. You do not have to give them a good reason for your decision, as you did not invite them to stay with you in the first place.
Saying no to a friend who needs a place to stay can be awkward, but you can avoid any further unpleasantness if you address the issue and answer immediately. By being direct and firm, you can set boundaries with your friends and still keep your relationship intact. Here’s how to say no to a friend who wants to stay at your place.
Politely Declining Your Friends Request
Having house guests is entirely up to you, but sometimes you can feel pressured to host an uninvited guest who calls at the last moment looking for a place to stay for a few days. Your mind might be telling you to “just say no,” but the reality is, turning down a friend in need can be tricky, even if the “need” is not really a need and instead, someone who is looking for a free place to stay.
Sometimes friends can take you for granted, and perhaps in the past, you have allowed them to, but the time for putting up with unwelcome house guests is over. If it is not convenient for you to have a house guest, then you shouldn’t be pressured to offer them a place to stay for their convenience.
Saying no to an acquaintance or colleague is easier than saying no to a friend or family member. However, relationships with friends and family are important, and you might have to be more tactful when turning down their requests for free accommodation.
Try these ways to say no to an uninvited house guest politely.
- Do not extend an invite when prompted. For example, if your friend calls to tell you that they will be in your city, simply say that’s great and schedule a lunch date to catch up. Don’t invite them to stay with you!
- If they ask to stay with you while they are in town, immediately tell them that they can’t stay with you as you don’t have space and arrange to meet up with them for dinner.
- If they assume that they can stay with you and ask how to collect your spare keys, tell them that they cannot stay with you and recommend a few good hotels in the area.
- Be clear with your answers to avoid any misunderstandings. For example, if you know that your reply to their request is no, don’t tell them that you will let them know later; answer immediately.
- Don’t delay your response to their request. It might be easier to put your friend off by saying that you will get back to them, but you are wasting their time, which they could be using to find another place to stay.
- Try not to apologize for your decision, as you might back down and give in to their request!
Will They Hate You For It?
Turning down a request from a friend does not make you a bad friend. You do not always have to be available for everyone else when they need you. If you do feel guilty at saying no, remind yourself that it’s ok to say no and allow the feeling to pass.
A real friend should accept your answer without trying to make you feel guilty or turning it into an awkward situation. Of course, they could be a little upset with you for not doing what they want and don’t understand why you have said no to them, but they should accept your answer and move on.
If your friend does not accept your no, then recognize it as their problem and not yours. If they try to manipulate you and bully you into allowing them to move in, shut them off and move on – you don’t need them in your life!
If they still hold a grudge and are important to you, you could ask them why they feel like they do and offer them a sympathetic ear. However, they do need to understand that you have your own life and are not there simply to make theirs run smoother. Of course, being a good friend, you will help out where you can, but you should not feel obliged to do so.
When Should You Consider Letting Them Stay?
There could be occasions when having a house guest might not be a bad idea, but the guest should always be someone of your choosing and at your discretion. If you think that it’s ok for someone to move into your space for a short while, then that’s ok.
There are times when you feel like hosting a guest, and it might be fun to do so when it’s right for you, so go ahead, invite your friends over from time to time!
Of course, when your parents are in town, you might have to sleep on the couch for a few days while they take over your bedroom, but that’s ok too!
Here are a few good reasons why you might allow a friend to be a house guest.
- There is no alternative as the friend could not find another place to stay – genuinely!
- You enjoy their company and love hosting them!
- They never show up unannounced, are always clear about how long they will stay, and always leave on time.
- They are accommodating and follow your house rules without causing any trouble.
- They respect your boundaries.
- They are happy to contribute to cover their expenses.
- They bring their own toiletries and don’t expect to use yours!
- They don’t go through your stuff when you are not at home.
- They are considerate and don’t leave a mess for you to clean up.
- They don’t smoke or take over the house with their friends.
- They are self-sufficient and don’t expect you to entertain them.
- They don’t bring their pets with them!
- They always say thank you and leave a thoughtful gift behind for you when they leave.
Having a house guest should be your decision, and you don’t need to explain to anyone for saying no to their request. However, whether they are someone you know well or an acquaintance, having another person in your home is not easy and can upset your rhythm.
Learning how to say no to an unwanted houseguest will help you avoid unpleasantries and bad feelings. By allowing or inviting close friends and family members to share your space at your convenience, you can maintain the relationships you want to keep while avoiding unnecessary pressure from everyone else.