Over-eager houseguest: How to make them actually helpful

by EPI Staff on April 10, 2011

Q: My sister-in law wants to be a good house guest, but that means she “tidies up” my home by throwing out things I need. What can I do?

A: Kudos for recognizing that her actions are well intended. Now the key is to channel her enthusiasm in a different direction. Be prepared for her next visit with ideas about what chores she can do to be useful. Then, if she starts to clean up the living room before dinner, say, “Would you mind emptying the dishwasher instead? That would be a huge help.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmen Garcia May 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

My niece in-law brings unannouced guests to our RSVP events and the number is up to six. I don’t want a family feud. What would be the best approuch ??

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Just Laura May 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Let her know that you’ve only planned food/drink/space/activities for a certain amount of people. Any more overwhelms you and adds stress to your day. If she really, really wants to include these people, suggest that she host the next event. It sounds like you’ve been very accommodating thus far.

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