We have all been in a situation where someone uninvited either overstays or makes a repeated entrance to your gatherings. Frankly, there is no polite way to say this to someone to his or her face. However, other tactics can be quite helpful. Experiences have proven them useful in most cases.
To start with, you need to analyze the situation. Is this an unwelcomed personality at your workplace? Is it someone in the family or a neighbor?
It can also be someone you were friends with a long time ago and now find the company uncomfortable. Everyone has someone in their lives that they do not wish to spend time with, it is human nature.
We will analyze two situations here:
1. You need to tell someone that they are not welcome to your or your friends’ company.
2. You need to tell your guests that they are not welcome to stay any longer.
Both the situations are difficult to handle and require tactics plus a careful selection of sentences that puts your message across. This can be done with politeness without hurting anyone’s feelings.
If you don’t want someone at an event, try to avoid an invitation or limit the number of guests. If you want your guests to leave, show them that you have to take care of other things now such as bringing the kids to bed or starting to clean up.
1. Telling Someone they are Not Welcome
If you are in a situation where there is a person who gives off a bad vibe, it can be uncomfortable to be around them. Politeness does not allow you to invite and hang out with everyone else leaving that one person alone.
It is ill-mannered to do so and can hurt feelings.
Imagine if the same happened to you and you were left out. How would you feel? Terrible for sure.
Whether you are at a general gathering or an office lunch, you have to tell them that they are not welcome. Again, a careful selection of words can help you achieve your goal without hurting your feelings.
Use the following sentences to sound kind and hopefully, they will understand.
I am afraid the table is full
Make an excuse when you can. Look around you and point out something that can be stated simply as a fact.
Try not to use words that give off passive-aggressive vibes like “you can sit somewhere else” or “you cannot sit here“. This will only hurt the person’s feelings.
If your table is not full, you can always tell them that the space is reserved for another colleague. You are not obliged to explain if that colleague does not turn up.
Being polite will require you to smile at the unwelcomed person, so do not avoid that. Smile and talk kindly as much as you can.
Only long-time friends are invited
If you are giving out invitations to a party you are hosting at your house, avoid inviting in front of the unwelcomed individual. If in case, they do find out, do not broach the topic.
On the other hand, if they ask you directly, give them a good excuse. Tell them that the party is from your roommate or a family member. You can also tell them that the people who are invited are long-time friends.
In case you do know this person for a long time, tell him or her that you are meeting up for a project. It can sound shady and the chances of them believing you are thin.
On the bright side, they will get a hint that they are not welcome at your parties.
This will also allow them to lose any expectations that they may have in the future. Hopefully, this will get your message across without you being rude.
Sometimes it’s better to stand your ground on smaller events even if it may seem a bit rude as that people think you don’t mind and invite themselves to bigger events such as your wedding.
I feel uncomfortable in your company
There is always the option of being honest. Sharing your feelings with all honesty is one option that you can consider.
This will greatly depend on the person you are dealing with, are they open-minded? Are they considerate of people’s feelings and opinions?
If the person you are dealing with is understanding and sees situations with an open heart and mind, this option is perfect.
Just tell them how you feel and why. The conversation can be quite unpleasant but at least you will get your message across.
Do apologize at the end of the conversation and state that you were afraid of hurting their feelings. Showing compassion and empathy always helps. With any luck, they will understand and stay out of your way in the future.
There is another unexpected chance that at the end of such a conversation, you may end up liking them. They can be a welcome presence in the future and who knows, even a great friend!
2. Telling Your Guests that they are not Welcome Any Longer
As a host, there comes a time at the end of the day when you feel tired. This usually happens when you have been hosting guests all day with cooking and entertaining.
Some people do not realize that they are now entering the resting time of their hosts.
After a long hard day of entertaining your guests, you do not want to ask them to leave and spoil everything. There are subtle ways of giving them the sign that it is time for them to leave.
Look at the following ways to tell your guests that they are no longer welcome without actually saying the words.
Put your Kids to Bed
The best way to send your guests home after a party is to start by putting your kids to bed. Children are the best way to give the sign.
Since children have an earlier bedtime with school the next morning so they can be used as an excellent excuse.
To emphasize the point, you can casually tell your guests to excuse you while you tuck them in for the early morning. You can also tell them you have to be up earlier than your kids to get them ready for school the next morning.
Show Signs of Tiredness
Usually, after a busy day like that, you feel tired naturally. We, humans, try to put our best form forward and ensure that our guests feel at home and welcome. We even hide all signs of tiredness but it can come in handy.
Show off those signs of being tired like slouching, yawning, and briefly closing your eyes when they notice.
Showing these signs to your guests gets your message across without being rude. On the other hand, your guests will feel like they are being rude by staying longer than necessary.
Start Preparing the House for the Night
Everyone has end-of-the-night tasks, which are performed each night. Casually start doing those by one. Like shutting the windows down, putting the lights off the porch, and so on.
Whatever you do each night, start doing them in front of your guests. While you are at it, make sure to check the time once or twice while they notice. This is the most subtle way of telling them that it is time for them to leave.
When a Guest Overstays
This is a situation that many people are afraid of when entertaining guests. If you have a distant cousin or a friend from another city coming over to stay with you, it can be tough.
There is no kind way of saying no to anyone. If you love them, there is no reason for you to say no. Sometimes, they tend to overstay.
Instead of making them feel unwelcome, be honest.
Empathize with their situation and tell them how you feel. If their stay is draining your finances with the increased groceries and utility bills, let them know. If they are staying in your child’s room, let them know that it is time for your child to have his or her room back.
You can also say that your family time is being compromised and the routine that you have taken so long to set is being jeopardized. You can point out facts to make your conversation clear like the office space being underutilized and timings being disturbed.
Always be kind when pointing out such things and get them involved in your household tasks.
It is always kind to contribute whatever little they can, but often, close family members and friends overlook this small fact.
You can tell them with complete honesty that their presence is no longer welcome because you simply cannot afford to.
There is another problem of invasion of privacy when an outsider comes to stay for longer.
Be Considerate and Kind
Being considerate is the way of showing them that you care. Come up with reasonable solutions for your guests like showing them accommodation they can afford.
Tell them you will always look out for them, but sharing your house is off-limits. Shoe them the nearest place they can stay, eat, promise to meet often during the week, and keep reminding them of these rules.
Using a kind tone is always a plus. Make sure to keep your tone in check because even the kindest words sound wrong without the right tone.
Keep calm yourself as such conversations turn into confrontations soon. As soon as you feel that, the conversation is not going in the right direction, use humor to lighten the mood.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.