When you've got family coming in for a visit, telling them to find another place to stay can seem like wishful thinking. But if you just can't face the prospect of putting up with your demanding relatives for days on end, there are ways to handle the situation with tact. The first thing you'll want to do is be up front about the fact that your abode is off limits. After that, you can smooth things out by helping them make other arrangements, financing their accommodations and making sure they enjoy the time you spend together.
Method 1 of 3:Handling the Situation Delicately
1Let them know up front. Prime your visitors' expectations by being explicit about the fact that you don't have the room or resources to play host. That way, they'll have plenty of time to make other arrangements. The news may be disappointing, but it's more considerate than letting them find out only after they show up on your doorstep.
Try cushioning the blow with a caveat: “As much as we'd love to have you at the house, we've just got too much going on this weekend.”
Don't mince words or beat around the bush trying to avoid the topic. This will only come as more of a blow when you finally break the news.
2Drop hints that your home is unavailable. If you just don't have the heart to refuse your relatives outright, you can take the less direct route. When they first call or write to inform you of their visit, innocently ask them where they plan on staying, or mention how much work you have to do around your place. With any luck, they'll get the message without it becoming an issue.
You could also try leaving things vague by saying something like “it's too bad there's no a way for us all to stay together.”
3Be ready to give them a good reason. Obviously, it won't do to tell your overbearing in-laws that you just don't want them around. Have an explanation lined up for why your home isn't the best option. It should be something believable and (ideally) at least partially true so that they'll be more accepting of your circumstances.
Perhaps you're busy taking care of a newborn, or you're in the process of remodeling your only guest room.
Avoid lying outright. Not only is it dishonest, but there's a good chance that the truth could come out later if someone were to stop by.
4Act unprepared. If your family surprises you with a visit, it's okay to tell them that you're simply not in a position to receive company. They might even be anticipating this response, since they decided to make the trip on little or no notice. In this scenario, they'll more than likely already have a backup plan in place, which means you'll be off the hook.
Explain to unexpected guests you have too much going on to show them the attention they deserve.
Stay one step ahead by recommending a nearby hotel before they ask to stay with you.
Method 2 of 3:Avoiding Hurt Feelings
1Choose your words carefully. Someone less understanding might take offense if they feel like you're trying to wash your hands of them. Let them down as easily as possible. Emphasize that your request is being made out of necessity rather than preference. You don't want it to sound like your reasons are personal in any way.
Try to broadcast genuine sympathy and regret in your tone. Chances are, your family knows you better than almost anyone, so they'll be able to see right through a flimsy apology.
Never make someone feel unwelcome because of their personality or behavior.
2Make sure they enjoy their stay. The last thing you want is for your family to be in a sour mood after going out of their way to come see you. Once everyone has arrived and gotten situated, go out of your way to see that they have a good time. Show them fun things to do around town, share meals together and catch up on the details of everyone's lives. Make them feel like honored guests, not like an unwanted nuisance.
Even if the visit isn't going well, remember that it's only temporary and try to power through with a positive attitude.
Successfully talking your relatives into getting their own room shouldn't be used as an excuse to ignore or neglect them. If anything, you should be more eager please since they won't be around as often.
3Don't invite them in the first place. In the end, there may be nothing you can do to prevent an awkward misunderstanding. If you fear that your reluctance might cause conflict, it may be best not to put either of you in the hot seat. Consider coming to them instead, or finding a more neutral way to get together, like a family vacation or reunion dinner somewhere public.
Reschedule the visit for a date that's more convenient for you. If nothing else, this will give you more time to mentally prepare.
There may be times when you just have to bite the bullet and make the most of it. After all, family comes first!
Method 3 of 3:Offering Helpful Alternatives
1Help them find another place to stay. Hunt down hotels in your area and find a few that look clean, safe and comfortable. Make sure the place you select is close enough to your home to allow you to easily meet up. Compile a list of potential options that you can recommend later.
Try to find a place that's centrally located and surrounded by essential conveniences, like restaurants, banks, gas stations and supermarkets.
Browse private condos and Airbnb rentals, as well. These tend to be more homey and inviting than the average hotel.
2Ask someone else to put them up. Call a sibling, cousin or in-law you're on good terms with and see if they'd be willing to open their homes to your mutual relations. Bring up pressing concerns like space, noise or privacy as a way of selling your suggestion. If they agree, it will be a win-win: family will take in family and you'll be in the clear.
Work out an agreement to alternate hosting duties in the future.
3Offer to pay for their accommodations. Depending on the size of the party, you might be able to get everyone squared away on your own dime. Sponsoring your relatives' stay will ease some of the financial burden of their travels. It may also help defuse any resentment they may feel toward you for turning them away.
Surprising your visitors with free lodging is a good way to make up for you asking them to stay somewhere else.
Helping with the cost of your family's trip can also serve as a kind of unspoken apology—“Since we couldn't make it work at the house, this one's on me.”