Rolling Out the Unwelcome Mat?

I’m convinced there are some people who need supervision and guidance in public. Not the holding their hands and making sure they get food in their mouth instead of finger-painting walls kind of supervision. More like someone who will give them a gentle nudge when they need it. Or a hard shove.

Case in point, a lady we’ll call Jane. Obviously this is not her real name, but I trust you all know how the “protect the identity” thing works. I met her several years ago. She seemed to be nice so we got friendly. Soon afterward she started doing and saying things that made me feel awkward and at times insulted. It was consistent enough I didn’t feel comfortable with her in a close-personal-friend position. I tried to gently back her off a step. Still a friend, just not as intimate of one.

Funny thing about Jane… She doesn’t recognize any level of friendship other than being close enough to share life details and TMI. If you are her “friend” she wants constant access and to tell you everything… and I do mean everything… that is going on in her life. She also wanted to help herself to little things around my house. She didn’t ask to use or borrow things, she just took them.

The final straw for me was when my mother sent me one of her periodic “care packages” stuffed with little things like chocolate, little toys for the kids and little this and that items she’d bought for me. (My mother is awesomeness, by the way.) Jane was there when I got it and stuck her hand in the box to grab things before I had a chance to see what all was there. I did take everything out of her had and let her know it was for me and my children. She acted quite insulted, as if she hadn’t just tried to steal my gift from me.

Luckily I moved several thousand miles away after this. Between distance and caller ID I was able to avoid Jane for a year.

Until she moved, too. Guess where she ended up?

I took the only evasive action left to me. I stopped answering the phone.

Last week she showed up on my front porch with children in tow. There was a stunned “oh crap’ moment as I stood face-to-face with her. Before I could form a defensive plan she had parked herself on my couch and sent all kids to the park. I had been outmaneuvered by a master strategist.

I had been peeking at my Facebook fan page when she arrived, and she asked me if she could pretty-please check her page. Before I knew it she had commandeered my computer and was loading Farmville.

Thankfully it was hot and the kids only stayed out for a little bit. When they came back in I noticed something odd. She has two boys, and I have three… but there were six boys sitting in my living room. She’d brought the other boy up with them so he could play video games. Um… thank you for volunteering my electronics?

After nearly two hours of my dropping hints, stating I needed to work, pointing out that I was sick and needed to rest, and flat-out asking when she was going to leave, she finally said she was hungry and asked if I needed help getting dinner ready.

Yes, she was inviting herself to dinner.

I saw an opportunity.

I jumped up and grabbed my keys, because I suddenly needed to go shopping. I kept up a nonstop chatter, telling her it was nice she drove all the way up here to visit and too bad she had to go and offered to walk her to the car on my way out. She was finally gone. She’ll be back.

Any suggestions for removing unwanted guests?




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11 responses to “Rolling Out the Unwelcome Mat?

  1. oh man, no suggestions, but it made me uncomfortable just reading this!

  2. People are crazy. Here’s what I would do: don’t answer the door.

    if you do, flat out tell her this isn’t a good time to visit, you’re working and don’t let her push herself in the house. Keep the door mostly closed with your body blocking the entry. If she asks for a good time to visit, suggest somewhere away from your home. Not the park. That’ll lead to playing at the park and then, “can I use your bathroom/get some water/cool off before I go?”

    Suggest something like the mall eatery (unless she would want you to pay for her meal or some crappy thing like that). But pick somewhere public with anything she would need to get her through a couple hours that’s far enough away from your house there would be no direct need for her to come inside.

    Either that or come out and say after her last visit of taking over your computer, taking your work time, inviting her kids to use your kids’ games, and then inviting herself to dinner, she’s not welcomed in your home.

    good luck, hon

  3. No suggestions either, sorry, but Keri’s ideas sound good.

    Good luck in avoiding her 😦

  4. ::stares::

    I really have no words. . . And I have words for just about everything! I can’t believe that!!

    I hate being rude to people, but at this point. . . I honestly don’t see where you have another choice. You may have to tell her you don’t want to be friends anymore.

    If the not so subtle hint of not returning calls just created an unwanted visitor at your door–what can you do? You got to just flat out tell her. She could be one of those people who take everyone for face value, so if you’re not telling her that you don’t want to be friends–she’s assuming the opposite.

    Lots of luck!


  5. Kimberly Farris


    I agree Keri made some good suggestions. If she doesn’t get it verbally, maybe a short note. Telling her that you’re tired of her abusing your friendship.

    Good luck.

  6. Ahh… I’m afriad you all might be right. I have a handicap in that I don’t know how to be blunt enough to tall a person to kiss off. If she just shows up, I have no idea how to get rid of her!

  7. Ilona

    If it had been me I would have told her where to put it. There again I did demand money from a ‘friend’ who invited themself to dinner “to pay for the food”. Funnily enough I never saw that person again :d

    Maybe something like that will work for you?

  8. People who have no concept of boundaries are a real button-pusher for me. I’d be inclined to tell her she needs to see a psychologist and learn how to respect other people’s boundaries before she’s welcome in your house again.

    God, now I’m all pissed off… *mutter, mutter*

  9. Trisha

    Tell her flat out that her behavior is unacceptable and her friendship unwanted. Yes, it’ll be hard and awkward, but it’ll all be over in few seconds. You don’t need to tolerate this.

  10. jodi

    yeah, Kele and Trisha are right. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and tell people in no uncertain terms.

    People like that? Wait till she comes over again. “Then” talk to her. And say, (through the door. DON’T open the door. Talk THROUGH the door from now on. Do NOT open the door unless you know who is on the other side ) “Not interested. Thanks!” And walk away.

    I do that all the time to sales people, people who annoy me, and neighbors. What are they going to do? Break down your door? Of course she’ll knock and ring the doorbell. Let her. And when she calls, ignore her number (or if you have a land-line don’t pick it up), delete her messages un-listened to. Sooner or later, she’ll get a clue. It’s embarrassing standing out on someone’s doorstep. She’ll go away.

    Repeat as needed.

    If she accosts you in public do the same thing. “Sorry, not interested.” And WALK away. It’s called the broken record technique from “when I say no I feel guilty” (old self-help book) Works all the time. Just be consistent and polite.

  11. Susan Tse

    Oh…wow. You should be adamant and consistent about not wanting to see her or be around her. If she persists, just keep repeating your reasons over and over…and not the personal reasons, just the facts, ma’am, just the facts. “I cannot hang out with you because you have instigated yourself into my life without my permission. I cannot spend time with you because you take my things without asking and invite yourself over whenever you please.” Repeat…and repeat again. It’s like dealing with a guest at the hotel (where I work)…you just have to keep repeating it until they get it.

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