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Visitors must know when to leave

Life & Style

Visitors must know when to leave

Visitors must know when to leave

Visitors must know when to leave

Whenever someone invites me to their home for an evening, maybe a chat or a cup of coffee, I always reassess my comfort and that of my host.  I’ m always sensitive about the comfort of my host as well as mine. I fear being a burden to someone on ground that I have stayed beyond my welcome or I have said and acted in a manner that makes my host uncomfortable. This is something that most people don’t mind about.

If your host is checking their smart phone or their watch, looking at the time, or starting to wiggle or clean up, it may be time to go. If you are engaged in conversation, in the middle of playing a board game, or the host is in the process of telling a story or showing you his or her latest collection in their garden or some new addition to the family album, wait until the activity is over, and make a motion to leave. It’s something like “I think it’s time I hit the road.” And if other guests get up to leave, that’s your cue as well.

It’s always best to leave a little early and have your  host eager to invite you back, rather than have a host hesitant to invite you over again. As a rule, leave so that they want you back, not so long that they look at each other and say, “Oh help, how are we going to get rid of him this time?” Generally, it’s too long if you are the last guest to leave. It’s also too long if you see that your hosts are bored or tired, yawning, or starting to tidy up the dishes.

Visitors ought to know that they are an inconvenience after staying for long. Many families in urban areas have no visitors’ rooms, therefore, it is inconveniencing if you have to squeeze a visitor in the children’s or sitting room for days without end.

Some will for days sleep on the couch without minding when they should be leaving.  Some visitors come with their children and end up inconveniencing you the more, especially in these single room apartments.

When visiting someone’s home, whether they are a close family member, a friend, or a colleague, it is important to be a gracious guest. Your manners could make all the difference between a pleasant stay or a disastrous one.

Be polite in order to ensure that your stay is enjoyable both for yourself and your hosts. You should avoid overstaying your visit. Even though you have been graciously invited into their home, your hosts may have rearranged their normal routines on your behalf. Their hospitality also requires their investment of time, energy, and money.

And if you are staying for a period longer than three days which the prophet of Islam advises, consider putting the arrangement on a business footing, or finding ways to leave and stay elsewhere for a few days to give your hosts some private time.



Isa Senkumba is a social critic

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