Life Advice



Ask Amy: Saying ‘no’ to pushy house guests is seasonal

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: How does one gently say “no” to an acquaintance who calls and wants to visit my area and stay in my home?

They have visited in the past and I am accommodating, but I have kept my actual feelings quiet, so they will be surprised when I say “no.”

They are very demanding and judgmental, so I am stressed out just thinking about them visiting.

They have a strong personality and will badmouth me to mutual friends if I do not comply.

In recent years I have allowed them to enter into my life, only to wish I hadn't.

I know I am being used, but their wrath is something I want to avoid.


I know I need to get a backbone about this, but I don’t know how to say no with a valid reason.

What is a good way to say no — gently?

– Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: I know it must be summer because I’ve received several questions about how to say “no” to houseguests.


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