There comes a time when someone has to share our space. Be it our homes, hostels, or rooms for days, weeks or even months.
A lot of people love their privacy and space. Many individuals and homes would rather have their house all to themselves without an “intruder” but unfortunately, once in awhile, we all have to allow people into our space, especially in Africa where relationships are valued and the extended family is held with high esteem.
You may have to accommodate a cousin, an in-law, an aunt, uncle or a close family friend.
Hosting guests may not be an issue but hosting long-term guests in your home could pose as a threat to your peace of mind.
Some guests cause little or no problem while others could be catastrophic hence the need to read this post.
You must get ready physically and mentally. Resources and materials must be provided for your guests to avoid awkwardness but even greater is the mental preparation.
You must culture your mind to accept that for the period of the visit, you don’t have your space all to yourself especially if you’re one who loves privacy.
You must develop a shock absorber because your guest may do things a little bit differently from what you’re used to.
You must prepare for annoying things like using your stuff and wasting or misusing your valuable possessions.
Patience must become your bosom friend bearing at the back of your mind that this person probably has a different orientation from you and does things differently.
Set House Rules and Boundaries from the Beginning
If a person is going to be housed by you for a period of time, there has to be a correlation in your lifestyles.
A pidgin proverb says;
“Feel at home” Na him him dey make your neighbor spoil your tv”
Simply explained to mean “Too much indulgence and access gives room for misbehavior”
You must set house rules on things like noise, coming home late, manner of speaking (especially if you have kids), smoking, drinking and other vices.
Anyone staying under your roof should be willing to adhere to your rules.
Keeping mum will damage a lot of things.
You must speak up and explain things like how you do things in your house and what you don’t like.
Communicate politely with your guest, making them understand the pattern in your house.
Correction done in the right way saves everyone stress.
“Lean on me no be press me inside wall”.
You will have to make sacrifices sometimes for the comfort of your guest but you don’t have to outdo yourself. An understanding guest should endure when things aren’t too easy.
See it as an Opportunity to Learn
Living with people (especially those that aren’t family) teaches you a lot of things.
Being hospitable and welcoming is a very great virtue but you can’t do that unless you are open to embrace different ways of living.
The period of your guest’s visit is a time for you to learn their perspective and approach to things. It is also a time for you to learn how to celebrate good habits and tolerate and manage bad ones.