Alison Newman can be considered an expert houseguest. In 2019, she and her husband both quit their jobs, said goodbye to their apartment, and traveled around the world for two and a half years. While visiting 10 different countries, including a year when they were stuck in New Zealand due to the Covid lockdown and traveling around the United States, they were often at the mercy of other people’s hospitality. When they weren’t staying in strangers’ houses via Airbnb or CouchSurfing, they were crashing with friends and family.
But since the birth of her first child, who is now 18 months old, she has cut down her travels significantly. For Newman, traveling with a child and living with someone else is no longer worth the added stress. It’s really, really hard,” she tells Yahoo Life. “The amount of stuff you have to pack, it feels like you’re imposing because with young kids you’re on a very set schedule and they have to have a lot of extra supervision. Is required, [especially when] Things aren’t baby-proofed.”
Betsy Verzosas’ children are ages 10, 8 and 6, and while traveling with them has become easier because they no longer need diapers, car seats or strollers, being guests at other people’s homes can still be a challenge. Is. An example: “Our kids don’t really watch TV, but I couldn’t tell if these other kids were living with them, they couldn’t watch TV because our kids don’t, Verzosa told Yahoo Life. This Verzosa forces her to be more relaxed about her children watching TV, staying up late, and eating food she wouldn’t normally let them eat.
Even for people without kids, being a house guest can be a challenge, and 29-year-old Samuel Hansen wishes they didn’t have to endure that. He doesn’t like living at someone else’s place, feeling the pressure of social interactions, and not living on his own schedule. The only benefit of living with someone is cost savings. If I had a choice and unlimited money, I would stay in a hotel every time, he told Yahoo Life. He also doesn’t like staying in an Airbnb because he’s still living at someone else’s place, which means there are more responsibilities. You still have to clean up or put all the bath towels in the bathroom or run the dishwasher or make sure all the trash is taken out. It is not that comfortable.
Priyanka Blackard also thinks that being a house guest is always a little uncomfortable, but for her, it mostly stems from the obligation she feels to change her behavior to fit in with her host’s lifestyle. “I have trouble relaxing and I feel almost strangely obligated to follow the way they live in their house and fall into their routines,” she says, “and I understand that they have the same stuff in the fridge.” Won’t stuff that I have and keep track of when they eat and what they watch on TV.
This is especially difficult when his hosts wear shoes inside as Blackard likes to take off his shoes at the door. I grew up in a shoeless household… so when I go to people’s houses where they don’t take their shoes off, it really worries me and makes me feel kind of gross because you’re outside. are personally tracking all the macro things from space, she tells Yahoo Life.
All these things include sharing space, bringing kids into a new environment, feeling the pressure of social interaction, adjusting your sleep schedule, using someone else’s bathroom, taking off or putting on your shoes when you want to rest. , Eating a variety of food can make you a human being. House guest stressful. But why?
According to Shawn Byrne, a psychology professor at California Polytechnic State University, this is because people are temporarily losing their primary focus area. “The primary area is the central physical space of our daily lives that we own and control, usually our home,” Byrne told Yahoo Life over email. Primary areas support many psychological needs, including the need for control and predictability. Importantly, they are also privacy spaces for couple and family intimacy, rest and recovery, emotional release, self-assessment, and personal care tasks.
When separated from this space, people may feel stressed about meeting their basic needs (such as having privacy to use the bathroom, eating separate meals, getting enough sleep), leading to stress-reducing habits. Being unable to behave” (such as working out, reading, having a glass of beer or wine, watching a favorite TV show) and handling interpersonal matters (such as conflict with other people, splitting costs).
To reduce these psychological stresses, modern etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas, Dianne Gottesman, suggests that guests and hosts communicate before the stay. “I think what makes everyone stressed is that they don’t know what to expect,” Gottesman tells Yahoo Life. From the host’s perspective, it is important to explain to the guest what the guest may be experiencing in a kind and friendly manner. Would a child be sleeping? Are the children running around early in the morning? Are there pets and are guests allergic to pets? Is there a car they can use?
Having these types of conversations in advance helps both parties feel more comfortable, so they aren’t stressed out throughout their trip. However, Gottesman emphasizes that guests should also respect their host’s house rules and routines and keep things neat and clean. You want to be part of the family without being aggressive. She says, you want to fit in because you’re the guest.
Newman agrees, and after being a guest in homes around the world, he has two main pieces of advice to give. One. Always offer to clean up after yourself and help. Even if people say they don’t care, this will send a positive message and they’ll remember. If you’re dirty and clumsy, they’ll remember that too, she shares. Two. Be respectful and follow their house rules. This is especially true if you ever find yourself living in someone’s home in another country. For example, when she was living in New Zealand, a country with very high recycling standards, she followed her hosts’ instructions to clean containers until there was not a single particle of food left in them.
It’s also important to remember that when someone, especially a friend or family member, is offering you a free place to stay, saying yes can feel like an obligation, but you can say no. . Versoza and her husband have found that staying in a hotel with their children makes their summer trips to visit family more enjoyable.
The most important thing is that wherever you decide to live, if you communicate in advance and know the expectations, the anxiety you’re going to feel will be reduced, Gottesman advises.
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