A month or so ago I wrote a post called The Almost Extinction of the Drop-In. If you didn’t read it, you might want to read it first to catch up. I was surprised at the response to the post. The comments fell into a few groups:
1. people who LOVE drop-ins
2. people who don’t mind them but want a warning
3. people who don’t like drop-ins
My main and most surprising observation was that the people who didn’t care for a drop-in didn’t feel free to say, “Thank you so much for dropping by, but it’s a bad time,” or to simply not answer the door. Just because someone drops by does NOT mean you are required to invite them in. I think that’s where the drop-in breaks down and gets a bad reputation–when we aren’t willing to tell or accept the truth.
Some well-intentioned people are abusing the drop-in on both sides. They are showing up too often and staying too long. They are inviting people in when they should be telling the truth: that it’s simply not a good time.
Here are my non-scientific tips so that the drop-in-ees and drop-in-ers can all get along. Maybe one day the drop-in can return to its former glory, a not-to-be-dreaded-gift.
1. Don’t drop-in with the assumption that you will be invited inside.
If you are a drop-in-er, above all, you must be able to accept an “it’s a bad time.” If someone tells you it’s not a good time, believe them and don’t take it personally. Think back to your response the last time someone told you no. Did you handle it with grace or did you second guess and get your feelings hurt? If you cannot deal with drop-in rejection, that’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t be dropping in on people.
2. If your friend says, “Yes, come in!” aim for a 15-minute visit. Wouldn’t it be great to leave them wanting more of you?
3. Drop in joyfully.
Think back to your last drop in. Would the person you dropped in on call your visit a joy or a burden? Aim to be a joy as often as possible. There are always times when we need a friend’s shoulder to cry on. By all means, I want my friends to feel free to absolutely stop by when they are hurting–they had better! But if I know that every day I’ll be required to give an hour-long counseling session, I might shy away from the door knocks.
4. Just because you know someone and pass their house every day doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to drop-in regularly.
5. Just because someone is on staff at your church or married to a staff person doesn’t mean they have a personality that enjoys a regular drop-in. We are all created differently and that’s okay.
For the drop-in-ee
1. It’s your responsibility to only invite a drop-in inside if it’s a good time.
You are NOT required to invite a drop-in inside. It’s not their responsibility to know if you’ve had an argument with your husband or if you have diarrhea or if you just need to be alone! It’s your responsibility to let them know it’s not a good time. You are free to say no. Without explanation.
The worst possible thing to do is to invite someone in when it’s not a good time. Southerners, I’m talking to you. To invite someone into your home and then to be secretly mad at them for being there or staying too long is ten times worse than being honest from the start and thanking them for dropping by but kindly telling them it’s a bad time.
You and your friends deserve better. Tell the truth. You can do this. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to pretend like it’s good timing if I dropped-in.
If you aren’t close enough to someone to tell someone it’s not a good time, then you aren’t close enough to them for them to assume they can drop-in.
In other words, if someone feels close enough to drop-in on you, then they are close enough to trust you if you tell them it’s a bad time. Please, please take this to heart. It saddens me how we are doing this all wrong. Tell the truth. It’s okay. Their reaction to the truth is not your responsibility.
2. Evaluate your motives.
Do you not want your friends to come in because your house is a mess? I’ve been there, too. Sometimes this is a sign that we are trying to impress people and focusing on the wrong things. Consider welcoming your friends into your mess from time to time. If your reply is, “Well, then they will judge me and go talk about my dirty house to all our friends,” this might be a good time to re-evaluate your friendships.
3. Learn how to kindly end a visit.
Ending a visit starts at the beginning. If you have a surprise drop-in and you want to see them but can’t afford to spend the entire morning chatting it up, right from the start set the time limit with a quick little, “I only have 10 minutes but I’d love for you to come in for a second so we can catch up.”
If you need to end a visit, then take that responsibility. It’s an art. Say something like, Well, I am SO happy that you stopped by (as you stand up), and I wish I could visit longer but I have to (insert reason –a deadline, scheduled phone call, a pile of work, an errand what have you) (as you walk to the door).
Whatever you do, do not try to reenact an Andy Griffith episode and give all sorts of manipulative cues and twitches that you are tired or need to do something. And WHATEVER you do, don’t get mad when your cues aren’t interpreted. Closing a conversation is not mean. It’s a skill and everyone needs to know how to do so graciously.
The best advice usually comes in the comments and the last post was no different. If you want to drop in on someone, great! Simply text or call first to see if it’s a bad time. (And if they don’t text back or answer, don’t drop-in).
Also, there are different kinds of drop-ins that require different types of sensitivities so feel free to discuss in the comments.
A neighbor dropping by your house with a plate of cookies to welcome you to the neighborhood is quite different than a neighbor stopping by your house with her kids every day after school assuming they’ll be invited in to play for a few hours.
Obviously, this is simply my perspective. I’m an introvert who almost never drops in on anyone outside my inner circle of friends but I also actually enjoyed the close neighborhood life when a neighbor would pop in and stand in the kitchen and talk as I made dinner. I’m also very confident in telling someone it’s a bad time and quite well-versed in politely letting people know I need to go do something else and the visit is over. I appreciate having friends who know I love them and who trust me if I told them it wasn’t a good time.
Your turn! I want to hear your thoughts on the great drop-in debate!Leave a Comment
Honesty in relationships, so important. I live in London U.K. The drop in is an unknown phenomena in my community, yet the need for loving, trusting friendships with real ground level honesty is still so vital
Thank you for this post and all the Godly truth it contains. Bless you
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I agree with Ruth…that honesty, on both sides, rules the day. I appreciate all the dos and don’ts, but it seems kind of sad that something that used to be so simple has turned into something so complicated. In a world that has lost its ability to communicate in person (we are all wired into social media), the drop-in is sadly dying a slow death. I probably sound like an old curmudgeon, but I’d like to see the return of simple face to face conversations. Thank you though for helping us to be mannerly and show sensitivity!
Let’s bring back common courtesy on both fronts. Let’s not get to the point of complicating it to where a class on how to drop-in on a person is needed. I am a simple girl and all the do’s and don’ts make me crazy. If a person abuses the drop-in, deal with her directly,face to face, and pray together about it. I believe it is too easy to say it’s not my responsibility how she handles being turned away. I believe any one can bring a plate of cookies to my door and still have a struggle that needs to be supported. People wear masks and unless we invite them in, we may miss an opportunity to encourage her in Christ. (certainly not saying we don’t need to be honest and set boundaries…so hear me on that) I shiver to think what I would do if God turned me away because of my ever present needy drop-ins on Him. But He is always faithful, merciful, and extends His amazing grace each and every time. He is also sovereign and will see to it we get done what we need to get done. I believe instead of re-evaluating our friendship if she takes it personal, I need to love her, pray with her, extend grace and understanding. These are terrible times we are living in. Maybe you will be the only light she will see that day so don’t miss an opportunity to glorify God. And isn’t that why we exist? To glorify and delight in Him? God will richly bless you as you love your neighbor and are obedient to Him.
Anna Radchenko says
I love what you have to say in this post (and the previous). Unfortunately the only people I feel comfortable dropping in on is my parents (and my husband’s parents)!
I think I’ve sent signals early on in our marriage that I don’t want anyone to drop in ever (we had tons of our friends/my husband’s siblings stop by the first week we were married… it was kind of annoying, I mean come on – clothes like didn’t exist the first few months 😉 kind of nerve-wracking lol!) However, that first year was crazy – my husband was finishing his last year of college, I was in between different jobs and learning how to maintain a household, then we were both working full-time — it was crazy! and unexpected guests weren’t exactly the best thing for us then).
Yet, now, we’re living in a new state much closer to our church and friends, my husband works full-time outside the home, and I’m a homemaker (and I love it!) but it’d be nice to get some drop-in visits every once in a while 🙂 I have my tea cabinet all set up and stocked with chocolate for some fellowship… but I feel like everyone gave up on us now that we’ve been married two years and they don’t visit anymore or even ask to!
How can I transition from being this “ogre” who did not want anyone to drop in unannounced to being an open, welcoming host who would LOVE some company?
The Nester says
email a friend today and see if she can stop by for tea & chocolate! That sounds great!!!
Anna Radchenko says
yeah but then it wouldn’t be a drop in 😉
we’re good at inviting people over.. we’ve been doing so more the past few months: couples coming for dinner, friends stopping by before we head out to lunch somewhere together, etc.
however, it’s the unexpected that I think I’m craving (just a little) I’m usually not much of a spontaneous person… I like everything planned, planned, planned. 🙂 the idea of the drop in rather than asking someone to come over or have it planned is something that is missing – perhaps it will come more so at our first home we’re in the process of buying 🙂
I’ve loved these two posts you wrote about the drop-in! Very thought-provoking 🙂 Thanks!
I think that the more you invite people into your home, the more likely it will be that they will feel comfortable and confident to drop in on you unexpectedly.
Perhaps if you do a few drop ins on others, they may feel more compelled to return the drop in? (Like Heidi suggests).
I live in a very small and imperfect house which is sometimes clean and sometimes messy and a while back I used to dread the drop in and even organised gatherings of any kind at my house (or even elsewhere!) I was always waiting for the moment that I had that better house or that better furniture or that outdoor entertaining area and so on. I now realise that there’s no point waiting for things to be ‘perfect’ because they never will!
I think I read ‘The reluctant entertainer’ just at the right time – now I just throw my door open – only a few times have I had to turn people away. Happiness seems to breed more happiness and anxiety just makes others anxious. People drop in to see you because they love you and want to spend time with you, not because they want to judge you!
Do you drop in on your friends? Maybe if they see you doing it, they’ll feel like they can do it, too!
Susie Davis says
And little prayers for getting brave enough to handle this: “Their reaction to the truth is not your responsibility.”
We live a very free life over here. When I was young, I lived in a place where everyone joined in. There was a club though. We all just turned up there. All of us who weren’t busy.
My home has always been filled with people. Children actually.
Now, some come over some of the time. But lately no one has come over.
Dunno about drop-ins. O but, the kids drop by. Ring the doorbell and stay for the day and night.
Are we dropping by here together daily then.
I don’t mind a drop in as long as everyone is having fun.
What’s going to happen???
Are we all dropping by daily with you???
I would love to have more people drop-in! Even with 6 kids and the constant mess. It’s much more difficult for a mom with kids in tow to be the one dropping by, than to accept visitors.
I think the biggest reason we, personally, don’t have visitors is that we drive 45 minutes to church and are quite far out of the way. Living in closer community with our church family would probably result in more frequent visitors for us, but for now God has provided a home for us that is away from our main community.
Shelli Littleton says
Everyone is thinking it; just not saying it! Loved this. Thank you!
Kristin S says
Some friends of mine have my favorite “how to end an evening” phrase. The husband says, “May I get you some orange juice before I go to bed?” Hint hint.
I love drop-ins. And our house was usually THE drop-in place–for neighbors, for the youth group, whoever. Unfortunately, that phase of my life seems to be over. Now that I am living alone, I desire drop-ins all the more, but, because I am in a new location, somewhat rural, no one drops in. 🙁 And I don’t know them well enough to be the drop-inee!
sorry–that should be drop-iner!
Anna Johnson says
IN all honesty, I have an AVERSION to drop-ins. As an introvert/victim of past abuse, my home space is my safe space and I actually feel threatened by drop-ins. I also struggle with feeling guilty about this. Reading your post helped me realized it doesn’t have to be so black and white. To know that it’s okay to say “this isn’t a good time” is empowering, and to set time limits (I can often give 10 minutes, but not an hour). With good boundaries, I feel I could be more hospitable. I have a problem with either closing off completely OR saying “yes” to everything! This was a good reminder/motivator to listen to how I’m really doing, and be honest with both myself and others. There have been YEARS when I could have honestly said it was not a good time. And some days/times are better than others. Thanks for breaking it down into a more approachable topic.
Gee's Lemonades says
I cant remember if i have ever dropped in without prior notice before. However if i’d put it on scale maybe 7 out of 8 times I’d invite them in joyfully but i like the idea of them aiming for a short amount of time. That i don’t mind drop ins doesn’t mean you can do so and spend 3 hours! hahah
I hadn’t seen your previous post about drop-ins, so I went back to read it before reading today’s post. I’m SHOCKED at the overwhelming number of readers who love drop-ins! I really, really DON’T like them! I’m over 60, so I do remember the era gone by when it was a more common practice, particularly in my parents’ generation. But I’ve NEVER appreciated it, and because I have such an aversion to it, I’ve very rarely done it to anyone else (& when it’s been necessary to quickly stop in somewhere, I’ve made it a point to NOT go inside unless the person absolutely, positively insists–and then I’m outta there within 10 min tops)!
There’s one exception: my very, very best “bestie”! While I have many friends–a handful of “very close” ones–my bestie is the only one who can stop in any day, any time, & I’m fine. There’s truly nothing she hasn’t seen or heard in my home (we’ve both been married to our one-&-only husbands for 40 yrs & have grown kids), and we can be 100% honest & transparent w/ each other.
Otherwise, I just don’t like drop-ins. And honestly, I’d be uncomfortable saying it’s not a good time–unless, of course, I/we were literally getting ready to leave the house or I was leaving in an hr & still had to shower & get ready, or something obvious like that. I understand that I *should* be “real” enough to just tell a friend that it’s not a good time when I’m just not wanting them to stay, but I’d find it awkward to say & would be reluctant to make the person feel awkward/embarrassed. Guess it’s just my personality. However, I HAVE at least made “time” comments when someone comes (like “Oh, hi–I’ve only got about 15 min . . . blah, blah . . . but come on in for a bit”). However, I’ve had times when friends just don’t read between the lines &/or don’t “see” body language very well, & in that case, I’ve gotten a little braver about making a more direct comment. But to flat-out tell a friend at the outset that it’s just not a good time & basically turn them away–I just couldn’t do it.
And, yes, I’ll come clean (pardon the pun): a big part of the reason is that I’m a VERY casual housekeeper on a day-to-day basis. Yep, even though my husband & I are retired & don’t have the kids & their crazy schedules to blame. I DO know how to clean like a fiend when I’m having planned company, but otherwise, I’m a messy, cluttery procrastinator that lets things get pretty embarrassing at times. And, at 63, I’m probably never going to get much better at this (as I used to imagine I would)! And while I know in my head that any drop-in friends most likely don’t give a rip, I just can’t mentally ignore what they’re seeing (even though they may not really be “seeing” some of it–know what I mean?). But my lack of a slicked-up house isn’t the only reason; I just really don’t like the lack of warning & the feeling of being somewhat “invaded,” which I know is too strong of a word, but I can’t think of a better one!
So to wrap up this novelette of a comment: I do love my friends, & everybody would describe me as being quite social & gregarious; however, I very much want/need an email, text, or phone call before someone comes over–and I don’t mean 5 min ahead; I mean more like a day–or at the very least, an hr or so!
Great post on a topic I’ve rarely considered. Just yesterday my male next door neighbour came by because he wanted us to hide a Christmas gift for his sons. It is not unusual for these neighbours to knock on the door but it is unusual for them to come in; normally we stand at the door and talk. Because my husband was trying to fix the washing machine I had to take the neighbour right through our untidy house and I was so embarrassed. That’ll teach me to leave housework undone in favour of other things!
I so love the “broom and bra” text idea. LOL!! So true! I will teach that one to my friends.
We were taught to be terrified of the “drop in” as children of hoarders and anyone who tried were met and kept on the front porch….
As an adult I tried to do the exact opposite and let anyone come in… Thanks for your post. I would like to re-write the rules of some balance on this subject.
I’m of Latin descent and the drop-in is a natural and expected part of the world my parents lived in. My parents didn’t love it,but they accepted it. As they got older here in the States, they missed the drop-ins from their past and wished they had more of that kind of socializing. I never got used to drop-ins and don’t really like them. I don’t feel comfortable telling someone it’s not a good time, though.
Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista says
I like this Nester. I struggle with the I need to leave…someone’s house, dinner, etc. And usually let the other person initiate the end to whatever we are doing. Even if I am tired or need to be somewhere, I struggle being the initiator. I would like to work on this. Introverted people pleaser? Raises hand. 🙂
Me too! Somehow I feel ok telling others “welp, it’s been fun, so glad you came, yada yada, off you go!” But if I’m the drop-in-ee, for some reason, I feel weird saying, “ok, gotta go”? I dunno.
Beth Williams says
My husband is a true introvert and does not like drop-ins at all. I am a small group kind of person. I don’t mind if you’re driving by and want to stop and chat for a few minutes. For me, though, I will usually call someone to make sure they are home & feeling ok before I stop in and say hi!
My hubby and I live out in the county and not really close to people. I have occasionally
“dropped-In” on neighbors who are outside and chat with them. I want to know how people are feeling and if they need anything. I enjoy encouraging people!!
Melanie Dorsey says
I don’t mind a drop in every once in a while but I do mind an impromptu visit that lasts more than 10 or 15 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped in on someone myself.
This is so, so good!
I don’t enjoy drop-ins. I am an introvert (not shy or anti-social, but lots of interaction with other people drains me rather than energizes me.) Working part-time outside the home and attending church actually really take it out of me. I’m a home body and I see my home as my refuge and oasis from social activity where I can recharge and refill so I can go out and do it again. We do invite people over for dinner etc. it’s not that we don’t EVER have people over. I just sort of feel like drop-ins are an invasion of my privacy. Now I sound like a hermit. I’m really not! I just prefer a planned visit to a drop in so I can switch gears and get into my social mode. But if people drop by and my house is a mess…that’s their too bad. Love the idea of a broom and bra text! At least give those of us who don’t like drop-ins that much! And if you aren’t sure if someone likes it or not, err on the side of advanced notice rather than not.
I love the idea of drop ins, but as a nursing mom to a ten month old and pregnant with another, I never know what state of undress I will be in or if my toilet has been recently flushed or not. So at this time in my life I’d prefer the 15 minute warning call so I can flush the toilet, throw the poopy cloth diapers in the wash, and make sure I am wearing pants/bra and the baby has a clean outfit on too. I love the idea of dropping in on others but don’t know how many would interpret that, though I’d be fine to stay on the porch if they aren’t prepared.
My every-other-day drop in is my oldest brother. He lost his wife and he is so lonely!! I couldn’t possibly not answer the door. He has a key and he would come in to check. If I tell him I am too busy he will just be upset and not come back. What is a couple of hours out of my day every other day but to sit and drink coffee and offer companionship to a lonely man. I am caring for a husband with end-stage Parkinson and someday I might be that lonely, need drop-in
The Nester says
that’s fantastic–and also that’s an entirely different kind of drop-in!!
We have new neighbors who regularly drop in with one or more of the kids in tow. We have a puppy so often she is sleeping and frankly it disrupts our whole schedule. The excuse at first is the kids want to visit the puppy. I am not running a zoo! I really don’t want to entertain this dad and his kids on a regular basis. Thank you for your helpful post. I never want to seem unneighborly but it’s getting out of hand. Next time we just won’t answer the door. He apologized to my husband for not stopping by this past Sunday, we were glad they had other things to do as we value our alone time. I just wasn’t sure what to do. Thanks for posting on this subject. I will be more honest with this family when I choose to answer the door.
The Nester says
I’m sure they’d ultimately rather you be honest! xoxo
When I was growing up, drop-ins were a beautiful part of our community. Maybe that’s because I grew up in the deepest, dark depths of Appalachia and all our friends and family lived in “the county” and we lived “in town.” When they came to town, they might just drive by and see if we were home, and if we were, stop in to visit a spell. I never, ever noticed my mother express any anxiety about how her house looked or what she was wearing. She loved company and it showed. She lit up when they came by. And I would drop-in on all my elderly neighbors at least a couple of times a week from the time I was 4 until I graduated from high school and moved away. In fact, I have lamented that my children seem to not know how to speak to adults nor listen to their fantastic stories. Those are memories I treasure and lessons I still build on.
But now I live in the big city and I’m much more introverted and have been told I tend toward perfectionism. But God’s been working on me. A perfect house doesn’t mean I am ever going to be. So why pretend? And I have noticed my introversion could be sliding down that Myers Briggs scale. Yes, God is working on me. I want to be like the lovely ladies who lived on either side of me growing up. I want to be like my mother who made people glad they stopped by. And let me just add, she wasn’t a polished, smooth hostess. She was a simple woman, joyful you’d thought of her and stopped by.
The Nester says
SUCH a great memory of your mom!
I used to be the one to stay for 3 hours, I definitely have learned that it is polite to know when to leave….the people who get up to leave first may be on to something, it’s not that they don’t want to be there, it’s just that they’re being considerate.
I’m part of the “people who don’t like drop-ins” group. Mostly because the drop-in people were guy friends of my husband and they would literally knock on the door and open it without my husband or myself having time to get up and open the door ourselves. This kind of frat-boy-communal-living approach did not sit well with me–especially considering that my favorite thing to do after work is change into workout clothes with no bra. I did voice my opinion to my husband (who thought I was being unfriendly and inhospitable) and the drop-ins have stopped. I’m afraid the whole experience has given me a sour feeling about drop-ins all together. I would prefer a warning call or text if possible (love the “broom and bra” text! That would make me smile while I hurry to spiff up the place–and myself) but would much, much prefer a planned visit.
Is this the adults version of the play date? Seriously, how many of us had scheduled play dates as children? Not me. You biked to a friend’s house and played, period. Now it involves moms and dads and cell phones and planners. We are not becoming more connected with technology, but instead we are becoming more insular and disconnected. I think we are becoming a generation of control freaks. I wish we lived closer to family, as we really miss the days of the drop ins…unplanned picnics, impromptu game nights, coffees around the messy kitchen table. We are living in a time when so many of us do not even know our neighbors. I have to believe that Jesus was a drop inner. Zaccheus, I’m going to your house today! Lord, do not let me ever respond “today is just not a good day, Lord…maybe next Wednesday?”
The Nester says
good thoughts maryrose “a generation of control freaks” there is for sure some truth there.
I think the lack of drop-ins (or last minute plans, texts saying “I’ll be in your area tomorrow, let’s get coffee” is the reason for a place not feeling like home. For 3 years, in two different states, I always felt like a lonely homebody- because if there wasn’t something planned ahead, I wouldn’t hear from anyone. Even on a day when I hide from the doorbell, I can still appreciate that the drop-in means there are people who like me and want to spend time with me!!
Christa @ BrownSugarToast says
My rule for dropping in on people? Food. Always bring food.
It makes virtually every visit better.
Nana Diana says
There is no dropping in around this area at all-unless it is immediate family. They come and go like birds to the feeders-and I love that part of it. This was a great post- it made me think about it-and while I wouldn’t mind being dropped in ON- I would never drop in on someone else without calling first- xo Diana
As a long-time lurker, I’m finally commenting to say I love this post! Seriously, genius! I think it’s really important for people to think of both perspectives (drop-in-er and drop-in-ee, as well as whether people are introverts or extroverts). This post explores both viewpoints excellently (and with such humor!). Love the broom and bra text idea. Also love the idea in the comments section about bringing food as a drop-in-er. Love love love the point that it’s ok to say “now is not a good time.” I love people but sometimes it is just not a good time! Thanks!!!
“Southerners, I’m talking to you.” – this, as a Floridian (i.e. NON-Southerner) currently living in the heart of dixie, made me laugh out loud and be sad at the same time. You nailed it. People, be real. Please communicate. Be free to say no! No more “You’re fine” responses through fake smiles please!! Love your tip on the 15-minute goal and entering JOYFULLY!
I’ve dearly loved your posts on the drop-in, and I wonder if anyone can relate to my consternation on the topic. I’ve always wanted to be that person that effortlessly displays hospitality to anyone, has an open door to any friend who drops by, and always has a snack and beverage ready to pull together and serve. BUT, my fear of being judged for the state of our house on any given day had me fearing a drop-in for YEARS. I would actually strategize to keep people outside by meeting them at the car when they dropped kids off, or arranging to meet at their house or a coffee shop. At the same time, I would make myself a little nuts with my efforts to clean, pick up, and decorate our home to be welcoming and comfortable. It was never good enough, and clearly a little therapy along the way might’ve been helpful. After being married for 24 years, I can now absolutely own up to my feelings being tied to my insecurities and nagging perfectionism. I’ve been in recovery mode for a while now, and I’m improving, but I wonder how many opportunities I’ve lost to entertain the “angels” talked about in Hebrews. Thank you for your wonderful posts!
Melissa McIntyre says
Polly, the past is the past. Learn from it. As long as you’re still alive there will be opportunities! God hasn’t given up on you, He’ll still give you opportunities, just as Him 😉
Melissa McIntyre says
Just so you know, I preach this to myself too! 🙂
I sometimes drop in, but often I am scared I am a bother. If I do drop in, I need to watch it that I leave soon enough. I still have a lot to learn. It used to be my peers didn’t want me around when I was a young as I didn’t grow up partying like they did.Now, it is sometimes hard for me to believe that people would want me to be around.
Karen Main says
The broom and bra text is brilliant. I was a big drop-inner for many years and sadly have let it slide. Great tips for both sides I aim to bring it back in moderation.
If the drop-in-er were my BFF, that would be one thing, but for a little over a year, we lived less than mile from my husband’s parents, and THEY were the drop-in-ers. Multiple times per week. It was so stressful. If they called beforehand but couldn’t get through to us, they would just show up anyway. I was a stressed-out new mom, and this situation caused arguments between me and my husband too many times to count. It has been a couple years since, we have moved about 30 miles away, and things have calmed down…but reading this post nearly gave me post-traumatic flashbacks! 🙂
As a “Southerner” I admit to just what you said. When you have certain people who are always the drop-ins and refuse to take cues or hints, it’s hard not to be mad.
BUT I do like the drop-in. And my motto if you do drop-in is…..what you see is what you get. If you don’t like it you should have called first (or text).
We try to keep it real.
I HATE drop-ins!!!!!! I have literally never had anyone drop by when it is a good time! It’s me I know but I have 8 kids and I just can’t handle it with all the rest if the crazy:). The thing is we host dinners at our house at least 2 times a week so we are hospitable and I even do last minute dinners so it’s not like I’m uptight. Lol:). It just seems like people always drop by between 10-11 (peek homeschool time) or 1-2 (baby nap time) or 3-4 (cooking time). I’m sure it’s works for them:).
Pam M. says
I’ve gotten to the point in life where I can get past my “lived in” home. So, I would love some of my friends to drop by sometimes. However, the people that usually feel free to do this (in my own experience) are the ones that want to stay forEVER and totally drain my energy with their drama. I’ve learned not to answer the door in these instances unless I’m feeling unusually cordial. But, I wish more of the normal people in my life would drop by for coffee sometimes. I’d totally be up for that – “lived in” home and all.
I LOVE the drop in. I wish it was more common – which means I should probably drop in more often on friends of mine – while keeping in mind these helpful tips. : )
Drop-ins are fine with me, during the day, on the weekends, never on weeknights when I’m rushing after work to get dinner & chores done. But the problem I have with most people who do the dropping-in at my house is they are the people who don’t know the “rules” you outlined above. Drop-ins are short visits, not stay all day visits. And they shouldn’t happen every weekend. If it’s happening every weekend, it’s a standing appointment, not a drop-in visit! Also, the person who suggested the broom & a bra text is spot on. If I’m in my jammies with no bra, I am not coming to the door, no matter how much I love the person on the other side!! Thanks for the post!
Joy in Alabama says
I’m a Southerner and it is a problem among us that we can’t say no to inviting people in. However, we have a sort of joke in our family which we tell our friends: when we stand up, it’s time for you to leave. We tell them laughingly and they take it that way, but they know it’s true because we actually do it. Works GREAT! 😉
I grew up in a small town and we had lots of “drop ins”. As a kid, I loved it! I don’t know how my Mother felt, but , she always seemed hospitable in my young eyes and ears. The best drop ins were the ones who knocked on the “side door”. These were the really close friends. Mom would put on the purculator ( coffee pot) and everyone gathered around the kitchen table for conversation.
I’ve always missed that in my adult life.
I did a drop-in shortly after your first post. Showed up with my friends favorite coke and we chatted for a few. She’s struggling with some very deep things and called me the next week to tell me that she didn’t know what made me stop by like that but it opened up some hope in her heart.
We had the most beautiful conversation. You never stear me wrong Nester!!!!
That’s how you bless someone with a drop in! What a wonderful thing to do for your friend.
I am a drop-in type person who likes to visit with a friend if I’m in their area, and I don’t call. I wouldn’t mind if my friends dropped in on me without calling, but that never happens. Sometimes it gets lonely around here! I guess I didn’t realize that it can be annoying to drop-in!
So how do you deal with your hysterical mother in law when she decides to drop in during a “not so good time” (i.e. your husband and you are going through something really stressful and you’re crying) and your husband explains that “now is not a good time” but she decides that it is, welcomes herself in and won’t leave. Later she takes it personally that you tried to tell her that it wasn’t a good time to visit at 9pm on a weeknight while you and your husband need some time to talk….ALONE. and sends rude texts to you.
When a drop inner doesn’t know how to drop in gracefully what are you as the drop-inee supposed to do? Just accept the fact that she dropped by and apologize for not being more hospitable?
The problem with drop ins are that most people who do the drop ins (in my experience) can’t accept it when you tell them that its not a good time and then I always get labeled the horrible, un welcoming ogre who hates visitors…..WHICH ISN’T TRUE.
Drop inners should be considerate of other people’s time by asking themselves a few questions before deciding to drop in un announced.
1. What time does the person I want to drop in on get home from work? 5pm? Oh it’s 5:15 now…..probably not a nice time to bombard them with my presence….I’ll be considerate and let them get out of their work clothes and transition into home time in peace.
2. What do I know about their personal life right now? Are they going through a stressful time? YES? then maybe I should let them know I’m going to be popping by….or if I decided that it might lift their spirits, I’ll bring a small gift (like maybe a shareable food item so that they don’t feel pressured to make me a feast) and only stay for 20 mins
3. Do I feel that I have a RIGHT to drop in on them because of my relation to them? YES! then most likely I will be offended if they tell me its not a good time…..in that case I will not drop by.
Dropping by should be about how you can bless the person you are dropping by on.
I too am an introvert and frankly, detest the idea of drop ins. In this day and age of cell phones, texting, email etc I don’t really see that there isn’t a reason to at least give a heads up before showing up on someone’s doorstep.
It’s hard for extroverts to understand (I’m married to one), but I don’t like people coming over, unless it’s been planned. My home is my private area, my personal space, and I really really prefer to know in advance if you want to drop in. Less anyone thinks I’m a horrid rude ogre, I do kindly visit with and chat with any drop ins, but after 10 minutes, I’m ready for them to leave.
I love having people drop-in. My neighbors and I (well, they’ve since moved) used to drop in all the time and just end up cooking dinner for each other. To me, there is nothing better. However, I do struggle with the gotta go aspect. I have a new neighbor who comes over and talks for HOURS on end about the same things over and over and over again. I usually end up feeding them, but she doesn’t get our cues. Just gonna have to say it’s time to go; however, we have tried that in the past and she stayed because she knew we were just working around out house and her kids could play with mine. Mind you, no work was accomplished. I believe in showing others love, but demonstrating that with boundaries for myself and them is not my forte. Thanks for this post. I will now work on stating the end of a gathering.
This post was something I NEEDED to read! Thank you so much for posting it! I often am one of those people who will invite the person in for a visit even when I secretly don’t want them to be there. An hour later I am regretting inviting them in, as I am thinking of the other things I should be doing. Giving yourself a chance to say no without having a ready excuse guilt-free is going to be life-changing! Thanks!!