You can’t wait for them to visit, but when they do, you can’t wait for them to leave. Here’s how to deal with guests and difficult relatives.
Living far from relatives can be difficult. Skype can be temperamental. FaceTime can leave you wanting more. But finally, when you do get more – actual visitors from home – you feel like Goldilocks, lamenting it’s too much! Visits from family and
friends are great… until they’re not. Hosting can be stressful so we’ve got you covered with these six simple strategies. They’ll help make your guests feel comfortable while maintaining your sanity.
Make your expectations clear and ask your guests what theirs are. Are they looking for you to drop everything to be their tour guide? Do they want to explore on their own? As Ho Shee Wai, Director/ Registered Psychologist, The Counselling Place, notes, “This will prevent conflicts and disappointments that could arise from mismatched expectations, and make for a more enjoyable visit.”
Dare To Delegate
Share the burden of planning. Ask your guests what types of activities they want to do. Make some suggestions, take their suggestions and you’ll both feel invested. Send them some websites of activities you think they might like beforehand so they, and you, get an idea of what to expect.
Don’t Rush Things
Travelling can test the strongest of relationships. By scheduling some time to relax, you’ll be able to connect without the stress of getting here or there, in time to do this or that. As Shee Wai says, you may also want your guests to see what “real life” is like for you. “This is the rare opportunity for Grandma to babysit; something she would have done back home, but doesn’t get to do with you being away in Singapore.”
Allow Time To Adjust
Be mindful of where your guests are coming from, and where they are coming to. If they are not used to the heat and humidity or the hustle and bustle of city life, for example, give them time and space to adjust, instead of getting impatient. Allow them some time to explore and understand Singapore culture.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Remember they are only here for a short while (relatively speaking). So try not to sweat the small stuff – the idiosyncrasies, the annoying habits, etc. Distance can help us forget the mannerisms of our friends, but after a day or two in your home, the tapping of their feet could sound like a fleet of elephants. Instead of burying your head in a pillow, focus on the big picture: Strengthening your relationships and making memories.
Day Trips To The Rescue
Suggest day trips or two-third day excursions for visitors staying for an extended length of time. With so many great destinations within a few hours, this is the perfect opportunity to let them see more, and gives you some breathing space you may crave. Shee Wai also notes that if you have prior commitments you cannot break, this time will give you the opportunity to accomplish tasks without feeling resentful about their visit disrupting your life.
When it gets tough, just remember: Visitors act like a bridge, connecting you to home. Choose to relax and enjoy the time together, as you show off your new life in your adopted home!
By Kathleen Siddell, The Finder, September 2015