I have the following problem:

I own a house near the beach, in which I go only in summer. Every year, friends ask me (or try to manipulate me to invite them) to come and spend their vacations there. I have already invite some of them once (or even twice at some cases).

Every year they tell me things like "You are so lucky to have a house like that", "I was thinking about coming there again", "Can I come this year as well?", "Can I come because I had never been there and seems amazing?".

These behaviors literally make me very angry, because I feel like they use me. I haven't said anything until now because I usually avoid confrontation, and also because we are friends lots of years I don't want to tell them something that would deteriorate our relationship.

But at this point, because I feel like that is going to continue forever, I find that is very important to communicate with them that: a) If I wanted to, I would invite them by myself b) That it's tiring to have guests every year c) Stop them from inviting themselves in the future.

I am a woman in my 30s.

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    All these friends have also secondary/summer houses (which I haven't been invited to). It's just that they prefer my "location"/house over theirs. – user18954 Jul 12 '18 at 10:40
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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. (cc @JohnBell) – Arwen Undómiel Jul 12 '18 at 11:08
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    Have you tried looking at this question? It deals with a similar scenario. interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/7315/… – user8671 Jul 12 '18 at 11:59

I'm not sure which part of Europe you're in; I suspect that how a Norwegian would handle this would be very different from how a Spaniard would handle this.

When I have friends that want to use something of mine repeatedly (I have a truck and a trailer, and it's amazing how many heavy things need moving on weekends), I make a schedule. When people ask, I determine if I'm interested in having them use my trailer (or not) and then "check my schedule". If I'm OK with them using it, then I schedule a time. If I'm just not in the mood to spend weekend time hauling stuff or setting up my trailer and waiting for it to come home, then it's in use.

That sounds like a decent answer to your question as well. "Can I come visit?" "Sorry, the house isn't available then". Generally people don't ask for explanations and if they do, the answer can just stay with "The house isn't/I am not available at that time." "Can I come this year as well?" "I'm sorry, the house isn't available."

I'd stay away from trying to explain yourself; you don't owe anyone an explanation. If someone asks why the house isn't available, I'd just respond with, "How will sharing my commitments change anything? Thanks for asking but the answer is: it just isn't available".

After a while of your repeating yourself, people will start taking the hint that they house isn't a free vacation property.


Try to focus on the positive parts of their requests:

  • they are requests. While "Can I come and visit you?" is direct, and puts you on the spot, at least it's not "I am coming to visit you Aug 13th" or "why haven't we set the date for my August visit yet?" They are asking if they can visit, and you can decline

  • you don't mention any issues in the visits, like they leave a huge mess or eat you out of house and home without contributing. So while the visits are tiring and you like time to yourself, it's not a nightmare, right?

So smile and either say "I don't think that's going to be possible this summer" or "we'll have to see closer to the date, I'm not planning August yet" as appropriate. Try not to explain why it isn't going to be possible: pushy people just argue with your reasons and try to talk you out of it.

If you like these people and would actually enjoy seeing them under specific conditions (they all come at once to get it over with, or nobody stays longer than a weekend, or they visit your house but sleep somewhere else, or whatever) then by all means include those conditions in your answer. For example:

Sure, I love it when you visit me. This summer I am planning quite a few solo weeks so I can recharge. Any weekend would be fantastic to see you though. How about the 13th and 14th?


An afternoon on the beach with you would be great! [List some of the things you typically do together like swimming, fishing, drinking wine, whatever.] Find a place to stay nearby and plan to come over at least 2 or 3 afternoons in the week. I can't wait!


Is the word "friends" in your question more about "acquaintances"? Friends are typically close people that we want to have around and spending time with them is a pleasure, but in your question it seems like these people are nuisance, a problem to be dealt it. And yet you say that you do not want these relationships to deteriorate...

If you have a specific reason that doesn't offend anyone, you can just keep stating it firmly:

  • "It is my getaway, I like being alone there"

  • "I think the house is too small"

If, on the other hand the reason is because you are bothered by having these people around, but don't want to offend them, you may have to use excuses:

  • "I have already made plans to do x"

  • "I need some time alone/alone with family"

In general some people will take offence regardless of what you say. But you can hope that it will pass on its own.

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    "Friends are typically close people that we want to have around and spending time with them is a pleasure" - I'm an introvert, and this is most definitely not true. I'm extremely loyal and have a number of people I would take a bullet for; that I don't want to be around for more than about 6 hours at a time. There are literally 2 people on the planet I enjoy spending more than 24 hours with, but that doesn't mean I only have two friends. – AHamilton Jul 12 '18 at 14:30
  • The problem with giving reasons like these is that they get argued with - "oh when I was there last year it wasn't cramped at all!" or "I'll sleep on the balcony if need be!". Your "like being alone" and "need to be alone" ones are much better. But they should start with a clear "No" or "I'm sorry, but you can't this year" rather than leaving that for the person to conclude themselves. – Kate Gregory Jul 12 '18 at 21:11

I don't see anything wrong with simply stating

Sorry I appreciate you wanting to come and visit but I really look forward to taking these times for myself

It's a simple statement that is true and gets the point across that you'd rather not have company. You could go even softer in the delivery if you avoid generalizing it and say it more like

Sorry I appreciate you wanting to come and visit but I was really looking forward to taking this time for myself

which gives the impression that maybe another time you'll be open to it

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