Some quick background.

I am the second of five children in my family. I live with my older sister in a city located at 88 miles from our hometown. I'm 27 years old and my sister is 29. Meanwhile the rest of my family live in my hometown.

The problem

My youngest sister (20) had been acting the past months in a way that is already unbearable for the rest of my family. She is mean to everyone and doesn't like to do chores, recently quit her job and sleeps almost all day. Two days ago, she had a huge fight with my mom and left the house without giving notice of where was she going to go. She was "missing" for about a day and a half, didn't answer calls and had all of us worried for her.

She finally called me and told me she was staying in a hotel room and eating junk food (she has the money of her severance payment) and also told me she was definitely not going to return home. She asked me to let her live in my flat (the one I share with my sister) and if I said no, she would do anything else but return home. I said yes, but I know she plans now to settle in this city, find a job, etc., the thing is I don't really want to live with her permanently altought she is my sister because our personalities don't have a good match and I don't entirely trust her. I just want to help her temporarily and I want to state that to her really clearly to avoid misunderstandings.


What is the best way to make clear to my sister that I won't let her to live forever in my house?

  • 3
    How confrontational are you willing to be if needed? Jul 13, 2018 at 19:39
  • @TheRealLester I don't want to be confrontational, totally the opposite, I want to be comprehensive and caring.
    – Wendy
    Jul 13, 2018 at 19:51
  • Have you discussed this with your older sister yet? If so, how does she feel about it? Jul 15, 2018 at 4:13
  • @MonicaCellio My older sister has practically the same thoughts as me. If it would be up to her, my younger sister would stay for only one week.
    – Wendy
    Jul 16, 2018 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


Give her a goal for departure

My in-laws are saints and open their house up to a lot of men who were recently released from prison. They let them stay for a while and help them find a job, participate in family things, etc. Occasionally someone will get too comfortable, or too scared to leave, or whatever, and they have to push them out. Most of them don't have this problem, though. The reason? They determine a goal from the beginning for each of these guys, and some ground rules for living there. They are generally more on the forgiving side, but each of their guests are aware when their time to stay is up, so it can help grease the door.

The key here is to have a reasonable goal for her. Although you should arrive at it together and in a friendly way, you must be stern and you must do it before she moves in, or at least before she settles in. This goal needs to relate to the reason you are allowing her to stay, like 3 months to find a new place, 6 months to find a job and get on her feet, or 4 months to repair her relationships at home, etc. This means that your first step is to honestly question why you are allowing her to stay with you. That should help you to arrive at a suitable criteria for her terms of staying and deadline for departure.

If she doesn't think it is fair for you to limit her stay, I'm sure you can come up with some compelling reasons. Here are a few ideas (some are better than others):

  • If you had wanted an extra roommate, you would have gotten a bigger place.
  • She ought to try setting out on her own and discover herself.
  • She can't pay rent (this is a dangerous one in case she gets a job and starts paying)
  • Your maturity/lifestyle is too different to allow long-term cohabitation without contention.

Just remember, she is your baby sister, and she is going through a hard time right now. Go easy on her.

  • 8
    two additions, in my opinion: OP needs to have a plan on how to proceed if the sister is a) not meeting the targets or b) abused the chance given to her (invite people to party at the flat, steal things...) and OP must be willing and able to do these things if necessary. Jul 16, 2018 at 10:49

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