At the moment I share an apartment with a friend (quite common in that building). Some people there tend to leave their doors open all day or go about visiting neighbors. So it’s not too unusual if someone tries to open your door without knocking and come in without an invitation. Due to that, our door is usually locked because we value our privacy.
A few days ago an old lady (which we greet sometimes in the halls, but don’t really have a relationship with) knocked in the evening. I opened the door and told her that we were already in bed. She then asked for my friend. I told her she was sleeping, too. Instead of going away she literally shoved me aside and came in.
While I was standing at the door open mouthed she proceeded to shake my friend who was lying on the couch, under a blanket, faking sleep. My friend told her again that she was trying to sleep. No use. The old lady grabbed a chair, sat down, shook my friend again and told us not to sleep because it was still light out.
We told her repeatedly we really wanted to sleep (we were already wearing pajamas) and weren’t willing to have a conversation with mostly hand and feet as there was a language barrier. She finally got the point after about ten minutes and left.
Granted, there was a language barrier, but I found that really impolite. I mean, we gave a lot of nonverbal clues that it was unwanted and were happily ignored.
How does one go about avoiding situations like this politely? 0501-16
If you were ready for bed, there was no reason why you would answer the knock on the door. I ignore knocks on the door when I’m not available to spare that time. The caveat is to answer the door if someone is knocking frantically seeking help.
At the moment anyone, even a grey-haired old lady, attempts to shove past to gain entry to the domicile is the moment you tense your muscles, block the opening between the door and door jamb with your arm or whole body, and refuse to allow the door to swing open any further. You say, “I’m sorry, we are not available right now,” and you shut the door. Hospitality and politeness is not defined as being a doormat that allows boorish people to get their way.