General Etiquette > general

People who knock on your door...

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Last week, DH was going out for the evening. It was just after dinner time, but already fully dark outside. DH went out with some things to put in his car, and a minute later the doorbell rang and there was a loud, impatient banging on the door. I thought it was DH, having forgot his keys or something else he needed, and went to answer it, only to find a tall, unfamiliar man holding a stack of flyers on our porch. The door was already open -- I hadn't looked because I thought it was DH -- and I was flustered and uncomfortable that I'd just opened it for a complete stranger. I didn't feel particularly safe. I said, "Hi, sorry, I can't do this right now" and the man thrust a flyer at me and I took it automatically. He said, "If I could just have a minute to tell you about this --" and I gave the flyer back to him, saying, "Sorry, I can't right now" and shut the door in his face while he was still trying to tell me about whatever it was.

I never did look at the flyer to see what it was about. DH had JUST left (this guy must have seen him leaving) and I was alone with DS. But I've felt rude ever since. Was I?

That's just creepy and no you weren't rude at all. I'd categorize that under "Safety trumps etiquette".

why do you think you were rude? you have no obligation to open the door/accept a flier/listen to a speil from a total stranger who appears on your doorstep. especially if he appears on your doorstep when it's already dark and when your husband had *just* walked out. honestly - i would've been scared beyond my wits (and i don't scare easily) and i would've just slammed the door and locked it. safety first.

it\s unbelievably creepy to me that he just magically appeared immediately after your husband left. may be a coincidence, but I would be creeped out.

Definitely not rude.  Trust your instincts.  You didn't feel safe and you had every right to close the door on his face. He might've been the sweetest guy ever but it's not rude to protect yourself, esp given the fact that he is intruding on your personal territory.

I once refused to open the door for a salesman and he kicked the door and said "open it."  Yeah, as if that was going to all of a sudden convince me I was wrong for not opening it up.   ::)

No, I think /he/ was rude.
First of all, if you want to visit someone, ring their doorbell /once/ OR knock /calmly/ on the door and give them time to answer (or not answer, if they so prefer). If you think there is a good chance they didn't hear you the first time, it is ok to ring once more after waiting a bit. Don't go ringing and banging like a loon as if there is a fire or something. Announce your presence politely!

Secondly, if someone tells you "I can't do this right now", or "this is not a good time right now", don't start into your spiel anyway. Excuse yourself and leave them alone and respect their answer.

It is not rude to either not answer the door, to tell someone politely it is not a good time to visit, or to tell them politely to go away. It is also not rude to shut the door on them if they do not listen.
Yelling profanities at them would be rude. Assertively closing your door is not.


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