Is Being An Unexpected Guest Bad Manners?

Surprise visits aren't always the good kind of surprise.


Trent Armstrong,
January 18, 2010
Episode #116

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Our friend Chris dropped by the email bag with a question about spontaneously visiting friends or family.

Is Being an Unexpected Guest Bad Manners?

Chris asked, “What is the best way to do unexpected/surprise visits at someone's house and actually get in the door?

Thank you for the email , Chris!

I have two important questions for you. What is the need for your surprise visit? Why are you looking to suddenly get in the door?

Of course, there are times when you might need to talk to someone in person or borrow something, but those situations should be few and far between. When you drop in unannounced, it is usually a burden on your host. Burden is a strong word, but I need to make that point very clear. People get up in the morning and plan their day--the more efficient folks plan things to the minute. Though this might seem like a rigid way to move through a day, many people like to get the pressing things out of the way so they can spend quality, stress-free time with friends and family. When you show up suddenly, the whole plan can be thrown off. At this point you go from being a nice person who is sure to be invited to the next event, to the cause of a stressful moment in someone's otherwise pleasant day.

There certainly are people in the world who love to have anyone drop by at any time and just can't wait for that little surprise; however, that does not sound like the type of person you wrote in about.

Always Call Ahead

It is imperative that you call ahead or send an email when you want to visit someone. That is a common courtesy for many reasons. Your friend could have other company, be in the middle of laundry and have unmentionables strewn around the living area, be headed out the door for an important event, or be busy with their kids’ bath time and any break from routine would send the yard apes into a frenzy.


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