Taking the phrase "make yourself at home" too literally.

@megamatt (14331)
United States
August 16, 2011 8:04am CST
When we invite people into our home, one of the phrases that we may use is to make yourself at home. That means to make yourself comfortable, relaxed. That does not give you a license to go through our things like it is your house however. Some people take the little hospitality that is given and stretch it to a level that is not considered to be reasonable. So be sure to feel welcomed but do not start messing with things like you own the place. That's just rude.
1 person likes this
10 responses
@sais06 (1288)
• Philippines
17 Aug 11
The phrase "make yourself at home" is actually a figurative kind of speech which means "to make yourself comfortable". I also often get annoyed with kinds of people like this and always hope that they’d leave very soon whenever they come to our place. That's a gesture of disrespect to the hospitality of the owner.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
18 Aug 11
Figurative phrases are rather something that can unfortunately be taken way too literal. Sadly it tends to really happen at the worst possible times. I don't think that these people would really like it all that much if other people really did the same thing, going into their homes and messing with things. Yet they do the same thing with us. Still it is a great disrespect to the hospitality of the owner of the house for sure. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@sais06 (1288)
• Philippines
20 Aug 11
Well, I appreciate your appreciation. I just wonder how many times you encounter them in a day or in a week that you seem very much annoyed? It's unimaginable having them always at your house. Actually I have seen other people taken their privacy off from them because of these kinds of people.
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
16 Aug 11
in my country, going through your host's stuff (even the host says so) is somewhat rude and unethical. sure they offered something. but that's just because the gesture makes them feel they make you comfortable. but if you as a visitor has enough sense and courtesy, you would give in slightly, if not totally pass, even if you really wanted to. hoever, foreign movies show that visitors are free to roam through the hosts belongings. i don't know if this is for real, or just a case of hollywood.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
16 Aug 11
That's purely an invention of Hollywood well technically they can roam through them. However it is rather unethical for them to do so. At least not without permission. Of course a lot of people simply do not have the most common courtesy out there to do so. So therefore its not something that is accepted. Some people take kindness and interpret it too far. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
17 Aug 11
probably so. i interpret this phrase as "feel comfortable in here just as you are at home".. not literally as "thrash my home as you thrash yours". heeeehheee.. anyway, thanks for the appreciation.
@samaire (154)
• United States
17 Aug 11
When me and my boyfriend start to date the first time he came at my home and took a shower he watered the whole bath! In his home he doesn't have shower curtain so he doesn't use mine. I told him but he doesn't even apologise. The next time the same thing so i started a big fight and he never repeat! So i know what you mean! No matter what you have to respect your hosts ant their property.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
18 Aug 11
It is really unfortunate but at the very least the lesson was learned. There are a lot of people who no matter how many times, they repeat again and again. There were a couple of people who are pretty much banished from visiting my home. Our property is something that is private. Respect the trust that we have given to even allow you in our homes. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
17 Aug 11
hi:) Yes when we have visitors too we tell them to feel at home but it's just mean that we want them to feel at ease and not to be shy to ask things or request something, but not giving them the authority to mess with our stuff or enter to the place in our house that's private unless we invite them there. well if the visitors do that and start messing with your things, it's just saying that they don't know how to respect the house owners, and that's rude.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
18 Aug 11
Indeed that is what that should mean for a reasonable person. Feel free to speak freely, if you wish for anything, ask and we'll see what we can do. Do not feel like you have full run of the house however. There is a great deal of respect that you need to use when going into the home of another. Especially int his day and age, where a great deal of trust is required. Its all about respect. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
• Australia
17 Aug 11
Yes i think that too, sometimes people take words way to litterally and for more than what they are. Telling someone to make themselves at home doesn't give them the right to go through your belongings, I agree that's rude. I wouldn't let myself into someone else's house like that and i wouldn't like anyone to come into my house and go through my things like it is their own. I like to show respect to the householder when i am visiting and i expect no less in my home or you can get out.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
18 Aug 11
It really is important to show respect. I mean, we are inviting you into our home. Therefore you should really show some amount of respect to say the very least. There are a lot of things that visitors have done in the past when they show up at my home, that I would have never really done in the past. A lot of people tend to feel a bit too comfortable and they take the words a bit too literal. Yet there are a lot of times where they take that kindness too far. And then when we call them upon that, they might tend to shoot us a dirty look, which really annoys me, as they act like we are in the wrong. No, you're the one's in the wrong. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
17 Aug 11
I agree! We hosted a party at our home recently and guests were just down right rude! One guest was seen going through our medicine cabinet and another was opening drawers in the bathroom. I feel that if a guest is in need of something they should ask the hostess and let the hostess get the item for them rather than to go through their drawers and cabinets!
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
17 Aug 11
Yes, indeed, they should rather ask. What's the worse that can happen? You get told "no" or "sorry, can't help you there." It is really not the end of the world. In fact if you ask, there is a pretty good chance that people might be more inclined to assist for you any number of reasons. Instead of you know, just taking it upon yourself to go through the things of another person. Then again, some people don't think about that. So they take that rude route and abuse the hospitality. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@dodo19 (32543)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
16 Aug 11
I do agree that it is rude to go through your host's things, even if the host has said that they can make themselves at home. You can make yourself at home, but within reason. There is a limit as to what you can do, even with this invitation.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
17 Aug 11
There is certainly a limit for sure. And there are a lot of people who really think that they can tip toe over said limit when they feel as if they ca do it. There are a lot of people who really do feel that there are a lot of ways that they can interpret that one statement. A lot of liberties that can in fact be taken. Still there are limits and while I welcome you, that's not an open license. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
• United States
16 Aug 11
yeah I'd say thats obvious rules of being polite when people are gracious enough to open up their home to you. is this family? It still isn't good either way if they are messing through all your stuff but I would see why they would feel more entitled to rather than say a friend, because their family. I wouldn't feel comfortable having people over in the first place because its outside of my comfort zone, which can be small lol, but if they were going through droors and looking through personal stuff that would just be insane. I feel for you, how long are they staying? Maybe you should politely tell them that your not comfortable with them rummaging through your things. maybe they'll be understanding.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
16 Aug 11
Thankfully these people are not visiting at the moment. Perhaps they have gotten my subtle hints that they were overstaying their welcome and overstepping their bounds. Still this is why I tend to be a bit leery about people into my house in general. Granted people tend to stop by for a visit and if they travel a long way, I kind of do feel bad for turning them away. Of course, if they had called before stopping by but that steps into an entirely new pet peeve. If I knew ahead of time, I could lock the doors that I needed to. Just as a safeguard, not that I'm not distrustful, just to be safe. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
• United States
16 Aug 11
I agree with you that make yourself comfortable does not mean for a guest to literally lie down in my bed without my knowledge and or rummage through my drawers either, lol There are those that actually take the phrase on the literal sense but for me when I am told to make myself a home, simply means not to be shy and have a seat.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
16 Aug 11
Yeah feel welcomed but don't think that you have free lame. Don't really be afraid of sitting down on a chair or taking a few minutes to catch your breath. Be comfortable but don't be invading or nosy. My hospitality can be something that is good but don't really strain it to a more absurd level. Still don't be afraid to sit down and we'll have a nice relaxing chat. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@allen0187 (33150)
• Philippines
20 Aug 11
hi megamatt. sounds like you've had first hand experience about this one. care to share the cliff notes? agree with you about this one. will post my thoughts at a later time as i'm in a bit of a hurry now. cheers!!!