How can I set boundaries without being the villain?

For years now, I have a relative who has been part-time living with my immediate family and I. The relative would only think they visit but they come nearly every weekend and vacation they have. They stay for days on end. They do not pay for food, water, or electricity. Occasionally they bring snacks for themself or will put in on pizza or something IF I explicitly ask in front of other people. When I try to set boundaries, other relatives think I need to be patient because “they’re going through something.” The relative in question has a job. Has an apartment. And it’s literally been years of my space being compromised. How can I set boundaries without being the villain?


Sometimes you have to be “the villian” to get others to listen. Be straight forward and say you want your space to be your space and a few visits a month is fine but no more over nights and the relative has to ask first.


Honestly sometimes you just have to be the villain. I have an aunt like this. Was constantly in my business and thankfully she didn’t live in town but was always using my place to stay when she would visit and I’d get maybe a 30 minute warning. Eventually i got sick of it and had to put my foot down and a few people got mad but got over it, she hasnt talked to me since but honestly its alot less stressful that way

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It’s not being a villain to stop enabling rude, selfish people. Kick them out, change the locks, and if you get crap from other family members suggest they let those people move in. It sounds like you don’t like confrontation. I don’t either, but they will never leave if you allow this to continue.

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Nothing wrong with being the villain… you have to do what’s right for you regardless of how others feel!

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Boundaries? I would lock the door and leave every time they come over. Sorry, no one home till they get the hint. No one can stay at my house unless I’m there…if I leave, you leave.

Just say no without explaining. You dont have to do anything you dont want to nor do you have to explain why. Next time say no. Next time be clear and firm on you expectations and if they are ignore then be clear and firm that it’s not ok and you will not be helping again. If someone is upset by it then that is their problem. You taking care if you and your space and not being taken for granted is well worth people learning your limits

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Say everyone is sick and you can’t come over…

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Just say you don’t want anyone staying over…no explanation required.

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You can’t! Anyone who sets healthy boundaries will always be considered the villain to those who constantly cross those boundaries. Just set them and stick to them, they will either show some respect or they will move on.

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Convert your guest space to something for another purpose. Dont get rid of it completely, but the less inviting and private their accommodations are, the less inclined they’d be to linger.

Sounds like you have a villain - sucking the life.out of your family over and over so be clear.
This is about you feeling comfortable in YOUR LIFE YOUR HOME YOUR FAMILY , how is that being the villain. You need to say , I feel that things have to change starting now today. These are the way things are done in my home and I hope that you can understand this is MY FAMILY & HOME and we love having you but rules and respect must come together.
Be ready for the person to react badly they usually do when called on bad behavior

So, I agree with a few people in here about make it your own. The less likely you are to be happy with any outcome that you feel that you are making them do something that makes you uncomfortable.

Just think of how much you will gain when you will bring to their attention that you are not a foot rug, and you’re couch is not their bed and your food is not for all. Fix enough food for your family, and don’t ask them to join you. Go out and take a day to your selves, agreeing when you go the house is locked (I would pick a crappy weather day myself).

Clean the house, mow the lawn, pick up animal bombs outside - when they are there, make everyone help, don’t let them watch. If they want to live there, put them to work.

Maybe just maybe they come because they want that family situation they don’t have at home. But, there are a few people that will love those offers, these are ideas.

Politely decline every invitation they give themselves to visit. You don’t need to give a reason because no simply means no. When your personal life is affected, nothing else matters. You’ve helped enough.


Politely say hey, after all this time of me being patient with you, we need to discuss some boundaries. (insert boundaries here) I don’t mean to offend you but something’s need to change a little bit.


Remove the bed from the room.


Stop having sleep overs

If you know they are coming- leave.
Honestly, I would tell them not to come. Apparently they don’t understand common courtesy so you don’t owe them any.

Just say hey next weekend is not going to be convenient for you to come an call me for the following weekend an I’ll let you know then just be unavailable you don’t need to give a reason if they ask why it’s just not convenient or give them a taste of there own meds lol show up at the apt an pile up like company an mooch off them


if your relative spends that much time away from their own home situation, they should consider moving and getting a new job in your area. You might also want to go on a vacation-it may fall on the same week as theirs.

You don’t have to be nice. Tell (don’t ask) them to call before coming over.


You should just be honest and say “hey if your gonna keep coming and staying all weekend using water, lights and food… Etc you gonna have to pitch in here cause we broke broke”. And that’s it. Point blank. The end


It seems like in their eyes you are always going to be the villian if you put up boundaries. Do it anyway. We all stuff going on in our lives and we all have to deal it, not other people. Tell them the boundaries and id they dont follow them, then dont let them come over until they can follow them.


No you have your family your schedules n they’re taking advantage of it n taking you for granted no no no, you’re not bieng mean you have your organized home n your usual schedules n budget ;") why are you supporting extra food utilities laundry n disrupting your home week after week? Maybe once every few months a visit weekend yes o can see that but this no no no way in my book ;"(

Option 1…Can you return the favor and be the worst guest ever hoping they never speak to you again?

Option 2… have a friend pretend to be your new roommate for a few weekends and take their spot.

Option 3… hypothetically come down with Coronavirus and say your house is quarantined

Option 4… tell them if they come back your sacrificing them in the name of insert some God here

Option 5… tell them it’s inconvenient and you need a break from people for a few weeks.


Be truthful and just say what you said in your question post ! I like my privacy so this def would not work for me at all. Once every 5 yrs for a an overnighter is ok then go home . I like my space and I can’t afford another person to take care of

If they have their own place outside of your home then your home shouldn’t be their second home you get what I’m saying? Anything you feel you can say politely just talk to them in private and let them know you’re not comfortable with the current arrangement and certain aspects need to be put into affect before you all can further move on or it can cease all at once…

Your home. Your sanctuary. Your boundaries.

Stop opening the door when they come to your house. You have a family and your loyalty is to them, not the family from which you came.


Simply say “hey we need a little time just us,

Who’s house is it? If it belongs to someone other than yourself then there isnt really much you can do. If it is your house then set boundaries regardless of how your family feels. Put your foot down and tell them if they dont like it and cant respect your boundaries then they cant stay either.


Get your own place. If there’s other family that lives there and they don’t mind, or choose not to say anything, and since you are the one who feels you need your space then I think it’s time to move on.

You will always be the villain when setting boundaries. It’s unfortunate but now you can’t even set these without people getting pissed or offended.

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I can’t tell if this is occurring in your home, or you still live at home with your parents or something. That would make a huge difference in how I would feel about this, and the advice I’d give. Let’s just say, if it’s my house, oh hell no. Now, if it’s your parents house or something, are they expressing discomfort to you? Is money tight for them (like most of us)? Can you give us a little more info, hon?

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When other relatives try to play the sympathy card on the squatter’s behalf, “because they are going through something”, just ask them to open THEIR door. Nothing wrong with helping family. But don’t try to make me feel bad, or tell me how I need to be patient if YOU aren’t willing to do the same things you expect me to do.

Other than that, just say NO.
That does not make you a villain. Others may try to give you that label. But just because they say it, that does not make it so.
You are not wrong for wanting your home to be your sanctuary. Trust me. I have been where you are.
I did not want to be the villain. Now I just don’t care. Call me a bitch. But this bitch is living a peaceful life in her own home.

If it’s your home then just tell them to not pop by that they need to ask if its alright to come over otherwise you wont be opening the door and letting them in. Ppl will treat you how u let them. Ur gonna be seen as the bad guy regardless so may as well really play the part. I dont let ppl in if they haven’t asked or said they are gonna stop by for a bit let alone come mooch off me every weekend raising the $$ I’m spending on bills and food.

Dewey Dollars Naquay Mims

move into their apartment.

Is this YOUR house or do you live with parents and/or siblings? If multiple adults are paying the bills and buying groceries and you’re the only one who has a problem I don’t think there’s much you can do.

Ok if it ain’t your house and it belongs to your immediate family then it’s not up to you…your not very clear