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.