What did my neighbor actually mean when she told me this?

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adromedanblackhole
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25 Sep 2020, 10:43 pm

alexagirard98 wrote:
I have a neighbor across the street from me who really likes me as a person. Back in 2019, before there was a pandemic, she told me i'm welcome to come over anytime. I'm just wondering! What do people actually mean when they say that, "You're welcome to come over anytime!"? I thought it meant I could just show up at their house anytime I wanted. No, I wouldn't go into someone else's house without permission. I would ring my neighbor's doorbell. BEFORE the pandemic, I asked my parents if I could go across the street and visit my neighbor, and they said "No. You can not just show up at someone's house uninvited.". I thought that if someone told me I was welcome to come over to their house anytime, it meant I was ALWAYS invited. I told my parents that our neighbor told me I was welcome anytime, and they told me that she didn't really mean what she said. If that's true, then why did my neighbor lie to me? I would NEVER tell someone they were welcome to come to my house anytime unless I really meant it! I just need to know what my neighbor really meant when she said what she said. Thank you!


Oh my friend! I completely understand this kind of confusion. This is how I interpret this kind of behavior when people say this. What they are actually saying is, I like you as a person and they want to make you feel welcome and embraced by them. You are supposed to just know that it does not mean what was said. I know, WHY SAY IT!?!? There are definitely some people that when they give you this kind of offer they really do mean it. For the most part the communication style in Israel is exponentially more blunt so there isn't the same additional level to communication where you have to figure out what they actually mean. I'm digressing...

So a person like this feels some kind of social pressure to appear additionally hospitable to people. They very much want the PERCEPTION that they are a gracious and inviting person. They want to make you feel good by saying things like this. Yes and whatever reason it does make the OTHER person the rude one when they take their invitation at face value. Yes, it's frustrating, it's confusing. There are some exceptions where people actually mean, no please drop by anytime no notice required but that isn't usually the case.



adromedanblackhole
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25 Sep 2020, 10:51 pm

alexagirard98 wrote:
I forgot to mention that when my neighbor said "You're welcome to come over anytime!", she then said "Just don't come over next week, because we'll be on vacation.". Does that mean she really meant what she said?


Generally speaking, she was anticipating "oh she might take this gesture literally" and then made sure you wouldn't be disappointed if you dropped by and no one was there. What she meant by telling you you're welcome to come over anytime usually just means she wants you to feel comfortable with her, so yes she meant what she said because what she said was code for "hey think fondly of me and feel comfortable being friendly with me"



alpacka
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30 Sep 2020, 8:34 am

If it's a saying, I think it's strange that a person says so and then does not mean it. Ask yourself, would you have said the same thing if you did NOT want the other one to come over at any time? I would not. But in your situation, I would not have shown up to the house unannounced regardless, however, perhaps sent a text first if possible and asked if the person wanted to go out and go for a little walk?


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