Is it a faux pas to ig­nore a knock at the door?

What’s ex­pected when you’re not ex­pect­ing?


Dear Ellen,

Is it rude not to an­swer the door when you’re not ex­pect­ing any­one?

Home Body

Dear Home Body,

If the per­son on the doorstep is some­one you know, it’s only OK to ig­nore them if they be­lieve you are not at home. It would be very in­sult­ing, and pos­si­bly hurt­ful, to let them glimpse your shad­owy fig­ure lurk­ing in the win­dow or twitch­ing the cur­tains, then let them con­tinue to knock in vain. Nope, in this case you must go belly down on the car­pet, re­main si­lent and wait it out un­til they leave.

As for strangers show­ing up at your door unan­nounced, you are ab­so­lutely un­der no obli­ga­tion to an­swer. The only ex­cep­tion is if you live in a re­mote lo­ca­tion and they need help. Even then, you might want to call a neigh­bour or 911 rather than fling open the door to po­ten­tial thieves or postapoc­a­lyp­tic zom­bies. Re­mem­ber, it’s al­ways bet­ter to risk be­ing rude than risk be­ing beaten, or eaten. Read Ellen’s full an­swer at thes­­vice

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