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Man kicks out friend and wife after they refuse to take off shoes inside the house. AITA?

Man kicks out friend and wife after they refuse to take off shoes inside the house. AITA?


It's common practice to take off your shoes in a lot of people's homes, but some people take offense to it. This difference in opinion can cause unnecessary tension between the host and the guest.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for kicking out a friend and his wife for refusing to take off their shoes. He wrote:

"AITA for kicking a friend and his wife out of my house during their visit for refusing to take off their shoes?"

Background: One of my best friends generally, they were just coming to visit normally. When they arrived, I informed them politely that I would prefer they not enter with their shoes on, especially considering that the day before there was a massive cleaning spree all over the place and I'd like to maintain that environment as it was.

He mentioned that it wasn't a big deal, and that he's generally a very hygienic person personally and can guarantee that his shoes aren't going to cause any issue.

I informed him that I don't see how his personal hygiene practices have any particular relation to the cleanliness of his shoes, and declared that I have no particular interest in his personal life and what he does, but that he should accept my desire given being in my house considering I would have done the same were I at his.

He then said I should just get over it and not turn it into a problem, expressing the thought that it's not like I'm going to tell them to just sod off just for this "stupid s$%t". So, that's just exactly what I did since they asked for it.

Now, nearly everyone in our friend group thinks I massively overreacted, in that it's okay to have some kind of boundary or rule but not to the point of turning away somebody coming to visit because it makes me look like a huge dick.

I told them that there are a multitude of pragmatic reasons that perfectly justify not being in people's houses with shoes on, but I don't have the time to debate that with every single individual who shows up to my place.

Also, I was not specifically trying to make it a concern or difficulty, removing your shoes barely takes ten seconds or less, mindlessly arguing about it however is the kind of thing that does waste the time of human beings. And it was at this moment I was blocked from the group chat. To me, this just showed their true colors anyway so I don't really care, but I'd like Reddit's opinion on this. AITA?

The internet unloaded all of their thoughts.

Murky-Mouse1617 wrote:

NTA. In many cultures (mine as well), it's seen as disrespectful of you don't take off your shoes at the door, even if they're squeaky clean. Sometimes people won't let you walk in unless you take them off. Mothers are STRICT with this rule. Others may say your reaction was extreme but the friend is the one who made it a problem in the first place over something so common.

OCDaboutretirement wrote:

NTA. Your friend should have simply respected your house rule regarding shoes. There is no such a thing as clean shoes unless it’s a brand new pair that has never been worn outside. It sounds like you asked very nicely but was met with an entitled attitude. Why do people think it’s okay to disrespect other people’s house rules?

As for the “sod off”, don’t challenge someone unless you’re willing to deal with the consequences. Your friend challenged you and you simply met the challenge.

kurokomainu wrote:

NTA. What those who aren't "shoes off before entering the house" people might not understand is that beyond a rational evaluation of how much filth one person wearing their shoes inside your house can bring in, there is the psychological aspect. It's a boundary where the inside is clean and the outside isn't.

The shoes coming inside breaks that feeling of cleanliness when everybody in the household and all other visitors have been maintaining and respecting it for years on a daily basis. It's a bit similar to a smoker expecting to be able to smoke a single cigarette inside a non-smoker's house.

To the smoker that is nothing, but to the non-smoker it would feel like a violation of their personal space as would any lingering smell. You could argue that the smell from one cigarette wouldn't linger long, but why not smoke it outside to begin with and respect that this is a non-smoking house?

Aetra wrote:

NTA. I’m a shoes-in-the-house person because my feet are stuffed up and being barefoot or in socks for too long hurts but if I’m a guest in someone’s home and they ask me to remove my shoes, I take off my damn shoes. It’s just respectful.

Mysterious-Region640 wrote:

I’m gonna go ahead and guess you’re in the US. In most cultures and countries, it’s considered very disrespectful to not take your shoes off when you go into somebody else’s house.

OP is NTA here, his friends were truly overreacting.

Sources: Reddit
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