View Full Version : How can I say "no" nicely


midnightstar
04-10-16, 08:26 AM
Basically my father and his wife want me to go to a party they have on and I can't go to it for 2 reasons.

Reason 1) I work and can't guarantee to be able to get the time off (this excuse won't wash with my father because he thinks the world revolves around him and he will kick off at everyone if I use that reason)

Reason 2) there's nobody who can look after Ebony and Tigger (and if I use this as a reason he'll be most likely to say why don't I dump them both at the vets and have both of them euthanised even though there ain't anything wrong with Tigger) - he hates cats.

Also I don't enjoy parties but even that reason won't wash with him. He thinks the world revolves around him and if anyone dares to think different he'll kick off.

He's basically an asswhole and any advice would be appreciated.

Little Missy
04-10-16, 08:41 AM
A simple "No, thank you but maybe next time."

midnightstar
04-10-16, 08:45 AM
I'm going to see if the work excuse will wash I think - just asked them when it is so they are hopefully going to be more likely to believe my work excuse, thanks Missy :grouphug:

His wife's a lovely lady, it's my father who's the you know what I already said :umm1:

Unmanagable
04-10-16, 09:23 AM
"Thanks so much for the invite! I simply can't make it between working and having no one to take care of my cats. Hope you guys have a great time! I'll be with you in spirit."

Chicky75
04-10-16, 10:20 AM
Why do you need to give an excuse? I can understand the compulsion - I'm the same with my parents, but I've been learning lately to fight that compulsion. I have been going to group therapy & the other group members helped me to role-play telling my mother simply, no, I can't. Without explanation. When I actually tried it with my mother, it was uncomfortable and awkward and I had to repeat it several times, but eventually it worked. I'm hoping that it won't be as difficult the next time.

sarahsweets
04-10-16, 11:00 AM
'No' is a complete sentence.

Greyhound1
04-10-16, 11:01 AM
"Thanks so much for the invite! I simply can't make it between working and having no one to take care of my cats. Hope you guys have a great time! I'll be with you in spirit."

Perfect! :goodpost:

Star, I think Unmanageable nailed it.

Fuzzy12
04-10-16, 11:50 AM
I think you've got two incredibly good and compelling reasons to not go. I can't think of a better reason you could give. I'd give him the reasons and then just block or ignore anything else he says. I know it's tough and I absolutely suck at things like this bit but maybe knowing that you are 100% right to not go under these circumstances might help you to ignore his lack of understanding

ginniebean
04-10-16, 12:51 PM
Midnight, one thing I've learned is sometimes there is no nice way to say something.

Theoretically, a no thank you I'm working/have plans should work and be accepted easily. However, long standing interpersonal dynamics of parents/partner/friends over riding a polite no thanks can descend into a pattern of coming up with excuses which most often will be over ridden with an objection.

This is not so much as whether or not you can be nice enough in the saying but about a long term lack of respect for your choices.

You being nice makes it easy for them to counter and then what should be simple become an emotionally drawn out dance where you either cave or you feel guilt.

This dynamic is unhealthy and puts you in crap positions. People who respect you would not pressure for an excuse. An excuse they can then pick apart.

This generally only happens in long term relationships that have established this as a pattern. Breaking this patterm is not nice for you because it's uncomfortable and wanting to avoid disappointing others. Problem is your fear of disappointing gets used against you.

It takes a while to win back respect, just stay firm, stick with no thank you and trust that your family or whoever won't abandon you for saying "no". They'll still love you tomorrow.

midnightstar
04-10-16, 12:58 PM
It takes a while to win back respect, just stay firm, stick with no thank you and trust that your family or whoever won't abandon you for saying "no". They'll still love you tomorrow.

I very much doubt my father even understands what "love" means, all my life he's only ever come into mine and my brother's life when it suits him then drops us as soon as he can't make use of us any more.

I cut him out of my life and then my brother did the same thing, now he's trying to get back in both our lives again.

TheGreatKing
04-10-16, 01:13 PM
I very much doubt my father even understands what "love" means, all my life he's only ever come into mine and my brother's life when it suits him then drops us as soon as he can't make use of us any more.

I cut him out of my life and then my brother did the same thing, now he's trying to get back in both our lives again.

Well then, i would probably say what i thought but thats because i have no control of my speech when i get mad.he he
I would tell him that my work and my cats are my main concerned right now and i cannot make it and if he doesnt like oh well bye bye. or a simple no thank you, busy.:cool:
and heres a hug :grouphug:

midnightstar
04-10-16, 03:23 PM
Thanks TheGreatKing and everyone else :grouphug:

Windhelm
04-11-16, 11:48 AM
It almost sounds like it might be better not to go just for the fact that he sounds like a negative, vitriolic person. Being around someone who is toxic brings everyone else in the area down. I know I personally avoid people who are vipers if I can. Alas, sometimes they cannot be avoided. When they're family, it is most difficult.

Probably any excuse would result in backlash. And it would hurt, because who wants to hear that from a family member. But if going causes more stress, such as the financial stress of not working a day, worrying about petsitting arrangements, and just being around someone who flies off the handle for a pretty petty reason, yea, maybe best not to go?