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My parent wants me to do something I don't want to do, how can I tell them no?

126 Answers
Last Updated: 10/19/2020 at 9:08am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Top Rated Answers
Anonymous - Expert in Family Stress
November 8th, 2014 2:08am
Sit down with your parents and have a mature chat with them to show them that you understand. Tell them what is bothering you, tell them why it's bothering you. Conditions can work too, example: "If I don't do this, I could do this...".
May 6th, 2015 3:32am
You be honest and upfront with them, and tell them no. They are your parents, not your owner. They can't force you to do anything you don't want to do.
November 7th, 2014 2:29am
Calmly tell them you don't want to do it and give them a rational explanation why. Sometimes parents think they are having us do things that is good for us but they can't always see that it may not be something we don't want to do.
January 27th, 2016 10:04am
Do they know that you donot like what they want you to do, Do they insist that you should do even after knowing that you do not like
November 18th, 2014 9:56pm
It is important to respect your parents wants at times, but if they are pressuring you to do something you do not feel comfortable doing or simply do not want to do, you can politely and respectfully tell them how you feel about the matter. Depending on what it is, I would suggest finding an appropriate TIME to reach out to your parents and explain how you feel. Knowing that it is a good time for them to talk to you can really help gain their support and attention. Let them know you want to talk and ask when they could sit down and talk while focusing solely on you. (Don't try and talk to them about it during work, when they are returning emails to their boss, when they have somewhere to be for work, when they've had a bad day, etc.) I
January 14th, 2016 6:16am
It's always a tough situation to be in when you have to tell your parents that you don't want to do something they want you to do. You are raised up by your parents, and most people grow up with their parents constantly saying no to them. Parental authority is implicit in this way of relating. For as long as you can remember, the parent has been the sole source of survival. They fed you, changed you, made sure all of your needs were met. Early childhood memories serve as a skeleton for further understanding as we grow up, so the imprint is very strong. It permeates many aspects of the way we think about spirituality and god, the government, teachers and professors, doctors, scientific experts, etc. Letting go of this in order to set boundaries a parent can feel extremely threatening because that subconscious link between parental love and survival is one of the earliest memories and thus a foundation for other knowledge and beliefs. My mother was a single parent who worked very hard to take care of me. She loves me a lot, but sometimes she can be difficult to deal with. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and used to break things in the house quite often and date very abusive men, who in turn often abused me physically and sexually. She has cooled down as we have both gotten older, but I've had to work really hard to establish some boundaries with her. When she is anxious or upset, it often helps me to think of mirrors. Mirrors embrace what is in front of them and reflect things transparently, and when the people in front of them go, no trace is left behind. If I sit with myself for awhile until the emotions and thoughts clear through and I stop believing my own mind, sometimes feelings of love and groundedness will come to take the place of the thoughts. From this place it becomes easier to express what really feels true. If that feeling means I have to tell a parent "no", that's okay.
October 25th, 2014 3:51pm
you just have to explain to your parents nicely that what they're asking you to do, doesn't interest you.
November 18th, 2014 4:13am
Explain to your parents that you do not want to do this activity. Tell them how it makes you feel and explain to them why you do not want to do it.
November 17th, 2014 5:03pm
It depends on how old you are. If you are a minor who is living at home, your parents have the right to set certain rules to keep you safe and healthy. In that case, you can still respectfully broach the subject if you think it is negotiable, like curfew, for example, which may change as you become older. But you may also need to let it go and trust that your parents want what is best for you. If it is something you truly believe is unreasonable, possibly even hurtful to you, it is best to get the advice of another adult, possibly someone who knows you and your parents.
March 13th, 2015 5:23am
Be honest with yourself and your parents on how you feel. If you are made to do something that you do not want to do,later on it could make you feel resentful towards your parents.
October 23rd, 2014 10:25am
Just tell them what you feel. It's your life, do whatever makes you happy. Listent to them but tell them that you are happy on your own.
December 11th, 2015 9:45am
"Mom, dad, I don't want to do it." "I have free will and I'm not willing to do what you are asking me to do." "You can do this without me." "I'm not comfortable. Try to empathize." "This does not mean that I'm rebelling against you. I love you, and I respect you." "But I strongly do not want to do it." NOTE ---> If they are asking you to do something illegal, then I'm sorry, but you need to tip the authorities or a trusted social worker in your region. DO NOT let your attachments to your parents distract you from morals and ethics. Take care. :)
October 29th, 2014 8:56pm
Tell them you don't feel comfortable about the situation, and you don't want them to be upset with your choices.
August 15th, 2017 11:36am
Just be honest and provide them with valid reasons why you don't want to do it. If you feel it's wrong, then it is wrong and vice versa.
November 1st, 2014 11:06am
The best way to tell them no,is by showing what you WANT to do and once you do it,they will be able to understand why you are telling no to them!
January 13th, 2016 3:51pm
Sit them down at a neutral place like your breakfast table or your dining room table, and calmly tell them how you feel, and why you feel this way. Remember to be calm and levelheaded.
November 5th, 2014 7:01pm
There are going to be some things you inevitably disagree on. Your best bet is to respectfully explain your views. Try to express it in a way they will understand (based on their world view and priorities).
October 30th, 2014 8:51pm
The best thing I can think of is to be frank with them about what you wouldn't like to do; they're people after all who should be open to reason, and as their son or daughter they should love and respect you enough to listen to your reasons why and react accordingly; you would be suprised how reasonable parents can be sometimes!
January 13th, 2016 5:17pm
The most important thing when it comes to disagreeing with your parents is to keep it as respectful as possible. Think carefully about why you're saying no, then when you're telling them make sure you elaborate on your reasoning. There could still be a disagreement but they'll usually recognise that you've at least thought through your answer instead of just saying no without a good reason. Avoid shouting or being aggressive - if they argue just try to keep your emotions in check and calmly explain that you don't want to fight with them and that you're not trying to be awkward but you don't want to do what they're asking. They should hopefully respect your wishes and appreciate your honesty once things blow over.
November 4th, 2014 6:36pm
Try talking to them calmly, if possible. There might be some reason they want you to do something that hasn't been clear. If you still don't want to, explain your side calmly and concisely.
January 2nd, 2016 4:37pm
Our parents always believe they are doing the best for us, sometimes it can be for their sake more than them. It depends how comfort you are talking to your parents about things. If it is something you really feel uncomfortable about doing, maybe sitting down with them at an appropriate time will help you open up. However, you know your parents. You know the best time to speak to them, if you can at all. Sometimes, we feel like we are letting our parents down when they feel like they are doing the best for us, however it's about what you want to do, as it builds the steps towards your path of your future. Do what you think is best, don't feel bad as it is for your benefit not anyone else. You are in control of your life.
January 26th, 2016 11:50pm
Explain to them why you don't want to do it and try and help them understand how you feel . That way they'll probably ease up. It's important to not feel cornered or forced to do something that you are not ready for yet or comfortable with. Help your parents understand the reason .
October 8th, 2015 3:05am
My mom lives 8000 miles away from me. She is quite "toxic" ! Since she is getting older, I try to call her once a week, just to talk about her 3 young grandsons. I enjoy our phone conversations when she is reasonable but sometimes talking to her is very upsetting. Like this evening, she got so mad when I explained to her that it's hard for me to call my aunt who lives 1000 miles away because I am busy every day with 3 young kids, running a household and volunteering for my kids' activities. I am tired of her keep saying that I stayed with this aunt for a winter break over 20 years ago. Now she has depression so I should call and care for her. To be honest, I don't have good feeling with this aunt. Her husband (i.e. my uncle) is great but this aunt treated me poorly when I visited in that specific winter break. She made me to clean her chandelier, crystal by crystal. When I washed the dishes after meals, she kept turning the water to freezing cold because she wanted to save the heating cost. She has 2 children about my age and went home for the break. She was so worried that I ate the best parts of the food dishes, so she immediately place those into her kid's plates. For the last few years, I called her a few times because of my mom but I feel that they don't want to be bothered. However, my mom didn't get it. She kept pushing me to call her despite the reasons I explained to her. Eventually, she got all mad and even told me not to call her that much anymore. I feel sad because I know her time on earth is limited. Both my dad and sister are avoiding her at all costs.
October 23rd, 2014 6:51am
What I usually do in this situation is explain my rationale to my parent. In addition, I also try to see their perspective on the situation at hand. I respect their views, but if I feel that what they want me to do isn't right for me, I would politely explain my perspective and try to understand theirs.
October 29th, 2014 8:36am
All you have to do is to tell them about all this situation. I think that they will not say you something bad.
February 2nd, 2016 3:07pm
Telling a parent no can be very difficult. Communication about the situation is key. Bring up why they want you to do it and why you do not want to. If it is something that makes you uncomfortable or goes against what you believe, be strong in your answer. You are a person and have a right to your opinions.
February 6th, 2016 2:21am
There's a saying "The way things are given is determined by the way things are asked for" Be honest but be respectful and try to find the best way to communicate your feelings to your parents so they may understand your reasons.
May 2nd, 2016 11:38am
Sit them down and explain the reasons you don not want to do something, reacting in a mature and relaxed way. This helps them see that you fully understand what you are doing, and have thought your reaction through. They should respond by asking questions and adding their point of view so you can both come to a conclusion you understand, and hopefully like.
October 19th, 2014 2:03am
Tell them how you feel about the situation and what you want to do about it. If you let them know of your honest feelings, they should understand.
October 20th, 2014 7:06pm
Be logical and rational about your answer while listening to their reasoning for asking you do this.