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

127 Answers
Last Updated: 02/14/2022 at 12:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
January 2nd, 2016 6:31pm
Be direct and tell them that you really don't want to do the thing and list your reasons why. Tell them that you don't feel like you're being heard if they disregard your opinion. If you feel uncomfortable talking to them, write a note.
December 13th, 2015 12:59am
It's always best to ensure you understand where they are coming from and to start from there. At the end of the day your parents (hopefully) care about you and want the best for you. And then help them to understand that it's important that whatever decision you make that it's something you're going to be happy with because it's your life and you're the one that's going to have to live with the decisions you make. Not them!
December 23rd, 2015 8:06am
Coming from a family that I had a hard time finding my own voice in, I found the only times that I could really get through to my parents was when I put things into their perspective when explaining why something wasn't right for me.
December 23rd, 2015 1:07pm
Is your parent asking that for your own good? otherwise sit them down and talk to them about why not
December 23rd, 2015 3:27pm
Try having an appropriate conversation and discuss why you would not like to complete what they are asking you to do.
December 24th, 2015 8:55am
Just explain to them you dont. Go into the topic slowly, dont rush things. Try telling them at dinner|| STAY STRONG
December 25th, 2015 1:36am
You can have a conversation with them in a polite manner that it is your life and you choose what you want to do, if they don't respect you that is fine but you cannot control me.
December 25th, 2015 9:33am
Try to have a respectful tone and use "I" statements to emphasize that you feel unsettled by something.
December 25th, 2015 3:59pm
Sit them down and be straight with them, tell them that they will have to learn to respect your decisions in life and know that you are happy that way.
December 25th, 2015 5:55pm
Standing up for yourself is hard, especially when you've worked so hard to earn respect and admiration from loved ones. But sometimes, for your own good, you need to stand your ground and explain to them why you cannot do as they've asked. Even if they don't agree, that love and respect you've earned will go a long way, when you've explained what you feel what is best for you.
December 25th, 2015 5:55pm
Explain why you don't want to do it, and how it makes you feel. Your parents should understand, but if they keep pushing then you need to take a stand and just say no. Don't budge, unless what they want you to do is actually ultimately good for you. Maybe try and understand why they want you to do it
December 25th, 2015 9:25pm
Slowly, carefully, but truthfully tell them how it makes you feel uncomfortable (or whatever term you'd like to use).
December 26th, 2015 12:36am
Try to be calm the whole time, then they will take you more seriously... Also try to tell them why you don't want to do it..
December 26th, 2015 6:04am
Talk with them calmly regarding what you don't want to do. Try to reason with them why you do not want to do it, and make them understand your point. Also, suggest another alternative towards what they want you to do that is suitable for them.
December 26th, 2015 11:49am
It is important to respect your parents so sit for a while and talk to them and tell them what you think about that something they want you to do, remember you don't have to fight, listen to each other without any fighting, respect their opinion and talk to them calmly, they will understand because parents are a gift from God and they are here to protect you and help you after all!
December 27th, 2015 2:54am
It'll work out best for everyone involved if you listen to their side of the story. Respectively argue your point, and listen to their side of the story. This will help you understand why they're trying to get you to do whatever it is. Then, try to find a compromise that works well for both of you, and make sure you don't angry at them. Getting angry and starting to yell will benefit neither side, and only worsen the situation.
December 27th, 2015 5:29am
It depends, parents always want whats best for you, even if you might not like it now you will realize they were trying to help you
October 19th, 2020 9:08am
Consider and communicate. Granted, you are not obligated to do things for other people, but check to see where they're coming from, too. First, consider their request. Is it related to your own self-care? (Such as hygiene, sleep, eating, emotional regulation, etc.) If so, consider what they have to say and see if doing the action may genuinely help you. If not, think of why they want you do that action, and communicate your wishes to not do that action. They may be your parent, but you are not obligated to act on their requests. You can express, "I don't feel comfortable doing X. I know you want Y (motive or outcome), but I can't do this because Y. I hope you can understand and respect my wishes too." It doesn't have to be in that format! There are many ways to say "no" thoughtfully while being assertive and clear. Stand your ground, peacefully, and stand up for your feelings, needs, and personal respect.
December 13th, 2015 3:44pm
Personally, I'd sit down with them in a comfortable environment and have a conversation with them, explaining why I wouldn't want to do what they are asking of me. In my experience, when you can calmly explain your reasons, parents are more likely to take you seriously and understand your point of view. The same is asked of you though! Sometimes parents have a validate reason for asking you to do something as well. Communicating and listening from both sides is important!
December 13th, 2015 6:18pm
It really depends upon the situation, sometimes our parents push us in directions we don't want to go because they think it will benefit us, their intentions might be good. If you have considered it and still do not feel like it's something you want to do, come up with two valid reasons as to why you don't want to go through with it. Maybe they want you to go to college, and you don't want that path right now. 1. You're genuinely not interested in school and find it stressful. 2. You feel the workplace will offer you better experiences and help you become independent sooner. Keeping it simple, yet relaying your feelings are important.
December 13th, 2015 8:20pm
Sometimes you may want to do something and you feel that it really is a good idea, and don't see a reason to comply to their wishes. Sometimes its best to just do what they want. But if you are going to tell them no, explain to them that you are going to do it and make sure you do it with Respect!
December 16th, 2015 1:51am
Drop hints and talk about something you want to do instead. They might get disappointed but always remember it's what you feel passionate about .
December 16th, 2015 8:14am
Talk with them about how the situation makes you uncomfortable. If it's important, they will explain why they want you to do it. Parents are understanding, and they have the experiences we have yet to gain. They usually know what they're doing.
December 16th, 2015 11:02am
Saying No is the most difficult task, and that too to your parents :) So it is not going to be easy, but definitely possible. Before saying a no, try to chart out the supporting factors for your no, and the negatives of saying a Yes. Choose an appropriate time and say No with the supporting factors.
December 16th, 2015 2:02pm
If you don't want to do something your parents want you to do, you need to talk to them calmly. I would say the first step is to approach them when they are free and ask to talk to them about something. Then try to understand their viewpoint first, and then after that you can voice your concerns, This will hopefully allow you to come to a solution both your parents and you agree with. Hope this helps!
December 16th, 2015 5:03pm
Depending on how severe the task at hand is, if it is a minor task (doing washing) its probaly best you do :D but if its more major than of course you can, you are your own person.
December 16th, 2015 8:51pm
Emphasize on the reason behind why you don't want to do that but make sure you ask them for the reason why they need your assistance. Make sure you hear them out and have a talk with them in regards to this so that both parties remain unhurt, heard out and understood.
December 17th, 2015 3:00am
Discuss your reasons rationally and ask them to see your side of the issue. They need to understand and respect your wishes.
December 17th, 2015 2:21pm
I understand sometimes you may have different feelings than your parents, If I may ask you what is it that they want you to do
December 17th, 2015 3:52pm
Depending on what the chore or task is, depends on your approach. Sometimes we do things for our parents because it is respectful and they offer us the basics to get by--so it's the least we can do. However, if it is something you are uncomfortable with and you feel it does more harm than good, outline your reasons. If you can come up with reasons as to why not and a solution--what can be done instead--then you can have a meaningful discussion with your parents. It's about compromise.