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What's the best way to tell your family no, when you do not want to participate in a holiday or family event?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2018 at 10:34am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Maryna Svitasheva, PhD. RP

Licensed Professional Counselor

Psychotherapy I provide is based on a dialog and your active intention to look for a solution with the therapist's assistance

Top Rated Answers
August 5th, 2015 10:09pm
I had this issue before and I still do even though I'm an adult now. My parents would always try to force me to be places that I didn't want to be no matter what the situation. I could've been sick, going through something and it just didn't matter to them. The best way to tell your family no, when you don't want to participate in a holiday or family event is to be honest and to just say no. Explain to them the reason as to why you don't want to go or participate and if they still want to fuss at you about it, just walk away.
April 19th, 2016 5:35pm
Tell them no thanks and if they ask why, then tell them that you arent interested or it makes you uncomfortable if any of that apply.
July 28th, 2015 4:20pm
The best way is to be honest. If you tell them what's going on and express that you're not emotionally fit to participate in such activities, they will be inclined to believe you. They will see that you're being genuine. Express the consequences of having to participate. It may be that you'll feel depressed afterwards, or that it'll merely just make life hard for you. When telling your family, remember to be calm and controlled. They will not listen to you if you let your emotions get in the way (by being rude).
July 13th, 2015 9:07am
I think that the best way to tell your family that you do not want to participate in a holiday or family event is by being honest and open with them and explaining why it is that you may want to skip out on this one. Perhaps tell the family member you trust most the exact reason why and go from there. Honesty is indeed the best policy especially when it comes to family who should understand and accept you no matter what.
August 18th, 2015 6:54am
Tell them that you do not feel like going or that you do not want to and tell them a reason why. I used to try and get out of going to things like that, but I always ended up going anyways. Sometimes it's best to just go.
April 25th, 2015 2:48am
Honestly, I plan something else with my friends pretend I forgot that it was the same day as a family gathering and my parents usually just go with it and they never really got mad at me for this
December 22nd, 2015 5:58am
The best way to say no is interesting. At first, politely let them down with a "no thank you" or "I don't think I'm up for it", then that will leave you open to questions and a deeper understanding from your family, but if that doesn't work, try to still be nice but firm in your answer.
April 18th, 2015 2:13pm
Calmly and gently, let them know that it isn't personal (even if it is), tell them you have other plans or use homework (or work) as an excuse if you must. For example, "No mum, I can't go to Granny's 79th birthday party. I love her bingo-playing, beatles-loving, arthritic friends, it's nothing against them, but I'm very stressed by work at the moment and I was hoping to spend this weekend alone. I'll make it up to her later, promise. I'll go for a game of bingo at her club in August." If the response to this is something along the lines of "No, you can't." You can always go for the classic "Well I also have a history project due on Monday."
May 2nd, 2015 1:02pm
Sitting down the family members that you are having to tell 'no' to is a very good idea. Hurting someones feelings is something that you may be worried about, but just be gentle when you explain to them why you don't want to come to the event. Typically, they will completely accept your decision.
August 4th, 2015 6:16pm
Be honest. If your family really loves you and care about you, they will understand. in case they dont want any excuses,you need to understand others. After all its 1 against many odds.
August 17th, 2015 6:08am
I think being honest with them is always important. Simply explain to them why you do not want to participate, and try your best to be positive while doing so. Just let them know how you are truly feeling about the situation. Sometimes being open with them will help your family understand you and your feelings on a much deeper level.
December 22nd, 2015 8:31am
Just let them know why you don't want to participate and remain calm if they are angry, they will understand you better if you control your emotions.
July 25th, 2016 9:22am
Communication is key. If you do not want to go to a family event or holiday. You should tell them you do not wish to go.
November 13th, 2017 8:02am
Be honest, if you can. It's best to straight up say 'look- I really would rather not be there because....' and accept their response to your feelings. At least you are being heard.
January 16th, 2018 10:34am
acknowledge their desire to be together and the importance of the event for them, express your feelings calmly about participating, and you reasons for not wanting to, without attacking their event or them as people.
June 3rd, 2015 5:56am
In my experience tha best way is to speak your mind politely and clearly. Whenever i am in such a situation i tell my family my opinion calmly.
July 20th, 2015 10:36am
You should give them some good reasons and make them understand that you don't want to participate..
December 27th, 2015 11:07am
Honesty is the best police so don't lie to them, talk to them openly about why you want to skip the family event and talk to one member to another and also try to give them a proper reason to skip the family event, they will surely understand because they are your family and they will accept you no matter what.
July 25th, 2016 10:01am
You should say that you are too old to participate and you just didn't want to hurt their feelings .
June 5th, 2017 4:26pm
Sitting your family down and explaining why you would like to not participate in a holiday or family event will allow open communication between you and your family, which may also lead to your family understanding your reasons for not wanting to participate better.