When my fiance and I moved into our new house we were given a lot of things – furniture, cutlery, crockery, towels, rugs, bedding and many other things. It were great to start with as we didn’t have to spend money on things that weren’t that important to us but it meant it became an expectation that any time someone didn’t want something that they would give it to us and we would be grateful. Except we weren’t.
So how do you go from just accepting everything thrown at you to saying no? Well it goes a little something like this –
- ‘Thank you but no, I do not need anymore cushions/towels/cheese knives.’
If they insist or kick up a fuss –
- ‘Thank you but again no, I don’t want it.’
If they keep insisting –
- ‘As I’ve already said, no. Please stop insisting.’
Hopefully this is enough to stop them from continuing but if it doesn’t you may need to ignore it and change the subject –
- ‘Have you tried that new Spanish tapas place around the corner yet?’
Alternatively you can just tell them to get out of your house for making you so uncomfortable.
I get it. This can be a difficult conversation to have and its mostly difficult because you’ve changed the script that the other person is used to. But that isn’t your problem, it’s theirs. So keep doing what you need to to make yourself clear. Steer away from ending anything with ‘right now’ because it implies that you are happy for them to try again and that is giving mixed signals. Be clear, direct and as polite as you need to be, remembering that its ok to decrease the level of politeness the more you have to repeat yourself.