How to Politely Decline a Gift

Who does not love to have a gift? Gifts are given to express different kinds of emotions that build relationships. They are meant to be a token of love, gratitude, and appreciation. Whatever people may say, deep inside, we all want gifts from others that make our hearts warm and full of pleasure. But things could be a bit unusual sometimes. Different circumstances and situations might not let us have the usual pleasure of having gifts. Due to some unavoidable reasons, we decline gifts at certain times. But how to politely decline a gift?

Why Is It Necessary?

Assume that one of your friends made you some delicious sweets on her own for your birthday. But you do not have a sweet tooth because you do not like sweets that much. If you return them to her, she will feel sad and insulted. Because she made them for you with all her heart. 
Declining gifts is definitely a rude or insulting situation for both; the person who is giving the gift and the person who were to have it. Often we fear that declining gifts can harm the relationship between our close ones. This is the main reason that we do not want to take the chance of refusing. 
But, we can handle the situations of declining and make sure that it does not get worse and embarrassing. It might be hard, but you can do it by maintaining proper steps or ways.

Phrases You Can Use to Decline Gifts

Often using some phrases can make a gift declining situation easier to deal with. Because some people might not like to go through any kind of excessive talking and explaining.

Just some simple phases can say a lot comparing stretchy explanations. Here, we are discussing some essential phrases below to make such a situation easier for you.

  • I am sorry……….say this to avoid any excessive discussion between you and the giver about declining and just expressing your disapproval about accepting the gift.
  • I cannot accept this time but………say to the giver to make him/her understand that you cannot accept the gift at this time. But you will think about it next time if such a situation arrives in the future.
  • It is so kind of you but………say this to express your regret about not accepting the gift. Whether you accept the gift or not, showing regret is necessary at certain times.
  • I think I cannot accept………say this when you want him/her to understand that you have your own reasons for declining.
  • Thank you so much but…….this phase expresses your gratitude towards the giver for getting you a gift. Expressing gratitude will leave no room for him/her for embarrassment and humiliation.
  • I am afraid I cannot……..say this to start a conversation about your own point of view in the case of not accepting. It may be the first step of you telling about your reasons for declining any gift.
  • I am anxious not to hurt your feelings but……this phrase is about caring for the giver’s emotions. Say this to express that you truly care for him/her thoughts about getting you a gift though you cannot accept it.

It is so thoughtful of you…….say this to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver. This phase also works as thanksgiving for the gift he/she got.

Ways to Decline in a Proper Way

Some ways and attitudes can help you out in such situations of declining gifts. You might feel awkward, but believe me, you will definitely pat your back after applying them.

Keeping Things Private

Most of the time, a situation becomes worse if you refuse a gift on occasion full of friends and guests. I think you will agree on the fact that the more people witnessing a scene of declining any gift, the more embarrassment a giver will feel. It is better to keep these things aside in front of any gathering.

Avoid gatherings of people in the time of refusing gifts. Try to keep it personal between you and the giver. Talk to him/her privately about the situations and problems. Make him/her understand your point of view and make sure he/she does not get embarrassed.

Write If Necessary

There are many people around us who are a bit shy about expressing their own emotions and feelings. When such a person decides to decline any gift of others, what will he/she do? Because he/she is too shy about talking with the giver about his/her own reasons for declining.

Writing to the giver can be a great idea for such people. Because they find it easy and convenient to write about their gratitude, thoughts, and explanation rather than talking with the giver. There are different ways to express through writing.

You can simply write a short letter or thank you note. Thank you notes are the best in situations of disownment of any gift.

Because thank you notes express your thankfulness and gratitude about the gift along with the regret of declining that. Besides, most of the time, the giver does not feel humiliation and embarrassment about anything. What could be better than this!

Expressing Thankfulness

Gifts are attached to different emotions of a giver. He/she obviously gave some effort regarding the gift. You may accept it or not, appreciate the efforts and respect the emotions attached to the gift. Express gratitude through your words or attitude.

Sometimes, certain gifts do not deserve even a little amount of thankfulness. Those are just gifts by face; the giver may have bad intentions behind it. Avoid any kind of contact in such cases. Do not accept the gift and just get out of the situation.

Without any disturbing or unavoidable reasons, try to express your thankfulness to the giver for the gift. Because a bit of thankfulness can surely help a giver to deal with the sadness and embarrassment of the situation.

Explaining Reasons

You definitely have some reasons and problems behind the situation of disowning any gift. If you do not tell or explain the reasons, it is impossible for a giver to sneak into your mind and find the facts regarding the issue.

Talk to him/her, explain clearly about the problems you are facing to accept the gift. Do not start unnecessary gossips about everything. Keep it simple and straight.

But, often, we may face a situation where your relationship with the giver is not good enough to disclose and explain every problem of yours. Sometimes, the giver might not deserve any explanation about your disownment of the gift. In such a situation, just tell him/her that you cannot accept it. Nothing else is necessary.

Showing Regret

Just refusing any gift by talking with the giver cannot always justify declining. Sometimes, a giver might feel humiliated or embarrassed if he/she can understand that you have no regret about disowning the gift. In case of having a problem about accepting any gift, decline it with showing some regret.

The giver needs to understand that you have some problems and you are rejecting them due to that reason. Otherwise, you would have received it from him/her. If the regret of yours is visible through your behavior, it will save him/her from the embarrassment of disownment.

Setting Limit for People-Pleasing

You might not be familiar with the word people-pleasing though it is much related to our daily life. People-pleasing is doing something to please others even if you are not pleased with it or doing unwillingly. The main reason behind our fear about declining gifts is people-pleasing.

At certain times, we try to please the people around us by accepting the gifts of them against our wish. But we must set a limit regarding this matter.

Those who truly care for us will surely understand our situation, and the disownment would not hurt them much. About others, do not let yourself caring for everyone and keeping everyone happy.

Staying Safe from Manipulation

Some days ago, my office colleague gifted me a baby cat as a pet because he is a cat lover. I like cats, but I am allergic to pet hair. Besides, I cannot take care of any pets. Then, I told my colleague that I could not accept the cat as I have some problems regarding this.

If it was the end of this matter, things would have been all set and pretty good. But, it was not the end.

My colleague tried to manipulate me into accepting the gift. There was almost no way for me to deny it. After that incident, I took the cat and gave it to an animal shelter. Eventually, I lost all respect for my colleague, and my relationship with him became toxic.

Manipulation about accepting or declining gifts can seriously affect the relationship between a giver and a person who is accepting it. You should stick to your own decisions and choices strongly about every occurrence in life, including accepting gifts.

Never let anyone manipulate you to accept something that is not preferable for you.

Final Words

The situations where we need to turn down gifts are definitely hard. But we must know that how to politely decline a gift. Because it affects the emotions of people around us. With some thoughtful ways, declining gifts can be done with grace and politeness to reduce the amount of awkwardness, humiliation, and embarrassment.

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