64

He asked you for an invitation that wasn't yours to give. You're not the host, you're not the one who prepared the food, and you're not the one who will be inconvenienced by a last-minute guest. Whether to invite him is up to your uncle. What you say in this situation is something like "I'm sorry, but my uncle is hosting, not me. I can't just show up ...


59

You're mixing a health argument with an "I don't like it" argument. The latter is unwinnable right now, and by combining them you invite your parents to think "oh, he doesn't want to and we've had that argument before, so now he's just making up health excuses". The first thing you need to do is to decouple them. The second thing you need to do, assuming ...


40

In my experience, people typically ask for two reasons: They're being nosey They're ready to talk about it, or they at least want to try My mother flat out expressed to me that she never wanted to discuss my sexuality or partners when I first came out. However, two years later, she is now able to acknowledge certain (small) parts of my dating life - but I ...


35

Your question is really the wrong question to ask. Your question shouldn't be "How do I tell my parents I don't want to go to church", your question should be "How do I tell my parents I'm not going to church". It helps very much to have the right attitude, and your attitude must be "I'm not going to church". Their arguments: "It's tradition!" Tradition ...


31

Traditions have a way of almost becoming law in families. Take, for instance, your visiting them over the holidays (which I infer from your comments above). Why? What do you get out of it? I struggled with that particular tradition as well. I don't think that this issue has as much to do with your parents' religion as much as control. Obviously you go ...


26

Very sorry you are going through this. You are way beyond the age where it is anywhere near OK for your parents to control the way you spend your holidays, to force their religious values onto you, and to resort to rage tactics and fear/obligation/guilt tactics to maintain that control. So to answer the question, you tell them you don't want to go to ...


22

I think you've answered your own question It ends up feeling a bit like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Be honest and risk a family meltdown, or lie and not have a real relationship with the family. Many of them want to have a genuine relationship with me and I want to have a genuine relationship with them, we're family after all. If ...


16

Solution For future incidents, there's an obvious option people are not mentioning (despite almost doing so): Simply don't go back in Christmas and Easter anymore. Go some other time. Other answers have mentioned this (and you could say I'm stealing the idea), but the difference is that they say you should threaten to do this first, whereas I'm suggesting ...


15

As someone who isn't religious but has been guilt-tripped into going to church or celebrating the way others wanted me to in the past, and as someone who has dated two guys who were atheists, I want to offer my insight. Guy #1 stopped going to church when he was really young (still in elementary school) because he didn't want to share a spoon with hundreds ...


12

This answer is based upon the etiquette I've been taught and always heard since childhood. Its rule have been followed for decades by people I know/met, and I've seen it used in Western Europe countries (Belgium, France, Germany1). The Netherlands being so close to those countries, it might apply here too I believe2. So: sending greetings/Christmas cards ...


10

Your kids are pretty small, but - as a parent of an 15-month-old and a friend to someone who regularly posts "Stuff my toddler says" quotes on Instagram - I'm constantly surprised at how kids are able to respond to these things on their own if we let them. You're responding for them, which may be okay for the two-year-old (and your special needs children) ...


10

As someone who (while being told of Santa) was never told anything of entities like the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny, I encountered this sort of attitude from adults when I was young. I would say that the approach would need to be adjusted based on who you were speaking to. With strangers I think it would be best to simply smile and mention "Oh, we don't ...


8

There's no fixed standard for it; it depends on the people and their own preference. This website (in Dutch) identifies 3 different moments. The lower bound seems to be January 6th (the celebration of Driekoningen), the middle seems to be January 15th (two weeks) and the upper bound seems to be January 31st (because doing it in February is not done). So I ...


8

It really does sound like this friend is a bit of a freeloader and quite inconsiderate. My initial reaction and the suggestion that I am going to give may seem to be a bit direct, but I believe that with people who can't see how annoyed those around them are, as this friend seems to be, need this kind of no B.S., no beating around the bush type of response....


7

"I'm sorry; that's not going to work." People get so worked up about how to handle saying "no". There's no additional explanation necessary. Just apologize and say it won't work. If the friend asks why, the answer is "it just won't. I'd love to spend time with you, but Thanksgiving won't work."


6

How do I go about telling my parents in no uncertain terms "Traditions be damned, I absolutely refuse to go" for the above reasons without getting into a "But this is tradition!" fight with my parents? I think, first, you have to let go of trying to use logic against an emotional argument. Let's analyze their position: Your parents have been attending two ...


6

First, be sure you want to decline the invitation You're asking about how to decline the invitation - I'm not sure there is no middle ground where you can attend and the event can be altered in a way where you feel safe and comfortable. Just because you or your partner have thick skin doesn't mean you have to put up with insensitive or intolerant behaviour....


5

Atheist Aspie with some very religious Catholic relatives, so I can relate to some of this! If it was just a matter of "church does nothing for me", I'd say that this is one of the things you might just have to endure in the name of family harmony. But the other issues you've mentioned indicate problems with the dynamic that do need to be addressed. Autism ...


5

You have given the answer to your question by yourself: I want them to enjoy the anticipation and mystery of Christmas Christmas is a mystery! In general: You do not need to have an answer to all of your children's questions. Children gets stronger, if they know mum or dad do not know everything. They learn it is okay to ask new questions, sometimes ...


5

I love the avatar, especially in the context of this question. I wish that I had a good answer for this issue, and I pray that someone else with better ideas answers this as well. But if they acknowledge that there are health issues and tell you to just suck it up it, it sounds to me like you've gotten your point across effectively - they just aren't ...


4

Im from the UK and not religious, so it's a bit different from being in the US, but something I have yet to see anyone answer is talk to the Priest. I have met many religious people in my life and they are all nice reasonable people. Far more reasonable that your parents are being. Your description of yourself sounds just like me, hightly asthmatic and ...


4

There is no replacement for standing your ground. You perceive your parents as overwhelming forces because you couldn't do this successfully, so far. It can be difficult. If you have someone of support you can have at your side - girlfriend or really good friend - that would help a lot. Hopefully, your parents will behave themselves more civilized in the ...


4

When I was a child I was forced to write greeting cards to my old relatives to wish them a happy New Year. I really disliked the thing all in all so I would postpone for as long as I could. My parents would say I have to send them before the 31st of January because otherwise it'd be rude and look like I had forgotten about them in the wishing well process. ...


3

On the day you will be expected to go, leave the house 4 or 5 hours in advance—or as early in the morning as needed to avoid anyone seeing you, or as early as needed to avoid arguments. Leave a note: "Went out. Will be back around [time]. Have a good time at your service. I won't be there." Do not discuss it in advance. Be vague. Say that you are still ...


2

We have gone through this exact situation as well. And you are correct in your concern that some people will think you are depriving your children. The Answer We usually answer it simply and thusly: "We don't do the Santa thing." It is that simple. There is absolutely nothing offensive about that, and it is easy to remember and say. In fact, on hearing ...


2

I'm not sure if my answer falls under a "large-scale coming out" or not, but here's what I have: I'd engage people on a one-on-one basis out of earshot of others - probably contacting them individually before the event. If you expect someone to be queer-friendly and you're comfortable-ish with this with them, talk to them about who you are and what you do. ...


2

Don't say "Yes" if you don't mean it, that the most important thing here, probably. If you don't have a thing to say right away and you don't want to give a flat "No" for whatever reason, say that that you need to discuss this with others first, while you formulate the answer. But in this case the answer is pretty easy: "Sorry, mate it's a family only thing,...


2

I feel the same way as you do. This is how my parents did it and I'm doing the same with my kids. The goal is to tell your child when they find out Santa is not real, that it wasn't something you told them but something they came up with it on their own and from their friends and society. You didn't lie to them, but society (friends and media) led them to ...


1

I am aware that this might be a late answer for this year, but still, I will make an attempt. You tell about the friend: "she is a very sweet girl" "I normally do not mind having her around" "I'm just kind of torn" "she doesn't really have a family to spend time with" Although "she is very disruptive in the family", she is not a complete disaster. Combine ...


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