How many times have you taken a gift you don’t like because you don’t want to offend the person giving it to you? Besides, you can always re-gift, right?
How many times do you really give that gift away? Do you have a stockpile of these unwantables? Or, do you simply decide to keep that ferociously ugly figurine because the person who gave it to you (say, your mum-in-law) comes over all the time, and would notice that it’s not out on display?
You can continue to hide your head in the sand or lift your head, smile, and find a polite way to say no. Btw, it may take a bit of practice before you can refuse a gift without your hands in your pockets and your head bowed low. Here are a few tips to help you through it.
1. Be Nice. You don’t want to confuse the gift with the intention of the gift. So, remember to always be grateful and kind when you say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Body language and facial expressions can tell someone right away that you’re appreciative…and you can actually say that you appreciate their thoughtfulness.
2. Explain. You don’t need to rattle off a long discourse, but it’s helpful to offer a reason why you must decline. I’m often offered cast-offs and even some awesome things from clients. I let them know that it’s not my normal practice to take them, but I’d be happy to find someone who can use them. You don’t have to craft a wild tale. Just be honest (e.g., “I’m really trying to get more organized and have decided not to accept any gifts for a while.”). And, kind. Did I mention be kind?
3. Blame Your Organizer. This is a strategy I offer to my clients all the time. Here’s an example: “Thank so much! …but my organizer, Deb, would kill me if I brought something new in the house.” This works really well, especially because it’s true! =) It could be that you promised your spouse that you wouldn’t accept/buy new things until your home was more organized. As always, be kind as you roll your fave pro organizer or spouse under the bus. ;)