Ask B: Declining My MIL’s Offers

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Dear B, 

I love my mother-in-law (MIL), I really do. However she often tries to push things on me and I never know how to say no. For instance, we recently went shopping and she asked me to try on a skirt (we have very different taste), and it just wasn’t my style, so when I tried to say I wanted to pass, she insisted I have it and bought it for me! Now I of course feel obligated to wear it. I’m in search of a new hair stylist and she is now trying to make me go to her girl even though I have someone I want to try! How do I politely decline her offers without offending her?

Sincerely, 

Distraught Daughter-in-law


Daughter-in-law,

No need to be distraught my darling! I know it can be tricky to say no, especially when it is your husband’s mommy dearest! Here’s what I would do: you need to find the harmonious marriage of respectful, tactful, yet clear communication when declining her offer. Surely she has a kind heart and wants nothing more than to help her son’s true love, so it’s just a matter of handling the situation in the right manner. The next time she tries to have her stylist coif your curls, simply respond, “I really appreciate you offering to make an appointment for me with your stylist, however I just recently found a new girl who I am going to give a try. I’ll let you know if it doesn’t work out though!” Just remember, be respectful, tactful, and clear and you can’t go wrong. Good luck!

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