How do I say no without hurting someone's feelings?

Updated: Aug 09, 2018, 07:44 IST | Dr Love

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How do I say no without hurting someone's feelings?
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Dr. LoveWhat is the best way to tell someone you have no interest in their feelings for you, without hurting their feelings?
That depends on who the person is and how close he or she is to you. I think the best way is to be honest, without beating around the bush, because an adult ought to be able to deal with it. If you're not lying, how can you hurt someone's feelings? Get to the point and be resolute, which is all that matters.

I don't like my boyfriend's parents at all. They were very nice people when I first met them but, whenever I have met them since then, they make snide remarks about my family and upbringing. They don't know my family or relatives, so I don't know what gives them the right to say these things. My boyfriend wants me to ignore these comments, because he says they are just protective of him, but that is not an excuse. If this becomes a serious relationship and we decide to marry, I'm pretty sure his parents will sabotage it and prevent him from marrying me because they have some weird problem with my family. How do I resolve this? I like my boyfriend a lot and don't want to end our relationship just because of his parents.
You are in a relationship with your boyfriend, not his parents. They may have all kinds of opinions about you or your family, but none of this should matter because your boyfriend chooses to be with you regardless of what his parents have to say. You can avoid meeting them if it stresses you out, or simply ignore their remarks and tell your boyfriend how you feel. If he is aware of how their comments are not justified, he may do more to protect you from exposure to them. He hasn't asked you to marry him yet, so I suggest you figure out how to cross that bridge only when you come to it.

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