How To Politely Decline a Gift In Any Situation [29 Best Ways]

It can be difficult to decline a gift without hurting the giver’s feelings.

What should you do if you receive an expensive gift that you don’t want? Should you reject it outright or find some other way of politely declining it?

How about when someone offers to buy something for you and won’t take no for an answer, how do you say no nicely?

We’ve put together a list of 29 ways how to politely decline gifts of all shapes and sizes so that nobody gets hurt!

It is okay to accept gifts from people who are your subordinates, but not those who are in a position of authority over you.

Also, before diving into the list, I wanted to let you know the right message to write while rejecting a gift. Or you can skip the first section and move on to the next to start the list.

Here is a quick answer for you:

If you want to politely decline a gift, you can say something like “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I’m afraid I can’t accept it.” You can also offer an explanation for why you’re declining the gift, such as “I already have something similar” or “I’m trying to declutter my home.” It’s important to be sincere and gracious in your response to show that you appreciate the thought behind the gift, even if you can’t accept it.

How to Write Someone a Decline Gift Message On Gift Card?

Decline gifts are never good, especially when you know that your giftee is planning to buy that thing for herself.

Even when you do not get the gift in time, you feel really bad because you are sending them something that they don’t want.

To avoid the awkward situation, you should send them a gift card with a decline message written on it.

You should write a polite and respectful decline message on the card and send it to the person. Here is how to do it:

Steps of writing a decline gift message in a gift card:

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Colour and Font

The first step of writing a decline gift message on a gift card is to choose the colour and font.

You can choose the colour from red, green, or blue. So, choose the colour that suits your giftee and you.

You can also choose from here.


Step 2: Write The Message

After choosing the colour, the next step is to write the message that will be declined.

Make sure that you write a meaningful message because it will be your first impression.

So, write a message that feels like apologize and they won’t get hurt.

Here is a list of the things that you write in a gift card to decline.

“Thank you, but I don’t accept gifts.”

“I appreciate the thought, but I am not interested in this kind of gift.”

“Thanks for thinking of me, but I don’t need it.”

“I appreciate the thought, but it is not my style.”

“I appreciate the gesture but I will pass.”

“You are so kind to me, but I am so busy. I will take the gift to my home and give it to my parents.”

“Oh, I am really sorry. I didn’t expect you to spend that much money on me.”

“I will be very grateful if you can reconsider this gift. I would love to accept it, but I think it is too expensive for me.”

Step 3: Add Your Signature

The last step of writing a decline gift message on a gift card is to add your signature.

Make sure that the handwriting is good, and make sure that it is written in the correct place.

This was the complete guide to writing a declined gift message on a gift card.

This is the easiest way to decline a gift but sometimes it may hurt the person who has given the gift.

So, in case you are declining a gift then make sure you say something which will make the person happy.


29 Best Ways To Politely Decline a Gift

29 best ways to decline a gift

Keeping myself in situations where I might have to politely decline a gift, has actually saved me money in the long run.

There are so many reasons why you may need to reject a present, and sometimes it can be difficult to know how to do it without sounding rude.

Here are 29 of the best ways to politely decline a gift:

#1. “That is really kind of you, but I can’t accept it.”

This one’s short and sweet.

It shows how thankful you are to the person for offering, but at the same time clearly states that you cannot accept their gift.

Don’t be afraid to use this line if someone offers something expensive; there isn’t any need to justify your decision.

#2. “Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m not sure a gift is really necessary.”

This line can be used when someone offers to give you a gift outside of a special occasion like Christmas or your birthday.

It shows that you appreciate their offer, while still making it clear that receiving gifts isn’t necessary.

#3. “Thank you, but I’m not allowed to accept gifts from my superiors.”

This line is perfect for use when someone at work offers to give you a gift.

It lets them know that accepting the gift would be breaking protocol, and therefore cannot happen.

For some more ideas that can help you, check this out.

Also read: What To Do With an Expensive Gift You Don’t Want? [9 Things]

Declining a Gift That Is Too Expensive

declining a gift that is too expensive

You yourself don’t like to spend money extravagantly, so how can you accept a gift that is too costly?

Thinking about how to politely decline a gift that is too expensive?

It’s easy! Just say thank you for the thought, but explain that you cannot accept it.

#4. “Thank you for the kind offer, but I cannot accept such a costly gift.”

It’s hard to accept the gift if you come to know that you cannot afford to buy such expensive gifts or how can you return it back.

You should not feel bad about it as the receiver of a gift is supposed to feel grateful and happy.

If they do not, then this means he/she might be having some other motive behind giving that kind of gift than just being friendly with you.

#5. “Thank you for your generosity, but I’m afraid it’s not my style.”

If the gift doesn’t match your style and taste, how can you accept such a gift? Just say thank you for the generosity of it without giving any explanation. 

Instead, say that you would love to take a rain check, and how about getting together for lunch or dinner sometime soon?

It will allow the other person to save face, but at least it gives an out if the gift-giver wants something in return that you are not willing to give.

#6. “Wow! This is so generous, but I’m going to have to say no. Sorry!”

Sorry is the magic word when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and you have to say no.

This will soften the blow and make it easier for the other person to understand your decision.

You can also add how much you appreciate their offer but just cannot accept it at this time. 

This way, they know that you haven’t rejected them, but you are just declining the gift that is too good to be true.

Related article: How To Politely Decline Flowers? [These 45 Phrases Can Help]

Politely Refuse Gifts From a Friend

politely refuse gifts from a friend

Thinking about how to decline a gift without offending your friend?

You have been friends for years, but he or she has always spent beyond his means. 

You may be tempted to accept that expensive gift because of how much your friend loves you, but don’t do it!

It will only put you in a difficult spot down the line.

Instead, try one of these phrases:

#7. “Oh, how thoughtful! But I have so many things to use right now, maybe next time?”

You respect your friend enough to give a gift, but you also want to be honest about how your situation.

You may feel guilty saying no, but it’s important that you take care of yourself first and foremost.

Your friend will understand why you don’t want the gift and respect how much value you place on what money can buy.

Don’t let anyone guilt you into accepting something you don’t want, especially a friend!

#8. “I really appreciate the thought but it’s too generous. Save your money for something you really want.”  

Personally, I suggest my friends save money for something they want and need, rather than spend it on me.

Your friend has already put thought into the gift, so rejecting it outright may make them feel bad.

Try explaining how you really appreciate their offer, but that accepting it would set them back financially. 

They’ll understand where you’re coming from and won’t be offended.

#9. “This is so sweet, but I’m on a budget right now and can’t accept it.”

It is obvious that later you need to return something as a gift, but you can’t. 

Explain to him/her your financial condition, how much you like the gift, and how you would be happy to receive it when your financial situation changes.

Your friend will understand where you’re coming from, and may even want to help you out financially in the future!

#10. “Wow, how kind of you. I’m saving up for something special right now so I can’t accept it.” 

Your friend knows all of your secrets and he/she may also know the plans you are making.

Your friend knows how much you would like to have this gift, but the important thing is that you are saving money for something special right now. 

You can’t tell him/her what it’s for, even if they are very close friends or family members with you!

Keep some things secret 🙂

Decline a Gift at Work From a Client

decline a gift at work from client

It is important to maintain a good bond at work with your clients.

However, there may be times when you need to decline a gift from them.

Here are some tips on how to politely decline a gift at work:

#11. “If it is a tangible item, try to offer an alternative item.”

If you are given a gift that is too expensive, try to offer an alternative item.

For example, if the client gives you a chocolate bar as a gift at work and it costs $50, say “I’m sorry but I can’t accept gifts of this value.”

Then explain how much your organization’s policy prohibits accepting gifts worth more than a certain amount.

This will help to maintain the good relationship you have with your client, while still being respectful.

#12. “Reject politely and reduce their workload”

In case you want to reject the gift. Reject it politely and instead not make it rude.

You can try to find out how much time was spent on preparing it.

After you have known that, reduce their workload by not accepting the gift.

And then politely decline to say how grateful you are for thinking of giving away something but there is no need now as they have already done enough instead.

#13. “If you are not comfortable with that, say no politely”

It’s really hard to accept gifts from clients, especially when you don’t know how to react.

If it makes you feel uncomfortable and doesn’t make any sense for the relationship you have with them, say no politely.

This will help to maintain professionalism in the relationship with your client.

Declining a Gift From a Family Member

declining a gift from a family member

You never want to see the sadness in your parent’s eyes, but sometimes you have to decline a gift from them.

If you are thinking about how to politely decline a gift from family? You should know it can be tough, but it’s the right thing to do.

Here are some tips on how to politely turn down a gift from your family:

#14. “Encourage them to save money for family”

Your parents will appreciate your honesty and understanding.

They may also be relieved that you don’t feel obligated to accept their gift.

If they insist on giving you a gift, try to find something that you really need or want. 

This way, they can still feel like they’ve given you something special.

#15. “Let them know how much you love what they already give.”

If your parents always buy you clothes or other things that aren’t really useful.

Let them know how much you appreciate the thought and all the time they spend with you. 

They’ll feel good knowing how happy their gifts make you!

#16. “Thank them and move on”

If your parents really want to give you a gift, but you don’t need or want it. 

Let them know how grateful you are for the thought and how much they mean to you. 

After that, just say “thank you,” and change the subject!

Also, read: How to deal with bad gift givers?

How to Reject Unwanted Gifts?

reject unwanted gifts

I personally feel I have gifts from people I don’t even know.

If you have ever received a gift that you don’t want or cannot use, it can be difficult to find the right way to reject it without being rude.

You may feel guilty or like you are offending the giver.

However, here are some ways to reject unwanted gifts:

#17. “Thank the person for their thoughtfulness, but explain that you cannot accept the gift.”

This is a very polite way to reject a gift.

You can say something like, “Thank you so much for thinking of me! I really appreciate it, but I don’t think I will be able to use this.”

The giver will understand that you do not want the gift and will not be offended.

#18. “Thank the person for their gift, but explain that you already have one of those.”

If you don’t want to seem ungrateful, a simple way to reject a gift is to thank the person and then say that you already have one of it.

For example, “Thank you so much for the gift! I already have one of those.”

The giver will understand that you do not want or need another one.

There are many other ways to politely decline a gift, but these are some good starters. 

Just be sure to be gracious and understanding when rejecting a gift.

Ways to Reject Something Nicely

reject something very nicely

Rejecting and being nice is not an easy task. But how do you politely say no to a gift?

What is the best wording to use when declining something nice or how do you nicely turn down someone’s generosity?

Don’t worry, these words will help you in this difficult situation!

#19. “Your presence is the only gift we need.”

Make them feel how much their presence means to you.

This will make them feel good about themselves and it might be the only gift they need.

With this sentence, you will be letting them know how grateful and happy their company makes you feel.

#20. “Please, no gifts. Consider a donation instead.”

Tell them the value of money and how you want them to give it to a charity/cause they like.

This will make them feel good about themselves and might even motivate someone else, who is reading this request, to do the same thing.

And that’s not all!

They also get the feeling of how generous and kind-hearted you are because instead of rejecting their gift, you want to help other people by donating it.

#21. “Simply, express your feeling of not wanting”

Being honest right from the start.

This will make them feel how much they mean to you and how grateful you are for their friendship/love/support, etc… It’s simple but it works every time!

They might not like your answer at first because it can seem harsh or blunt but in most cases, they understand how difficult this is for you and they will appreciate your honesty.

How to Politely Say No To a Gift?

politely say no to a gift

Saying directly “NO” to a gift can be rude and make the person feel rejected.

There are better ways to say no without hurting the other person’s feelings.

#22. “We respectfully request NO gifts please.”

Create an idea of NO gifting by sending out an email or posting a notice on your social media page.

This way, people will be aware that you would prefer not to receive any gifts and can either respect your wishes or not gift you at all.

This is a very polite way to say no thank you for gifts.

It also subtly implies that if they really want to give you a gift, they should do so in another way.

#23. “Instead of saying NO, say thanks.”

It’s better to say thanks to the person who gave you a gift.

This will show that you appreciate their gesture, but don’t need or want anything else.

You can also say that you are already blessed with too many things and don’t want to be a burden.

Saying thanks is always better than saying no.

#24. “It’s okay to tell some white lies.”

Telling a white lie is a common tool to politely decline a gift.

You can say that you don’t have space for the item, or it won’t match anything in your home, so therefore you cannot accept it.

This will be an indirect way of saying no without hurting the other person’s feelings.

It may not always work but certainly is worth a try.

Related article: What does it mean when a guy buys you a gift for no reason?

How Do You Decline a Generous Offer?

decline a generous offer

When declining a generous offer, how do you decline something nicely?

After all, it’s important to be polite and not offend the person making the generous offer. 

There are several ways that one can politely reject a gift or idea without offending someone.

Here are some tried-and-true methods for doing just this:

#25. “I appreciate your kind thoughts.”

Appreciate how the other person is trying to help you out and how they want to make your life easier.

This method helps shift the focus from you declining their gift so that it’s about them being nice by offering!

It makes them feel good instead of making them feel bad for asking something from you.

It also leaves open future opportunities where a gift might be accepted in the future.

#26. “Thank you so much for the kind offer.”

Tell them their offer is awesome and how it’s a generous offer.

This method is great for situations where you don’t want to hurt the person making their kind gesture, but also still decline their gift!

It also makes them feel good because you’re telling them how grateful you are for their generous offer.

This isn’t the most direct way to decline an offer, but it’s definitely one of the kindest ways!

Best Wording To Decline a Gift

best wording to decline a gift

You should make sure your words won’t hurt the giver’s feelings.

So try these words, phrases, and ideas to politely say no.

#27. “I’m honoured that you’re giving me this gift. It’s just not something I can use.”

You might have to think of explanations for why the giver should give it to someone else who has a greater need for it, or how they can sell or donate the object instead.

You could also ask if they would like to gift wrap it and give it to you as a present sometime in the future.

#28. “Thank you so much for thinking of me! I’m really touched, but I don’t need anything right now.”

This is a very polite way to say no thank you without hurting the giver’s feelings.

You could also add that you’re saving up for something or that you’re not able to take on any more expenses right now.

#29.  “I’m so sorry, but I just don’t need anything right now.”

This is a very clear and direct way to decline the gift.

It will remove any doubt about how you feel or how your decision came about.

Sometimes it’s best not to give reasons for declining something because it sounds like an excuse.

How Do You Politely Decline a Gift Via Email?

How Do You Politely Decline a Gift Via Email

If you receive a gift that is not meant for you and you feel like you can’t accept that gift, then it is perfectly fine to decline the gift.

It is not wrong to decline any gift and you can politely decline the gift by sending an email to the person who gave the gift.

You can send the email as follows:

“I received a gift from my friend. It is not something that I need. I hope you can understand and accept my decision.”

“I’m sorry to inform you that I cannot accept this as a gift. I am declining this gift as I already have this item.”

“Thank you but I don’t need this”.

“I love your gift but I can’t accept it. I want you to understand this decision of mine and don’t be offended by me”

“What you wanted to give me is very good but I cannot accept this gift from you. Because I do not like to take gifts from anyone, but it does not mean that I am refusing you just I do not like to receive gifts”

It is not wrong to decline the gift.

Some people might feel bad when they receive a gift that is not meant for them, but this is the normal feeling that every human should have.

But, you can’t decline gifts for others. When someone sends you a gift, then you should accept the gift and thank the sender.

How Do You Politely Decline a Gift To Your Child?

When you are a parent, then you will be blessed with a child who is adorable and who makes you proud.

But if you are a working mom then you will be faced with this situation where your children will offer you a gift. And you will feel like you are trapped.

So, how do you politely decline a gift to your child? Well, it is a tricky situation. So, I am here to help you with this problem.

Whether you are a man or a woman this wording to decline your child can help you.

“Child, you have not grown up enough to give me a gift. God has given me you and there can be no better gift than this.”

“You do not need to spend your pocket money on all this. It would be better if you spend this money on yourself.”

“Baby, I don’t need this gift. I’ve got this already. It would be good if you buy something for your studies.”

It is always better to be polite and friendly than to be rude and unkind.

So, when your children offer you a gift or a flower, you need to accept it and also you need to be kind and polite in your reply.

How To Decline a Gift From Someone You Don’t Like

There are certain gifts which you will get from others but you don’t like them.

So, there is nothing wrong with declining the gift from them.

You have to show your gratitude to the person by giving some gift that you have received from him.

Here are some tips to decline a gift from someone you don’t like:

Don’t Feel Bad Because Of It

If you don’t want to decline, then don’t.

Because if you will decline it then you will be sending the wrong message to the person and you will be hurting his feelings.

It is better to decline the gift and make the person understand that you don’t like that particular gift.

Show Your Gratitude

If you know that the person is going through some hard times and he is planning to gift you a particular thing.

Then you should decline it and show him your gratitude for the thought.

Instead of declining the gift, you should thank him for the thought.

You can tell him that you would have liked to receive the gift, but you are happy with the thought.

Avoid Saying That It Is a Waste Of Money

You should never say that it is a waste of money if you don’t like the gift.

You should just say that you don’t like the gift.

Say That You Don’t Want To Receive Any Gifts

If you are not in a relationship then you should say that you don’t want to receive any gifts.

If you don’t like the gift then you can just say that you don’t want to receive any gifts.

Last, Don’t Accept it

The most common reason why we accept a gift is because of social pressure.

You should avoid accepting the gift as you might feel bad about yourself.

5 Reasons People Don’t Want to Accept Gifts

There are many reasons why people do not want to accept gifts.

I’ll share 5 of the most common reasons:

1. Embarrassment Of Selfishness

People who do not want to accept gifts often feel embarrassed about it.

They feel guilty about not accepting gifts, even though they have plenty of money and do not need them.

Some people think that they are being selfish by not accepting gifts.

But the truth is that they are not selfish at all.

They are just not used to receiving gifts.

They are not used to thinking about others or caring about how they feel.

They are not used to being thoughtful and generous.

2. Fear Of Not Wanting

Another reason people do not want to accept gifts is that they fear that they may not want what they have.

For example, if you have a lot of clothes, you may feel guilty about accepting gifts.

You may feel like you are taking advantage of someone.

If you have a lot of food, you may feel guilty about accepting gifts.

You may feel like you are taking advantage of someone.

3. Avoiding Giving Them Back

Some people don’t want to accept gifts because they do not want to return them.

This is a big problem for the giver.

If you do not want to return the gift, you should tell the person that you cannot accept it.

For example, if you receive a gift that you do not need, you may feel guilty about giving it back.

They are afraid that they will be asked to return the gifts and that they will feel bad.

4. Fear Of Being In The Spotlight

People who do not want to accept gifts often feel uncomfortable about it.

They feel that they will be in the spotlight if they accept a gift.

They may feel like they are being selfish or greedy.

They are afraid that they will be noticed and that they will be the centre of attention.

5. Not Loving Yourself Enough

People who do not want to accept gifts often feel guilty about it.

They feel like they are not worthy of receiving gifts.

They feel that they are not good enough.

They feel that they do not deserve to receive gifts.

The truth is that we all deserve to receive gifts.

Check out this video:

Also, read the psychology of refusing gifts (why people actually decline gifts).

Am I Being Unkind Rejecting My Father’s Gifts?

When you receive something from your father, there are two possibilities. Either you accept it and enjoy it or you refuse it. In this section, I will talk about the second possibility.

You know that your father loves you a lot and he wants the best for you.

That’s why he has been giving you gifts all your life. It was a tradition of your family to give gifts to each other.

But the question is are you doing a good thing by rejecting your father’s gift? Because the answer is no, you are not.

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced a lot of times when I have refused my father’s gifts. And now I feel bad about it. Why did I reject them? Because my father gave me those things and I didn’t use them. And in return, he is feeling sad.

Here I am going to share with you some tips to avoid rejecting your father’s gift.

1. Understand Your Value

If you have the habit of refusing your father’s gifts, then you must know that you are valuable to your father.

He has given you the best of his life, so you can’t reject it.

You have to understand your value.

2. Try to Use Your Father’s Gift

If you know that your father has given you a gift, then you should use it.

You can start using it now.

You can wear it, you can keep it or you can give it to your children.

You are the only one who can decide its fate of it.

3. Be Thankful

You are a human being, so you cannot live without anything.

You will feel bad if you don’t use your father’s gift.

So, be thankful to your father for everything he has done for you.

4. Try to Make a Difference

Your father is a great person, so you have a great responsibility to make him happy.

If you feel that you are not able to make your father happy, then try to make a difference in his life.

5. Accept Your Father’s Love

If you are living with your father, then you should accept his love and affection.

He is the only one who can make your day beautiful and bright.

So, accept his love and be grateful to him.


When should you refuse to accept a gift?

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances surrounding the gift.

Some people may be offended if you decline their gift, especially if it was a large gift or a special occasion.

There are different rules depending on the situation.

In general, you should always decline a gift when you have a good reason.

You should also decline a gift when you feel uncomfortable accepting it.

But you should never decline a gift just because you don’t want it.

If your love language is not gifting, what are some other intangible gifts you would appreciate?

As I have noted in my book, The Love Language, the following gifts are considered to be “intangible” because they are non-physical:

• Time
• Thoughtfulness
• Affection
• Appreciation
• Listening
• Helping
• Forgiveness
• Humor

How do you go about returning a gift without offending the giver?

You can simply say that you’re not interested in the gift or that you don’t need it.

However, if you are unable to return the gift, you can send a note saying that you are unable to accept it.

It’s also possible to return the gift with a gift card.

If you do choose to return the gift, make sure you do so in a timely manner.

Otherwise, the giver may assume that you did not like the gift and will not be inclined to give you another one.

How do you respond to a gift you don’t want?

When you are offered a gift you don’t want, you should first say thank you.

Then, you should explain why you cannot accept the gift.

It is important, to be honest, and sincere.

If you don’t want the gift, you should say so.

You should not lie or pretend to be happy about something you don’t want.

How do you write a thank you for a gift you don’t like?

In brief, you should say thank you, and then explain why you cannot accept the gift.

For example, you might say:

Thank you for the gift. I am so sorry, but I cannot accept it.

Please know that I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.

How do you say thank you for the gift but it was not necessary?

Obviously, you should say thank you, but you should also say why it was not necessary.

You could say:

Thank you for the gift. I really enjoyed the gift, but it is not necessary.

I am so sorry, but I am unable to accept it.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.

You can say thank you for the offer, but explain that you cannot accept it.

Is It Rude To Decline a Gift?

is it rude to decline a gift

It is not rude to decline a gift.

It can be very awkward, but it’s better than accepting an unwanted gift!

There are many ways to politely refuse gifts in any situation.

We hope the above examples will help you in your next encounter.

When someone offers you a gift, they are doing so because they want to make you happy.

If you don’t want the gift for any reason, it is polite to decline it in a way that is respectful to the giver.

You can say thank you for the offer, but explain that you cannot accept it.

Always remember how much the person means to you and how grateful you are for their thoughtfulness!

If you have any more questions or need more advice, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Also, let us know if you have ever declined a gift in any way! Comment below!

You may also like:

How to react to a gift you don’t like?

30 ‘A Small Gift For You Message’ Sure To Make Their Day

How to say hope you will like the gift [21 Beautiful Ways]

How to politely ask for gifts on an invitation? [7 Working Tips]

Politely request no Christmas gifts this year

Your friendly neighborhood. I do SEO (Freelance Content Writer), and sometimes I cook food.

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