7 Things You Don't Owe Your Parents — Or Anyone

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Lots of people have trouble saying "no" to anyone, but saying "no" to your parents can be particularly difficult. After all, most of us love our parents and are grateful for all they've given us. But there are some things you don't owe your parents, no matter how much they've done for you.

"You don’t actually owe your family anything," Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic in Troy, MI, tells Bustle. "Also, anything that feels owed or obligated often comes at the price tag of guilt or resentment, so families should reconsider using 'owe' as a method to coerce people and start to use free choice and a sense of autonomy, which yields more gratitude and pleasant feelings."

The many things you don't owe your parents include "time, money, a place to live, a job, your feelings, your thoughts, a shared opinion on any topic, your religious beliefs, your political beliefs, access to your children, your interests, access to your spouse or significant other, and immediate responsiveness," she says. "Now, you may choose to give one, more, or all of these, but you should feel empowered that it is your preference, choice, or that you elect to do it because the cost of not doing it is too high (conflict, some other loss or change in some other area)."

Here are some things you shouldn't ever feel like you owe your parents — or anyone, actually.