This is a simple, one-word sentence that indicates a negative response.
I’ve never seen a single-syllable word create so much confusion.
Whether you are declining an invitation or telling a friend that they cannot have the last peanut butter cup, the ability to say no without repercussions is what consent is all about.
So, what happens when someone decides that they are owed your belongings after you decline?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Prudent_Ad5683 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not wanting to give my niece bangles that my grandfather made for me?”
“My 23F’s grandfather was a goldsmith.”
“When he was alive, he used to occasionally make gold jewelry for his daughters and granddaughters.”
“He didn’t make any for his sons or grandsons because we’re Muslim, and in Islam men aren’t allowed to wear gold.”
“However, when my grandmother passed away her jewelry (majority of which was designed and made by my grandpa) was equally divided between my dad, aunts, and uncles.”
Then she got to the situation at hand.
“My brother and SIL had my niece 8 months ago.”
“They’re planning on doing a family photoshoot and wants to incorporate grandpa’s jewelry as well.”
“My dad has already let SIL pick what she likes from the jewelry that he has for the photo shoot.”
“However, my dad doesn’t have any pieces that are baby-sized, but I do.”
So far so good…
“She asked me whether she can borrow some of mine for niece.”
“She looks through what I have, and zeroes in on a pair of bangles.”
“Grandpa made me those for my first birthday, and they’re my favourites as well.”
…Until it wasn’t.
“I don’t mind letting her borrow them, but SIL then asked whether I would mind gifting them to niece as an early birthday present.”
“I immediately noped out of that situation.”
“She left without borrowing anything, because she ‘loves’ the bangles.”
“My brother calls me later that day and asks whether I’d be willing to let niece borrow those bangles instead.”
An attempted compromise.
“I said no, but SIL is welcome to pick something else to borrow.”
“But apparently SIL has her heart set on those bangles. We’re currently at a stalemate.”
“SIL hasn’t replied to my message saying she can pick something else to borrow.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that the issue is deeper than jewelry.
“That isn’t jewelry that was passed down and left to be split among family.”
“That was an extra special gift to you. It has sentimental value.”
“It might be worth mentioning to them why you are extra cautious with those bangles. I’d be nervous about SIL keeping them based on her actions so far.” ~ Ickyhouse
“And what if OP decides to have her own children at some point that she wants to pass them on to, or her own grandchildren someday.”
“I feel like the brother and SIL might say something, if they haven’t already, that OP doesn’t have a baby (I’m obviously making an assumption here), and therefore doesn’t need them.”
“But OP could at some point and the brother probably isn’t even considering this as a possibility.”
“OP, definitely hide them separately from the rest of the jewelry like someone else suggested, in case they decide to look at the rest of the jewelry again and think they can try to swipe them.” ~ OkProfessor7164
“Those bangles are an heirloom and you are emotionally attached to them, she has no right to demand you to gift them to your niece.” ~ BaRiMaLi
Others were disappointed by this family’s behavior.
“It’s baffling to me that some family members think they’re entitled to something that has sentimental value to someone.”
“And when they are asked of the same thing, they suddenly find themselves unable to part with their own sentimental object.” ~ NocturneStaccato
“There have been so many posts on this sub along the lines of ‘family member gave x, y, z to me and now another person is demanding it.”’
“And the person not giving something up is made to seem selfish by the family when it’s the exactly the opposite!” ~ UCgirl
“Honestly, watching a good chunk of my mom’s extended family act before and just after my grandmother passed, I’m not surprised anymore.”
“Just like there are wonderful people out there, there’s also the lowest of the low.”
“They’re also a large percentage of the reason why I rarely lend any of my stuff out, like… ever.” ~ Sizara42
“The amount of posts on this sub where people just expect others to hand over extremely personal items is beyond me.”
“It’s so gross.”
“Why don’t they understand what these things mean to other people? It’s so heartless and teaches their kids they can get whatever they want.” ~ LaylaBird65
Our Community chimed in.
“As a girl whose mother forced her aunt to give her a family ring at 7, KEEP YOUR JEWELRY.”
“I lost it within a day. Because kids always lose sh*t. I felt terrible because my aunt cried and my mom shamed her.”
“Like my mom told her that kids lose things a lot. Yeah, that’s why she didn’t want to give it to me!!”
“My parents moved from my childhood home recently, and I found it while we were packing.”
“It was in an old piggy bank. Must’ve thought that was a safe place to leave it lmao.”
“I got it cleaned and gave it back to my aunt.”
“Her expression man… I could never appreciate that ring as she does.”
“She was so grateful I returned it and even told me some stories about my great great aunt she got it from. Only pass down heirlooms to people who will appreciate the sentimental value above all”
“NTA” ~ Sad_Lotus0115
“This reminds me of when my paternal aunt came to help me clean out my mom’s house.”
“My mom had some glassware from my dad’s side she’d set aside for my brother, but he had no interest in it.”
“I didn’t want it to just go with the junk guy, so I showed my aunt. It has a set of little candy dishes that had belonged to her grandma, including her favorite one.”
“She was overjoyed. Probably the nicest interaction we’d ever had.” ~ vilebunny
“Opposite story here.”
“My aunt who made sure she was my grandma’s sole caregiver cleaned out every drawer, jewelry etc before my mom (wife of oldest son) got to see anything.”
“She had it all appraised and let us ‘pick’ from everything of no value.”
“This was after my dad had been super generous with her when my grandpa died.”
“He literally cut my aunt out of the will, gifting my aunt nothing of his multimillion-dollar company. My dad and other sister rearranged so everyone got 1/3.”
“Grandma dies and greedy aunt takes ALL the jewelry, expensive antiques, silver, you name it.”
“And there was tons.”
“I got a (beautiful) small Ruby bracelet since she felt guilty.”
“And when she saw me wearing it (while wearing my grandma’s huge diamond necklace and my cousins dripping in jewelry too) she said, ‘I’m glad you were able to have something.’ Biatch”
“Oh and she ran the company into the ground three years after she was appointed president.” ~ senditloud
“NTA and no is a complete answer. You don’t need to feel bad or justify yourself” ~ InternCautious8565
“You said no and no means no. you aren’t obligated to explain yourself, and don’t let these people manipulate you into thinking you’re a bad person for not wanting to allow her to borrow it. NTA.” ~ Forsaken-Vehicle7233
“You said no. That should be the end of it.”
“However, secure your jewelry where SIL won’t have access to make sure it doesn’t spontaneously sprout legs and walk off.” ~ Anxious-Routine-5526
“NTA She asked you said no she should let it go.”
“I would take whatever pieces of jewelry you aren’t comfortable with someone else borrowing or taking and put them somewhere else with the earrings.”
“I wouldn’t even let her borrow the earrings because of the way she won’t take no for an answer.”
“Tell them that you may have a daughter of your own someday and you would want them to have the earrings.” ~ proudtexaslady
“‘We’re currently at a stalemate.'”
“No, you aren’t. The discussion ended once you said ‘no”‘.
“You do not need to justify, argue, defend, or explain any further. Just refuse to engage. ‘My decision is final. Please do not ask again.’ (I also don’t think you can trust them.)”
“NTA” ~ [deleted]
Ownership was also an issue.
“They are yours and are precious to you.”
“Because she flat out asked you to gift them, you understand the likelihood that they don’t end up being returned. It’s not greed on your part, and rather it’s preservation of your own valuables.” ~ dontwannadoittoday
We tend to conflate consent with intimacy lately, but consent isn’t just about your body, but about all the things that make you comfortable.
How someone speaks to you, the name they call you, and even the things they can borrow from you.
You have the right to give or take consent at your pleasure.
No is always a complete answer.