Tension between you and your in-laws is bound to happen.
A) We all have different habits, B) we all have different upbringings, and C) we all are fallible humans.
That being said, there are a few things you can do to minimize that uncomfortable feeling between you and your mate’s parent or parents.
Psychology Today lists 5 tips on how to deal with in-laws:
- Set boundaries– as soon as you feel your in-law overstepping his or her boundary, nip it in the bud.It’s a delicate situation, but the sooner you do it, the better. Simply say, “We appreciate your desire to _______. We are more comfortable doing it this way.” It’s short, direct, and most importantly, kind.
- Remember, it’s only an opinion– when your parent or in-law gives you advice, remind yourself that it’s one person’s opinion coming from one person’s experience. You don’t have to take it personally or try to prove your point that your way is better. How you react is paramount. Accept the advice graciously and make your choice on what to do.
- Remember, your in-laws or parents are people – they have their own ideas, values, and feelings. Rather than treating them like parents, treat them like any new person you are beginning to get to know.
- Respect your spouse’s attachments – your mate has known his or her parents a lot longer than you have known them. If they have a habit of connecting with them daily or weekly, support his or her desire to do that.
- Take deep breaths – When you think you’re about to lose it, step out of the environment to get some alone time. Breathe deeply and focus on one positive thing about your in-laws, whether it is that they love your children, they love their son or daughter, or they love you.
If using all five suggestions at once feels overwhelming, implement one to start and then add the rest one at a time. Now that you have this new information, why not pick one to use in the near future?
Do you need a family meeting to discuss issues that you have? Maybe you need one to just get everyone on the same page. Get your free copy of Family Meeting Guidelines to help you manage and host a successful meeting.