Some people like their in-laws. Some of us win the lottery, and get on with our significant other’s family just as well (if not better) than we get along with our own. For everyone else, though, getting along with the in-laws can be tough. In some cases it can be downright Herculean. If you’re not one of the blessed few who have common ground with your in-laws, then you should keep this list of tips in mind. Especially around the holidays.
5 Tips For Dealing With The In-Laws
Tip #1: Set Boundaries
This can be awkward, but sometimes the best thing to do is to sit down with your in-laws, and talk about your boundaries for you, your significant other, and any children you have. Be reasonable, and keep things light, but make sure you communicate clearly what you expect, and what you need from your in-laws. This might lead to some head-butting, especially if you have grandparents who want to spoil your little ones, but it’s also the best way to get results. Remember, you’re all adults here, and you should be able to solve things just by talking them out among yourselves.
Tip #2: Take Time For Yourself
If you get along well with your in-laws, then being with them might feel refreshing. Just like spending time with good friends. However, if you have to stay on your guard all the time, that can quickly sap your strength. Remember to take a break, and to catch your breath. When you feel your reserves getting low, it might be time to take a nap, go run some errands, or get lunch with some friends. Whatever you do, make sure it will relax you. The key to making sure you can deal with your in-laws is to never let the pressure get higher than you can take. That’s how fights start.
Tip #3: Prepare
An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, or so the old saying goes. When it comes to dealing with your in-laws, this is astonishingly true.
You know them. You know what causes arguments, and you know what smooths things over. So, before you spend any time with them, do some preparation. Maybe that means planning a family meal so you can all spend the evening together to start off the get-together on a high note. Maybe it means taking a day or so for yourself so you’ll be ready to handle the pressure of spending time with this part of your family. Think of it like stretching before a workout; you’re less likely to hurt yourself if you go in prepared for what’s coming.
Tip #4: Make Sure You And Your Spouse Are On The Same Page
Coping with your in-laws can be hard. Coping with them alone can be an impossible task. So make sure you sit down with your significant other, and talk about what you need from them. Don’t make it about you versus your in-laws, because that can lead to hurt feelings all around. Instead, make sure your spouse knows what you need from them, and that you both agree on how to handle certain situations. You need to be a collaborative unit, instead of working separately.
Tip #5: Don’t Take Them Personally
Your in-laws are just people. Sometimes their comments, habits, or way of being might be abrasive, or exhausting, but you need to ask when it’s being directed at you, personally, and when it’s just how they are. Because a lot of the time, it may have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. And if it’s their problem, you shouldn’t stress yourself by making it your problem.
The roots of trust are built in our childhood, where we learn to receive consistent, predictable care from our parents. Trust is built on order and predictability, which makes it even more psychologically traumatizing when that trust is broken. Studies have shown that psychological traumas (like discovering an affair) can have an effect on brain functioning long after the event has happened.
One of these common changes is the development of hyper-vigilance to prevent further assaults. Being hyper-vigilant is a survivor perspective, it protects us from harm.
These behaviors are commonly acted out by the partner who has been betrayed, by being looking for and being ultra aware of any change in behavior or pattern from their partner. Unfortunately, being hyper-vigilant is non discriminating. This puts us in a position to mistrust everyone around us- other family members, co-workers, spiritual leaders. This is harmful to our social connections- how can we prevent ourselves from mistrusting everyone around us after a betrayal?
Taking Care of Yourself and Moving On After a Breakup
Breakups affect everyone—those who are married and those who are unmarried, those who have been together for ten years and those who have only been dating for six months. So if your breakup is affecting you, remember that you’re not alone. There are many people around you who feel the same way.
Not everyone may feel equally comfortable expressing how they feel after a breakup; they might keep their emotions bottled up inside. This doesn’t mean that they don’t feel anything. They might be letting their emotions out when they are alone.
It’s normal and necessary to grieve after a breakup. But at some point, you need to make a decision to move on. Here are some tips to help you do so:
One of the most important things you need to do after a breakup, which will enable you to move on, is to care for yourself. Be good to yourself in any way possible. For some people, self-care might take the form of reading a mystery novel or doing yoga. For others, a spa day or just a manicure will do the trick. You probably know what makes you feel good. So do that.
But remember to also take care of your health by eating well and exercising. Make an effort to dress well too as this will help you to feel more confident when you’re ready to start dating gain. Keep your home clean and tidy. These are all really basic things but a lot of people tend to ignore them when they are feeling depressed after a breakup.
At some point, you’re going to feel ready to start dating again. Don’t rely on meeting people by chance. It’s true that a lot of people meet their spouses at work or at school. However, you may not be in school anymore. And there may not be anyone interesting for you to date at work.
So don’t be afraid to go online and set up a profile at a dating website or on an app. Be very clear in your self-description about what you are looking for so that you’re not inundated with “likes” and “superlikes” from people who are looking for something different from you. For example, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you should say so. On the other hand, if you’re just looking to socialize and meet new people, you can state that as well.