How To Deal With Difficult In-Laws
It’s certainly not always easy to be close to people that you didn’t choose to be close to. Often our minds convince us that we are a victim but a simple switch in perspective can help you dealing with the inlaws easily. Once you realize you are in control of your own reactions and you can keep your mind positive, these problems will melt away and you can go back to enjoying your life.
1. Don’t Fuel The Fire
Resist the urge to disagree all the time. If you look for things to be upset about and tell yourself, ‘great another difficult afternoon with the in-laws’ it’s like you’re making self fulfilling prophecies. If you tell yourself, we are going to have a great time, laugh a lot and find things we have in common. Focus on the love in your family, not the differences and you’ll change the tone of your get togethers. You have more power than you think to overcome in-law issues. You just need to fuel the relationships with lots of positive energy. Think about making their day better not about how you think they make your day worse.
2. Control Your Reactions
You have the ability to be very careful with your words. You can remain calm, breathe and think about what you say regarding your in-laws so you don’t insult your husband. The ability to respond calmly is all on you. Chances are your mind is blowing things way out of proportion. If you have a tendency to focus on the negative and ignore the positive, you will get angry with them and it will only ruin your day. Think of just shifting to focus on helping other people have a good day instead of trying to find things to be angry about. Suddenly you’ll realize how much your own reactions have to do with the perceived reality. Remember no one else can make you happy or upset, you are actually the captain of your ship and if you’re unhappy, you can just refocus. You can choose to use your time positively and if you’re spending an unhealthy amount of time with the in-laws, balance out.
3. Speak With Positive Words To Create Healthy Boundaries
You can communicate clearly and kindly in a jovial way when you don’t want your father-in-law to feed your kids sugar or soda. Your own approach is everything. Don’t think that speaking candidly has to lead to confrontation, just be forthright and say it with a smile. Often we create drama in our head but just laying down healthy boundaries for yourself is completely understandable. Many times women never clearly communicate what they want and begin to get passive aggressive because they are keeping it all inside and focusing on the negative things they are perceiving. Keep your thoughts positive and it will keep your words positive. Meditation is a great way to refocus and come from a place of love.
4. Don’t Gossip About Them
Ever met someone that seems to have word vomit? When you feel passionately about something, can you get the same way? Guard your words so you don’t say hurtful things about your in-laws. They also experience hurt and are trying to manage their lives the best they can. Don’t gossip about them to your husband or friends or to yourself. Keep your thoughts clear of gossip and wish the best for them. You don’t need to change everyone, even if you see their smoking habit is bad for them. Just focus on making them smile and keep it simple.
5. Focus On Their Good Traits
If you really put in effort to change the way you think about your in-laws you will find they are just as human as you. Remember that we all have flaws and things that other people find difficult to deal with and we could only hope that someone would be able and willing to focus on our good traits just as we should with our in-laws. It can mean the difference between a peaceful marriage or a rocky one because if you can master the ability to focus on people’s good traits, your whole world will change. You’ll no longer bring toxic ideas to your relationship, you’ll be a harbinger of smiles, not frowns. Never underestimate the power of positivity!
6. This is About You Not Them
Switch your personal focus from them to you. You give away your personal power when you blame your mood on anyone else. When you let anyone, in-laws or others, ruin your day, you need only to look in the mirror to adjust what you’re thinking about and focus on positive things. You can focus on who has a birthday coming up and how you’re going to surprise them. You can focus on doing something nice for your husband, you can focus on making something inspiring or getting something inspiring for your sister-in-law. Switch from victim mode to control your situation. You’re the master of your own experience, not of others.
7. Don’t Hold Things In Or You’ll Explode
Don’t hold onto your negative emotions. Look at them and be like, yes this is what anger feels like and this is why I think I’m experiencing it. No the world is not ending because your father in law wants to watch the game with your husband. Your anger is often over minor things and you just need to realize when you’re feeling icky, think about why and think about if you’re being over reactive. Don’t take yourself too seriously and try not to be a control freak. You can wait till you calm down to express what you want. There’s nothing wrong with adding input but don’t hold onto your own preferences too firmly, sometimes you’ll do what they want, sometimes you’ll do what you want. You don’t always have to be there when your husband hangs out with the in-laws either, you have the freedom to do whatever you want.
8. Don’t Be Jealous When Your Husband Gives Them Attention
Finally, it’s silly to be jealous when your husband shows love to his in-laws. He has more than enough love to go around so don’t let yourself get insecure and mad at him for calling his mother everyday. It’s actually endearing for men to want to keep in touch with their family and make sure they are happy, you can be sure he will be attentive to you as well. If you feel like your in-laws are able to make plans for the two of you, you have a voice, use it. Just be friendly not confrontational.
Hopefully these tips will help you re-frame your thoughts about relationships with your in-laws and put the ball back in your court because your ability to focus on positivity can change everything.