Friday, January 13, 2012

Issues with your in-laws? 5 ways to build a bridge and get over it!

Someone once said to me "the best mother in law, is a dead mother in law". I gasped in horror and laughed at the same time at this statement. This sentiment obviously speaks to the usual discourse between couples and their significant others families. This intricate relationship between you, your beau and his/her family can be an interesting one to say the least. I however don't believe in approaching a situation like this with a negative view. I think it is totally plausible that you can develop meaningful relationships with your boo's family. Now don't get me wrong there are some crazy in laws that just make it downright impossible to get along with them. This article is not about the crazies, this only applicable to people that have an ounce of common sense. I cant fix crazy!

Remember you don't have to be BFF (best friend's forever) with them but you can still have decent relationships with them. So ladies and gents I present to you my 5 tips for getting along with the in-laws:

1. Speak to them
When you are with your boo and his family it's totally expected that you ask about his relatives lives, as a matter of fact I strongly encourage it. People love to talk about themselves, what better way to find out about someone than having a conversation about work, school, vacations, pop culture etc. Of course a conversation is a 2 way street so make sure you leave room to drop interesting tidbits about yourself. This however, is not the time to wow them with stories of your legendary pot smoking days - keep the conversation appropriate to your audience.

2. Don't act like a b*tch
No need to be stuck up and pretentious around his family. Just relax and be yourself. So for example, if everyone in his family knows that you are die hard vegan, no need to freak out when they break out the ribs, sushi and pulled pork sandwiches. People have differences, it's totally cool to have your opinion and different lifestyle but try not to judge people on seemingly minimal differences.

3. 3 sides to every story
So your boo told you all about his mooching Auntie. All she does is ask for money and when its time to pay the money back home girl is always missing in action. I ask you remember this, there are 3 sides to every story. His side, her side and the truth. What you are hearing is your partner's side of the story. You don't know the relatives side of the story so try not judge her and write her off based on third party information. At the end of the day you should form your own opinion and judge her based on your interactions with her.

4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me. I know you have heard the Aretha Franklin song and my friends I'm here to tell you no truer words have been spoken. Respect is a fundamental part of life that everyone should be given. His or family members deserve the respect given to strangers. Smile and say hello. Look at people in their eyes. Be genuine. All these tips go a long way in gaining people's confidence and trust.

5.Is it worth it?
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it. By worth it I mean, are you willing to step outside of your box and develop a meaningful relationship with your in-laws? Is this relationship really that meaningful to you, that you will do anything to see it succeed? If you can truthfully answer yes then I would suggest you start reaching out to your in laws, building a bridge and getting over it.

Thoughts? Do you have in laws? How do you get along with them?

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