Oh boy, the in-laws. We all have one or two (or many) that seem to be a pain and when we’re forced to be around them for the holidays, it can put a damper on the festivities. Don’t think you’re alone in dealing with in-laws, everybody has an issue at some point and that’s ok. It’s how we handle ourselves and our interactions with those troublesome ones that decides how the rest of the holidays are going to turn out. Don’t be the one who causes more issues, be the one who makes it better! Here are a few tips to surviving the holidays with in-laws you can’t stand.
Don’t Trip Over What They Say – Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about what they’re going to say or how they’re going to react to things. If they’re a pain, they will always find something to be upset over. Just ignore their salty words and see them for what they are, a desperate attempt at feeling better about themselves or being controlling. If you don’t give them the control, they won’t get it.
Try to Avoid In-Depth Conversations with the Worst Ones – It’s ok to cut things short with the in-laws you know will try to start something. If you can’t get out of it, see tip number one!
Smile til’ it hurts – The best cartoon I have ever watched had the best advice, “If people are mean to you, just smile til’ it hurts.” Don’t let them steal your joy. Smile through it and MEAN that smile! Don’t fake it, truly think about all the reasons you have to smile and remind yourself it’s only a short time that you have to deal with them. This often rubs off over time so keep that in mind!
Respect that there Will Be Differences – Everyone believes differently. For example, you believe you need to raise your kids a certain way and the in-laws might believe you need to do it another way. Respect their views. This doesn’t mean you have to listen to a squat of what they’re saying just respect it like you want them to respect yours. Again, this behavior rubs off.
Set Topic Limits – Sometimes we like to vent to family members but with in-laws that are a pain, this can be a mistake. Keep it casual but not overly comfortable. Don’t share personal things and try to keep your questions and conversations with others light and not too deep. Don’t get involved more than you need to.
Don’t Expect a Miracle – Don’t walk in expecting anything other than reality. They’re going to suck, they always have and people rarely change from their basic behavior. Know this going in to any event that includes your in-laws. It most likely won’t be different this year so don’t rely on that to help you through.
Just Leave – If it gets too bad, or you know it’s going to be bad, go and only stay a short while. If it gets really bad, nicely excuse yourself and your family to head home. Don’t make anything uncomfortable just scoot out. No reason to subject yourself to overly negative things. Further, if you know it’s going to be bad before even arriving, set a time limit beforehand and stick to it. No reason to gamble.
Look for the Humor – Situations with in-laws can get uncomfortable and tense. Try to laugh things off and not take it personally. Try to find humor in any given situation and make the best of it.
Overall, your family is your family. Although they can be a pain, try to find the positive aspects of your in-laws and remember that they are family no matter what.