perhaps your first year as a married couple, and you are still in the honeymoon period of your marriage. Everything seems perfect! But watch out: The holiday season is approaching rapidly, and that means you might soon be spending your first Christmas or New Year’s eve with your inlaws. re you having your inlaws around this festive season? It’s
If this sounds like you, this article is for you and keep reading. Listed below are some easy to implement strategies you can use to get along with difficult inlaws this holiday season if you have them over.
Don’t panic! Here are 8 ways to survive your first holiday season with the inlaws and avoid anything that could potentially harm your marriage.
1). Focus on positive thinking
If there is a family member in your husband or wife’s side of the family that plain doesn’t like you, or can get a bit nasty when there is alcohol involved, tried to disarm them with your charm.
Turn every negative remark into a positive one, try to compliment them on their cooking, clothing choices or hobbies and generally stay positive.
If this is impossible because of an intense passive-aggressive behavior or plain hostility, the next best option is to avoid them for a while. Maybe try sitting as far from them as possible, or find a buffer to get between the two of you if they get too intense.
If your problem is that a certain mother or father in law keeps asking questions you don’t want to answer truthfully, like when you guys are going to have children, plan ahead a noncommitted reply to offer them and deflect any further discussion of the matter gracefully.
2). Children and pets can be lifesavers
If a conversation is taking a turn for the worse or an argument gets too heated, you can always escape to the kids’ table if there is one. You can also go pet or take for a walk the family god, or offer to distract the children with a fun little game. That way, you’ll get to walk away scot-free, and show others how helpful you can be as well. It’s a win-win situation: You’ll look good and enjoy a little breather from the tense adult conversations.
Plus, kids can be absolutely adorable during this season, and it’s lovely to get a nice dose of holiday cheer to improve your day!
3). Try to stay away from the alcohol
Sure, a drink or two can probably help you unwind and relax during a tense dinner with the in-laws, but be careful about it!
Alcohol can make your tongue loosen up, and you can end up saying something that you’ll regret the following day… and many Christmases to come!
Always try to stop your inlaws and other family members from overdoing it as well. It can both lead to heated arguments and uncomfortable anecdotes no one really wants to hear about! Be sure to have enough water going round so that no one gets too drunk, especially early in the night.
4). Propose a new family tradition
Since you’ll be spending your holidays with your inlaws often, it’s a great time to begin a new tradition! It can make you feel more welcomed without forcing the situation and create positive memories that help you connect with your inlaws.
Also, it’ll give you all a nice break from possibly uncomfortable subjects everyone would prefer avoiding, such as politics and religion. Share a fun activity together before or after dinner, and the mood will improve because of it,
5). Avoid certain topics
As we’ve mentioned before, there are certain topics that can turn a nice conversation into a heated argument. Those usually are religion, politics and other high-voltage issues such as the death penalty. Try and avoid them whenever someone brings them up, and certainly don’t introduce them into the conversation yourself.
If such subjects arise, have a few questions and anecdotes ready to shift the conversation onto a new path, especially something you know that will interest your in-laws. Stories about their hobbies, or their grandchildren, if they have any, are great options!
6). Let them meddle a bit
Sometimes it’s healthier to just let go and let your inlaws do their thing. If your mother in law is always trying to rearrange the dinner table or bake an extra cake when you already made one, let her do it. Give them a chore to keep them busy if they keep getting in the way. Try to put a positive spin on their attitudes and trust that they truly are just trying to help, even if they can be a bit annoying at times.
Don’t try and compete with them, it’s not worth it. It’s one night of the year, so let them be the center of attention or smother your kid and husband if they want to. It’ll be all back to normal in a day or two.
7). Have a safe word in case it gets too intense for you
If you’ve tried everything else and you still can’t get yourself out of an uncomfortable moment with your inlaws, be sure to have a safe word to use with your husband or wife, so they know you are in trouble. Discuss it beforehand and they’ll be able to rescue you by finding an excuse to get you out of the room for a while or diffusing the situation.
8). Try to enjoy yourself!
Whatever their faults, they are your family now as well, and your husband or wife loves them. So try and enjoy yourself and see the silver lining in every situation. Remember your own family probably also has its quirks and your significant other puts up with them as well, so make your best effort to make this a great night.
Don’t have incredibly high expectations about how everything needs to go perfect. Just have fun and relax, and most importantly, enjoy the festive season with your inlaws!
Here’s a quick recap of 8 strategies to survive the inlaws this festive seasons:
- Focus on positive thinking
- Children and pets can be lifesavers
- Try to stay away from the alcohol as much as you can
- Propose a new family tradition
- Avoid certain topics
- Let them meddle a bit
- Have a safe word in case it gets too intense for you
- Try to enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can!