3 Tips for Improving Relations with Your In-Laws
Updated: Mar 27
So your in-laws are coming for a visit again. That might make you run to deep-clean your home, cook an elaborate meal to impress them, and buy new linens you don’t need. If a visit from your in-laws provokes anxiety and has you running to ensure perfection, then you might be interested in improving your relations with them
How do you improve relations with in-laws that you have experienced as demanding, hard to please, or critical?
Focus on extending kindness
While trying to manage the challenges of relations with your in-laws, it can be easy to lose sight of the value of kindness. How do you extend kindness to someone who readily finds fault with you or doesn’t seem satisfied regardless of what you do?
One way is to focus on the kindness of your intentions and behaviors, regardless of “jabs” coming your way. Focusing on compassion may make it simpler not to react to or be offended by your in-laws. This will position you well to improve your relationship with them by generating more positivity in the interaction.
While focusing on and demonstrating kindness in the face of relationship tensions can be challenging, it can also bring out the best in you and others. So focus on extending kindness as you lean into the challenges that your in-laws may bring to the interactions.
Do your best to maintain flexibility
Having visitors in your home can generate stress, which is even more significant when the visitors are your in-laws. They may demand more time after dinner when you are ready to clean up the kitchen, or they may leave jackets or shoes in places throughout the home, and you prefer them to be left by the door. Maintaining a flexible attitude and behavior can go a long way in these and similar instances.
Remember that discomfort is temporary, and use it to your advantage
Understandably, certain expectations from in-laws can provoke discomfort. How do you handle the discomfort in your home? Remember that being out of your comfort zone is temporary, and the discomfort may be worth it.
You can use the discomfort to your advantage by allowing it to “alert” you to do something different. This difference might be participating in a more intentional interaction with your in-laws, finding a way to bring more enjoyment, and creating memories in the process.
So remember that discomfort is temporary, and use the experience to your advantage by making the most of the opportunity to do something different.
While interactions with in-laws can be challenging, by extending kindness, flexibility, and remembering that discomfort is temporary and can be used to your advantage, you can effectively manage the interactions and generate overall improvements. In addition, since the interactions likely took time to develop, they may also take time to improve. Thus being patient with yourself and your in-laws throughout the process is essential.