Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws? What makes you uncomfortable and how do you deal with it in your daily life?
Does the discomfort cause you stress and lead you to irritation? This is a very common situation in almost every household where you are staying with your in laws.
In this blog, let us try to discuss the possible reasons for the discomfort you face when you are around your in laws and what we can do about it.
Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws?
You married a person and his whole family became your family by default, now managing him and managing the whole family is all you do in your life. Right from pleasing them to getting bowled is all your daily routine consists of.
Maintaining a good relationship with your in laws is quite a challenging task, but it is very much needed to maintain harmony and peace in the house otherwise you will not be surprised to be blamed for the bad vibes in the house.
5 common signs which will help you understand why you feel uncomfortable around your in laws
Although it is a continuous process of arguments, apologies, and what not but still many daughters in law feel saturated over a period of time with their bottled emotions. Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws? They simply find themselves dodging their emotional triggers while dealing with their toxic in laws no matter how cautiously they take their every step to make them happy.
|1.) Being treated as an outsider|
|2.) Social gatherings|
|3.) Trespassing your parenting skills|
|4.) Non-supportive husband|
|5.) Frequent visits|
Few typical situations which make you feel uncomfortable around in laws:
1.) Being treated as an outsider
The most common pain or a cry of every Indian daughter in law. Whether you are in a love marriage or an arranged marriage, the consequences are the same. We can only compare one with another but it will lead us to nowhere. You crave acceptance and love throughout your life. There is like one in a hundred mother in law who treats a daughter in laws like her own family member. The majority of them see her as an outsider in their house, who has come to invade their territory.
If a daughter in laws tries to be good, just to win hearts, so that she can make others happy and make some space for her in the house she is labeled as a sugar-coated knife and a possessive mother in law will never want her to win over her. Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws? When you are being treated as an outsider you feel left out and sometimes withdrawn, how will connect with such in laws?
You will naturally feel uncomfortable in their presence as it will only remind you of your own house and the way you were treated there, how you were loved and appreciated for good things you used to do, which you find completely missing here in your new house.
2.) Social gatherings
Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws? Do you feel uneasy when you have to attend a family event with them? Just imagine you have been invited for a wedding ceremony along with your in laws next week. Now your whole universe will revolve around that event for another one week.
Do you feel uncomfortable around your in laws? The answer is yes when you may start getting anxious immediately after getting the invitation to the wedding event, and spend hours worrying about it. When the day actually arrives you feel nervous, agitated, and low about yourself and even after the event gets over, you think about it and you think about how you acted and how you looked, which ultimately makes you more anxious.
The fact is that this social anxiety which you get is more about others, the fear of being around people, what they think, and how they treat you is the main concern for you.
3.) Trespassing your parenting skills
The tough part. Now your in laws are done raising their children. Their life is a product of your in law’s belief system. Now they want to impose the same belief system and parenting skills on your children. This is a real botheration when a mother or father is advised with any parenting advice but the other family member and society can never control their urge to intervene and give their unsolicited advice. Why do in laws cause problems in relations? I wonder. I wish we all could say it loud and clear, Parenting advice? None gave and none was taken.
Now, this reminds me of a wonderful book, I had read last year, Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide. The true family connection is possible–and this essential guide shows us how. I wish even your mother in law would have read this book so that she would have mellowed down a bit by this age. It really becomes very difficult to deal with the parameters set by the in laws and simultaneously deal with your cranky kids, you end up getting frustrated.
4.) Non-supportive husband
Just in case, another icing on the cake is that your husband is a little non-supportive when it comes to his parents, then your life becomes more stressful. You will be forced to do so many things against your own will and attend social gatherings even if you feel uncomfortable. You will be blamed for not getting along with your in laws. Your husband could play a very significant role in bridging the gap but most of the time they prefer staying out of it.
It would be a very easy ride if your husband understands how all this affects you and lead you to stress. Refer to my latest blog, Does tension with in laws cause you stress? It is a proven fact that a bitter relationship with in laws also affects your health and your relationship with your husband because, in the end, you expect him to support you and understand you, whereas your husband finds himself in a fix. He unable to support either of the two and which completely turns you off from the spark you had in your relationship.
5.) Frequent visits
You get a little breathing space if your in laws are not staying with you, but also their frequent visits might make you uncomfortable. I am not saying that they should not visit you or you must completely cut off, but this is the fact that as soon as you hear that your in laws are going to visit your place in next few days and are going to stay for few days, your heartbeat goes up and down and you so panicky even before their arrival.
Do you feel uncomfortable around in laws? Yes, if you get anxious and uncomfortable, thinking about what they will say and they will put their nose in everything you do. You fear their feedback, their comments and which makes you restless, all this sometime also results in anxiety you face in the presence of your in laws. It is very hard for others to understand but we cannot completely deny that relationships are always nurtured from both ends by shedding tons of ego and patriarchal beliefs.
How to deal with this discomfort?
Now, this is very important because once we know the core reasons for our discomfort with our in laws, we need to work on them. In laws are a major part of our life, although we can choose to stay separate from them we can never totally cut off from them, no matter how toxic they are, because they are ou husband’s parents and who wants to take the burden of curse on their shoulders to separate a son from his parents.
As I have stated a few common signs or reasons for being uncomfortable in the presence of your in laws, you need to figure out what is your major concern and address it. Trust me these things take time and there is no overnight formula to fix things. But we can at least try to make things a little easy in order to avoid stressful situations in our family.
I have tried everything because few things literally made me very much uncomfortable especially in family gatherings, comparisons, and small talks about my parents, but I made up my mind to not let their negativity enter my mind, it took time but it somehow worked in the long run.
5 ways to deal with your uncomfortable in laws
We cannot certainly keep everyone happy, remember this first rule and start analyzing your core issue and then you will come up with some solution for sure, now let me mention a few for you, see if anything from the below list works for you:
|1.) Don’t go hard on yourself|
|2.) Shed perfectionism|
|3.) Learn to say NO|
|4.) Learn to let go|
|5.) Find your happy corner|
1.) Don’t go hard on yourself
You do it more often, don’t you? You try hard to fit in and be available just to keep everything smooth and sailing but what about you? When you have tried and tested all the ways and still your in laws make things uncomfortable for you and put you in certain awkward situations, you need to draw a line. You need to maintain a healthy distance just to save some sanity for yourselves.
2.) Shed perfectionism
Drop that baggage of expectations. Especially in India, we are trained right from our childhood to meet the needs of our in laws, we are trained to please them and be a perfect daughter in laws and a housewife. Hence we carry this heavy baggage on our shoulders to fit in every time and sometimes this makes us so uncomfortable because everyone reacts differently in a given situation and it is really difficult to meet everyone’s happiness parameters.
3.) Learn to say NO
If you don’t want to put yourself in an awkward position as it happened with you last time, you can politely decline. We always take our future decisions based on our past experience, right? Then why not apply the same logic here as well. You can say no, it is alright if you are unwell or you do not want to join a social gathering. You fear that you will be judged and this makes you anxious so why not take a break from it.
4.) Learn to let go
This is very important, we cannot control what others have to say or react but we can only control our reactions and actions to prevent ourselves from future damage. This becomes very crucial when you are staying in a non-supportive environment but you have to help yourselves by finding what works for you and start by letting go. Do not hold grudges and negativity for too long, it will only affect you internally.
5.) Find your Ikigai
You must have heard about the very famous Japanese term rolling over the internet these days “Ikigai”, which means, a reason for being. It is used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Find yours. There is always something to look forward but since we get too exhausted over other things that we lose focus on the good and beautiful things in life which might keep us motivated in our lives.
My dear friends, in the end, I would say these situations are recurring. But the solution always lies in our hands. all we have to remember is not every action needs our immediate reaction. Maybe something out of these mentioned points will work for you. Just try and avoid stress in your life. BE happy and take care.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.