How to respond to negative in-laws? How to save yourself some sanity amid so much negativity?
In-laws are a very crucial part of our married life, their level of presence in our life can either brighten up our married life or totally consume it. The evolved and peacemakers will never be trouble-makers, but what about the trouble-makers? How do we deal with them?
Should we deal with them, should we respond to them at all? Let us discuss over a cuppa coffee.
How To Respond To Negative In-laws?
I hope you have grabbed your cup of coffee, now tell me what defines a marriage? Is it your ability to please your in-laws or your ability to let nothing sabotage your inner space? Honestly speaking, we all know how it works for us if we choose the latter, still, we go for self-sabotage.
Those who care will stay, every household goes through similar situations, only situations and people vary, their temperament and attitude towards dealing with the problems vary, but we all go through this emotional turmoil.
How to respond to negative in-laws and still say happy, how to let it not affect your relationship with your husband, how to not invoke you to take out the frustration on your kids, I mean why do we do it, we are unhappy with our problem creating and trouble making in-laws then we should speak to them directly and not just vent out our frustration and anger on others who care for us.
This is not going to solve your problem and make them fall in love with you, but help you to put your point forward. We do not represent anyone, we do not become uncultured if we speak for ourselves, there is no shame in standing for what is wrong and you decide what is wrong or right for you.
Nine Significant Ways to Respond to Negative In-laws
All around the globe, you might find a lot of cultural differences and belief differences, but one thing is common everywhere the world-famous in-law’s saga. Daughters in-law complain about their mothers-in-law and mothers-in-law complain about their daughters-in-law and the whole family falls apart.
How to take charge of our life and make it work? How do we not fall for what’s happening around us and let it affect us internally? Let’s try a few of the below-mentioned ways, maybe it could save us some sanity.
|1.) Don’t take things personally|
|2.) Draw respectful boundaries|
|3.) Do not focus on changing them|
|4.) Communicate wisely|
|5.) Do not seek validation|
|6.) Do not pull the triggers|
|7.) Be Assertive in your choices|
|8.) Practise mindfulness|
|9.) Learn to let go|
1.) Don’t take things personally
The more you accept them not appreciating you, the more it becomes easy for you to survive, yes I know it doesn’t sound nice listening to such things about yourself but the soon we mend things inside us the more it becomes easy to overlook what causes heartache and look into another direction.
It is possible and I will tell you how, when your in laws criticize you, see them as some dissatisfied people who could not do things as they wanted and live life on their own terms. When you see them as the victim of the situation, you will start freeing yourself from their hatred. After a while, their words will start losing impact on your inner self.
2.) Draw respectful boundaries
Setting boundaries is very important if you are living in the same household. Without setting proper boundaries with your in-laws from day one, you are voluntarily giving unlimited access to anybody sharing the household.
Boundaries help in keeping a healthy distance from one another. Without having them, you will not only have your own peace ruined but will also not respect the peace of mind of any members living with you.
3.) Do not focus on changing them
Just drop the idea of changing them. You cannot do that, the possibility is when you try too hard you might end up hurting yourself more. To be frank, no matter how bad it looks but your in laws are not bad people (some exceptions are there) but their insecurities and jealousy have taken a toll on them and they cannot see things clearly even if their actions are damaging relationships.
If you are lucky enough and they realize their part of mistake in some later stage of life, by that time their mistakes and mishandles would have wounded relationships so deeply that they will not even accept and apologize.
But if you see some signs of acceptance and improvement, please let go of the past grudges.
4.) Communicate wisely
When you know that the vibes don’t match much, you need to pick your words very carefully. How to respond to negative in-laws? By not responding to them, yes you heard it right. Communicate very wisely.
For someone who is negative and doesn’t see any good in you will always be the same and when you try to get into explaining things to them, it mostly doesn’t work and hits back. It is better to draw a line of communication instead of falling prey to poor communication between you two.
5.) Do not seek validation
True approval always comes from within. How to respond to negative in-laws? Never seek approval from other people. This includes even your closest people. Respecting your in-laws is something else but constantly seeking approval is a pathetic thing.
Seeking validation implies that you are low on self-esteem and that you just don’t have any say or mind of your own. Please do not be in the category of people who keep seeking approval. It will subjugate you as a person.
6.) Do not pull the triggers
The most disheartening situation with in laws occurs when you are trying to make things even, trying to talk and clear things and again you both end up in the heated-up argument. It happens right, because we do not listen and we stress on proving our point, proving that I am right, you are wrong. In the end, it all goes to waste.
The best way to avoid any such situation is to refer to your past experience and your personal instincts here. If you are determined and you feel that, you can make a difference this time then go ahead and if even a single thought of doubt crops in your mind then kindly refrain, think about your mental peace.
7.) Be Assertive in your choices
Negativity needs fuel to thrive. If you do not feed their negativity and refuse to engage they will eventually move on. Do not fear the loss of the relationships, even if this is a loved one or a family member, it’s not worth it.
There could be several ways to deal with problematic in-laws but life is too short for negative distractions of toxic personalities. How to respond to negative in-laws? Choose yourself and take a stand. By surrounding yourself with loving and positive people, you can make sure to have a supportive group around when you need them.
8.) Practise mindfulness
You can try but not force others to love you and care for you. You could stay kind but yet get labeled as a bad one, selfish prick. But will you leave your true nature and turn out nasty?
How to respond to negative in-laws? I would say don’t lose your basic nature to show your rage, see things as it is, od not reason everything, leave it as it is. As Gandhi says, eye for an eye turns the whole world blind, hence I choose another path, I turned inward.
9.) Learn to let go
Learn to let go of everything you have been holding on for a while, your in laws might be ignorant towards you and if you keep on holding grudges you are doing the same with yourself. Apart from your family members, your spouse, your children your duty involves taking care of yourself too. Do not forget that.
Start it now, how much are you going to hold up inside your heart and mind? It will ache badly and the worst part is nobody will ever notice it and understand the amount of pain you are carrying inside you while you smile from outside. It will only lead to a lot of mental distress, which will affect your daily routine and your physical health.
Never trouble yourself over someone else’s negative karma. It will be only an accumulation of intense resentment over the years. Your mental health is as important as physical health, and your emotional health is very important for your family.
Come what may, having to live with in laws should not cause you stress. If you are feeling stressed out that is because of your silence. It is important that you stay assertive and speak up. Else, nobody will even know you are under stress.
Do not take excessive workload over you. Do not sacrifice over and over again. Most importantly, do not ignore your own needs – physical, mental, and emotional. That is the key to lead a stress-free life.
Families are meant to stay together forever and be bonded with love. Therefore, it is always good to breathe in a loving home rather than a conflicted one. However if you are doing your level best to maintain that love and still are being pinned down, then it’s most certainly the time to take charge and see things for real.
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.