Tips to deal with in laws and stay stress-free. Nothing in this whole world is worth your mental health, and when I say this trust me I have been through this process.
Why am I sharing these tips to deal with in-laws? Am I a victim of circumstances or it is just my learning/experience which I am trying to share with you all and help you?
Well, the reason could be anything but the majority of daughters-in-law suffer in silence and still, they are labeled as victim-player. I don’t want to generalize in-laws as terrible people but in my whole life, I have hardly seen an evolved one.
In this blog, I will share a few possible ways to deal with your in-laws which will help you preserve your sanity and make you ready for good things in your life.
13 Effective Tips to Deal With Your In-Laws
Right from our early childhood, we are trained to fit into another family. We are trained to please everyone and keep them happy. Especially in India, girls are born to please, to cook, to sacrifice, to adjust, to compromise, and not to utter a single word.
The day you open your mouth and try to defend yourself you become someone who is doesn’t fit into the societal standards of an ideal daughter in law. In-laws, on the other hand, enjoy their power and try to keep you in control without knowing that you want nothing but love and care, the way you used to get in your house.
Oh yes, I agree daughters in law could be worse too but history proves that mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are the major culprits in ruining a daughter in laws peace of mind, we have been witnessing cases such as where the daughters-in-law are burnt alive for dowry or not giving birth to a boy. How many times have we heard that a daughter in law burnt a mother in law or a father in law? or a daughter in law beats her sister in law. We can choose to stay ignorant in this dominant world but the facts remain unaltered.
How to deal with In-laws and maintain your inner balance?
A bitter relationship with in laws affects the overall harmony and atmosphere of the house and family members. No matter how much we try to put our best foot forward they judge us, criticize us and show disrespect towards us which breaks our heart. The urge of getting accepted and loved takes a toll on us and we dwell on all the possibilities to make things work.
But this hardly happens. If you are someone from inter-caste marriage you will be judged by your caste and family values, if you have bought less fortune you be cursed for your life, if you are not that skilled at household work then you are the worst daughter-in-law anyone could have, such ar ethe parameters.
It is very easy to fall into the dark zone and end up being frustrated and pick up arguments and fights, but on the contrary, it will only affect our mental peace and physical health in the long run. It becomes all the more difficult when you have to stay with your in laws who cause problems and face them daily. Staying with in laws is not a bad thing; After all, your in laws also become another family once you are married to their house. But if your new family members treat you with disgrace and insensitivity, then surely it will turn out into a most pungent experience of your life.
In this blog, I will share 13 tips to deal with in-laws based on my own relationship with my in-laws and some based on my research. I just hope you find these ways useful and it helps you take care of your sanity.
|1.) Maintain Emotional Distance|
|2.) Don’t Seek Validation|
|3.) Stop Expecting|
|4.) Stop Explaining|
|5.) Pay Attention|
|6.) Evaluate Yourself|
|7.) No Self-Doubt|
|8.) Don’t Leave Your Kindness|
|9.) Don’t Compare|
|10.) Make Your Own Space|
|11.) Take a Stand|
|12.) Involve Your Husband|
|13.) Take External Help|
1.) Maintain Emotional Distance
The more we attach meaning to relations and every person in our life, the more we get emotionally attached to them. What if you end with a narcissistic mother in law? How will you expect emotional attachment from her? Human nature is such that we start expecting a lot from our family members and when we don’t receive the same amount of love and respect we share and expect, we feel bad. Draw a healthy boundary line right from the beginning, don’t attach much that you get hurt easily.
2.) Don’t Seek Validation
Right from day one, we start seeking validation about what we wear, how we look, what we cook, and how we react. We feel complete and perfect when one of the family members compliments or appreciates us. Here we go wrong, how? Will a competitive sister in law ever compliment you or a nasty mother in law ever validate what you do? You will feel frustrated and end up pleasing them even more which will lead you to nowhere except mental pressure.
3.) Stop Expecting
Tips to deal with in-laws? Stop expecting and start living.I am from a very traditional family with huge family members all closely knitted and I got married in a nuclear and dysfunctional family, no attachment and no expectations business. I was born and bought in a certain environment, I did things to please my mother in laws but it backfired like anything. All the time I expected that one day I will be called as a good daughter in law only when I realized this expectation is the only problem and when I retaliated I got labeled as a bad one quickly.
4.) Stop Explaining
I explained I called, I disconnected to show that I am angry, but again I went and tried to talk but all these efforts went into drainage as no one wanted to listen to me. I tried explaining a lot but who was listening. When people judge and have already formed an opinion about you it becomes almost impossible to change it by explaining that you are not what they think. So please do not waste your energy in explaining and winning them back, it hardly happens and you lose your mind.
5.) Pay Attention
To yourself and to others. People forget what they said but they don’t forget what you said even though you will forget about it. Pay attention to your thoughts and choose your words carefully. When you say or do things be attentive to your actions and consequences. Whenever possible, shorten the conversation, redirect it or avoid it entirely so that it doesn’t trigger into something else.
6.) Evaluate Yourself
Self-evaluation helps you recognize some areas for self-improvement, it creates room for betterment. I realized that if I am a cleanliness freak it is my problem and my mother in law could not understand that I have this little bit of compulsion for keeping things in place and order, I have been like this my whole life, but after marriage, you are expected to forget what you are and how you are, it created a lot of confusion and eventually, I realized I should keep it to myself and hold the urge of being a neatness freak everywhere.
7.) No Self-Doubt
Toxic individuals have the uncanny ability to transfer their negative feelings onto others. After an interaction with such a person, you even feel emotions that are not your own. You even doubt yourself and think that something is wrong with you and your approach. This is not healthy for you. Don’t overthink and do not doubt your ownself by others judging criteria.
8.) Don’t Leave Your Kindness
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? I would say don’t lose your basic nature to show your rage, I did this sometime back and it didn’t work rather gave me a lot of mental turbulence. I needed closure and as Gandhi says, eye for an eye turns the whole world blind, hence I choose another path, I turned inward.
9.) Don’t Compare
Do not compare your relationship status with your in laws with others it will only result in increases stress/anxiety and anxiousness. We can just try to make things work and continue to be ourselves if they get along and accept us like their own then nothing like that but this seldom happens So, what will do? Keep on banging your head on the wall for acceptance? No, someday you will have to leave it and not compare your life with others, we never know what others hide and show.
10.) Make Your Own Space
A most important point, we women and specifically Indian women turn her whole world around her family and relationships, we forget that we exist, thanks to our societal conditioning. We stop doing things we used to, we stop making new friends, we feel marriage is the ultimate destination of our life and that’s it, we stop discovering our inner self and make start to leave our space, please never do that. You need your own self equally as you need others.
11.) Take a Stand
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 tips to deal with in-laws but life is too short for negative distractions of toxic personalities. so 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.
12.) Involve Your Husband
When the going gets tough, the tough get tough but for that, you also need a little support. It has been observed that husbands hardly take a stand because they want to balance. This causes tension between you two but I would still suggest you tell him everything you say or do, he needs to be aware, if he supports you then well and good, if not then at least you did your job.
13.) Take External Help
Join groups, stay with people who bring out the best in you, and stay connected to positive people who help you get ease. In the end, if all this takes a serious toll on your mental stature do talk to someone you feel comfortable with, it helps to release. External help could be in any form you just have to identify what will work for you.
Few quick tips to deal with in-laws and stay calm
You need to remember that you can only make attempts and try to make things work and you cannot control how your in laws decided to take things in their stride. On a healthy note, I would suggest you few measures for yourself.
- Emotional detachment
- Fewer expectations
- Keep yourself busy
- Clear your stand
- Learn to let go.
In the end, I would say that nothing matters in front of your mental health as it is directly related to your physical health. So these were few tips to deal with in-laws from my side and I hope you find these tips helpful. I would love to hear about your experience with difficult people and what you do to save your sanity. Make this conscious decision to only choose people that will honor and respect your boundaries. The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and I am not a therapist. I am just trying to be a medium to spread some help and awareness in women and enable them to take charge of their life.
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.