Tips to deal with Indian in laws and stay away from stress. For most of the daughter and son-in-law, stress comes hand in hand with their respective in laws.
Especially in India, which is a land of diverse culture and has set the societal benchmark for good and bad. A daughter in law is on the close watch of everyone as soon as she gets married and is continuously judged by the set parameters. On the other hand, daughter in laws enters the house of her in laws with a pre-conceived notion of being mistreated and judged due to societal conditioning.
In this blog, I will try to share a few personal experiences and things I have seen and which have worked wonderfully for me and others.
Tips to deal with Indian in laws and stay calm
Dealing with in laws is the trickiest part of married life, for once you can deal with your spouse but with in laws it is always different. Very rare are blessed to end up with an evolved type of in laws, who have a big heart to accommodate a new member in their family with an open heart. In Indian families where we are mostly expected to stay with in laws, it becomes all the more difficult. So is staying with in laws a bad idea? It depends upon whom you end up with, few are quite loving and manageable but the problem persists where they lack compassion, love, and humanity. They don’t even treat you as a family member and see you as an outsider in their house. It is proven as per the statistics that every year lacs of women die of suicide due to mental harassment. Mental torture is unseen hence unattended but it affects the victim in the long run.
Living with in laws who don’t respect you is surely a bad idea. There are many reasons that support this stance. The most obvious one being inequality. A man and a woman should start their new life as equals and not as one leaving her home to live permanently with people who don’t want to change themselves a bit. With this, I would like to share a few crucial tips to save yourself some sanity and not hover over the thoughts which disturb you.
17 Crucial Tips to Deal with Indian In Laws
Dealing with in laws is itself a crucial process and finding ways to maintain your own composure is another big task. We all have our moments of rage, anger, and frustration. But if we are under tremendous stress due to others it starts affecting our performance at work and our relation with other family members. One fine day, we might ask was it worth it? Losing our sanity over things that were beyond our control? The answer would be 99.99 % NO. So let us prepare now and all we have is today, so let us work together today to make our future a little lighter and less stressful.
|1.) Get rid of your pleasing mentality
The major culprit for Indian women, to please everyone, to be perfect, and get appreciated for everything we do. Not exactly a daughter in law’s fault as they are programmed that way right from a young age, the stress is always given on making the Indian girls sasural (in law’s house) ready and not life ready.
|2.) Stop seeking validation
We have seen our mothers doing it because they lacked confidence, they were exposed to fewer opportunities and were not that liberated to make their own decisions. So, today even being highly educated and capable enough we seek validation from our family members for meager things like salt and sugar’s quantity in food. All life we try to balance that sweetness and bitterness in our life.
|3.) Don’t pick up arguments
Tips for dealing with Indian in laws? Don’t pick up an argument, I swear. You will end feeling guilty or miserable about your situation. You will be made to feel the most dangerous and manipulate person on the planet and how your disrespectful in laws are adjusting with you. Move away from such a situation and save your sanity first, the world can wait.
|4.) Involve your spouse
It is very important that you involve your spouse. You should tell him about everything happening in the house. Now, you will surely be labeled as the one who has taken away him from her mother and sister. But remember you are his responsibility too and taking care of you is equally important. But also keep in mind that you need to be unbiased and transparent about everything while you share things with him.
|5.) Your children might be watching you
It is said that a negative atmosphere impact kids the most, even though they don’t express their feelings but they observe things and they get affected. In short, they learn from us. I saw how my daughter learned to react to things watching me, and I took a conscious call, now I try to balance things as much as possible.
|6.) Draw strong boundaries
There could be several tips to deal with in laws you will come across, but do not give this a miss. This will prevent you from losing your mind. Draw healthy and strong boundaries right from the beginning. For the ones who have already spent a few years, it becomes difficult to switch to this mode but it is never too late to take care of your mental health.
|7.) Don’t fall for a comparison gig
The most common weapon of a narcissistic mother in law. Who is too full of herself that she cannot see any good in you and will be never satisfied with your personality traits? She will make sure to demean you and pull your spirits down. So don’t fall for it, don’t see this as a problem but accept this as her personality trait which can not be altered.
|8.) You won’t get awarded
Have you ever heard that a daughter in law got awarded as the best daughter in law? No, I always use to question my mom that why do you please and whittle yourself to meet other’s expectations to an extent that you miss a piece of yourself every time you do it and use to get surprised by her answer, we have to do it, child. it is our duty, how Indian women take things as her duty and lose her very own essence on being, what for?
|9.) Think about your health
Health is wealth, I understood this when I got hospitalized due to critical health conditions a few years back. Several tests were done and I was in the hospital for three days but no inference could be drawn, so they declared it could be due to some infection. But deep down I knew, I was mentally drained and physically exhausted. So think about your health, and think about your child.
|10.) Prioritize your sanity
Mental health is as important as physical health. Period. You need to prioritize your sanity and make it a daily part of your life. It doesn’t matter if you feel happy today or things are all good and positive, you need to work on your inside, to make your outside stronger and be ready to face the struggles in life.
|11.) Avoid public gatherings
If you feel uncomfortable in social gatherings with your in laws then you must avoid it. There are cases when a mother in law tries to belittle her daughter in law in front of others, I don’t know what ulterior motive they accomplish but it could be as nasty as passing snide remark on her weight or her dressing in front of others forgetting that she too is her own family member.
|12.) Set realistic expectations
You were nurtured with love and care in your own surroundings and somehow when you step into your in law’s place you carry similar expectations and it brutally hurts and discourages you when you meet reality. Set realistic expectations and take things as it is. Do not expect, I insist, do not expect love and empathy, if you get it so be grateful for it and reciprocate but the most beneficial tip out of all the tips to deal with Indian in laws is to set realistic expectations.
|13.) Keep your cool
Learn to cool-off. Count to ten, step back and release all the tension. No matter how arrogant your mother in law behaves with you, do not pay heed. I know in the moment of rage, we fail to think consciously but it will help us, rather it will save us from further damage.
|14.) Keep yourself engaged
Keep yourself and engage yourself in productive things, automatically you will see a difference in your mindset. While you are little occupied you tend to take everything on yourself and just when you are fully occupied and busy, you don’t get time for nuances.
|15.) Build your own circle
Your healthy relationships, a group of people who brings out the best in you. Build your own circle, connect with like-minded and positive people who spread good vibes, share valuable learnings, and help you grow as a person. It will help you change your perspective towards the situation.
|16.) Do not overthink
Overthinking is like poison, it destroys you from inside. Those mental arguments, those non-stop nudges, and arguments you undergo inside your head are very unhealthy for you. Do you get any solution? No, you only end up thinking more, troubling yourself more, and get frustrated, anxious, and agitated. Please distract yourself.
|17.) Breathe in breathe out
Take time for yourself, indulge in self-care. Breathe in positivity and breathe out negativity. Do not hold up the toxicity of life, and I won’t ask you to stay positive all the time but stay strong from inside while taking care of your sanity, it will help you fight the worst of the worst situation and you will be a better version of you.
Five Steps towards Mental Wellness
So these were my few tips to deal with Indian in laws and I think it applies to everyone around the globe. Dealing with someone who continuously criticizes you, belittles you, and demeans you is the most difficult part of anyone’s life and it gets worse when you have to stay with them. Situations like such will only create a stressful environment and make things worse at a cellular level. Understand that you need to take care because things like these take a toll on our sanity and we go into a no-hope zone.
- Take time for yourself
- Indulge in a little self-care
- Pursue a hobby
- Learn to let go
I hope you find these tips useful. Stay healthy mentally and physically.
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.