Love is a gift. Love is a blessing. Love is also a force of nature. Love needs care and nurturing. All of this is especially true when it is the love you have for your in-laws. In this particular relationship it is better to pamper them during the good times so that when the tough times arrive, it is easier for all of you to weather them. Some people are lucky to have accepting and loving in-laws, while others find it a challenge to maintain even the semblance of a good relationship. Although almost everyone wishes that their relationship was better than what it was. Here are some things that you should consider in order to improve the relationship.
Focus on What You Appreciate in Your In-Laws
There is no human being all good or all bad. Even your in-laws are a mix of good and bad qualities. It is up to you to decide to focus on the good qualities and keep your mind off the mundane annoyances that make you want to grind your teeth. Be vocal about the appreciation that you show to your in-laws. Let them feel the love. If you have the good fortune to have involved and loving in-laws, treat them with respect and love. If you are worried all the time about impressing them, or thinking something may go wrong, that is what will happen. Remember we tend to attract the negative and positive we think constantly about into our lives. Try to keep your thoughts about your in-laws positive or at the very least, neutral.
Don’t Compare Your Relationship to Others
It is a common error to compare what we have to what others around us have. We are usually being bombarded by images of perfect families on television and subconsciously decide that our family should be perfect too. In fact it is worse if the in-laws get along with other daughters/sons-in-law in the family better. The truth is, there is no perfect relationship that stays on an upswing all the time. All relationships have ups and downs. Accept the fact that you are going to do or say things that will not be acceptable to your in-laws, just as much as they may do and say things that are not always acceptable to you. Work out an equation where both sides get a say about what matters to them, and a compromise if there is discord.
Try Not to Have Any Regrets About the Past
There is not a person alive who has not made a mistake. The trick is not regretting the mistakes that you have made, as they are learning experiences. Thinking back to past incidents and hoping things had played out differently is no use. You cannot go back in time and change how you said something or what has happened in the past and so it is no use worrying about it. Doing this only wastes your time today in an unproductive manner. Instead learn from your past experiences with your in-laws and allow the incidents to guide you in the future. Don’t be unhappy about what went down in the past, instead think about how you can change the future into a more positive deal.
Don’t Imagine that They Think About You Negatively Creating Problems Where None Exist
It is one thing to face actual behavior that makes you think that your in-laws do not think very favorably of you, but a totally different thing to imagine that they scrutinize every action you take in order to think negatively about you. When you begin to feel sorry for yourself just because you feel that the in-laws are judgmental, you start promoting a feeling of sadness that will drain all positivity from you. Your thoughts will be forever focused on what your in-laws will think about every single action you plan to take. This will make taking even smaller day to day decisions stressful for you. While it is normal to want them to think well of you, you should not be so concerned about their opinion that you care unable to function properly. Accept the futility of over thinking your relationship with your in-laws and focus instead on doing what makes you happy.
Don’t Let Ego Get in the Way
There is a defence mechanism in most human beings that does not allow us to become friendly with anyone who criticizes us, whether we deserve it or not. This is usually an ego based reaction which can create more misunderstandings in the long run. If you feel like you are being usually attacked for your choices or lifestyle by your in-laws, you are more than likely to feel defensive around them all the time. When you see a frown on their face you mentally start asking yourself, what did I do wring now. While you are gearing up to defend yourself against whatever accusation they hurl at you. This type of communication can often be misinterpreted as what you say in words in never what you are truly feeling in your heart. This happens because you are letting your ego get in the way of open communication with your in-laws.
While each individual is likely to react in a different manner, on the whole most human beings gravitate towards someone who shows them love and affection as opposed to someone more antagonistic. This means that even if you do not initially feel the love as deeply as you should, if you continue to treat your in-laws with love, respect and affection, eventually it will become second nature to you. It will also have the side benefit of them reacting to you in a similar manner.
Feature Writer: Cashmere Lashkari