Dealing With In-laws

November 21, 2008

I deem myself experienced enough to hold forth on the subject.  So if you are looking for help, let me know if the following works.

1. Your spouse/parents/sister/brother may be an angel to you.  But not necessarily as an in-law.  So you cannot force love when there is none deserved.

2. Just getting married into a family does not make you part of the family.  You have to work towards it.  Even after working on it, if you are not allowed to belong, do not worry.  The family does not deserve you.

3. You may have known someone all your life.  But their spouse may know them better than you do.  So live with it.

4. Crying does not make you an innocent and snapping back does not make you a villain.  So try not to provoke and try not to offend.

5. If you feel you were treated unfairly, then do not give them another chance to treat you unfairly again.  Keep your distance.  But be polite and kind.  Being sarcastic and waiting for opportunities to retaliate will not make you any more endearing.

6. If you are visiting on a holiday, please respect and understand that it is a holiday for your host also.  Or you may be on vacation while your host may be working.  Do not take them, their time, place or generosity for granted.

7. Respect one’s home.  You may be asked to feel at home.  But it does not make it your home.

8. A home is a place where one de-stresses.  So if you are a guest, try not to stress out your host.

9. When you want to use something of your host’s, it is only polite to ask to use the same.  The host is going to say yes even if they did not want to.  But they will be happy doing it because you respected them enough to ask.

10. Do not jump, rush and try to show yourself in a better light by intruding in a couple’s life.

11. If you have an agenda, there is nothing wrong.  But do not manipulate and pretend that the agenda was made for the other’s benefit.

12. After you have forced somebody to spend a lot of money for your amusement, do not call them close-fisted.

13. After you have spent somebody else’s money, do not call yourself generous.

14. If you want to run a home, run your own home.

15. If one has idiosyncrasies about one’s own home and space, respect that it is their right and wish to do whatever in their own home.  If you have idiosyncrasies of own, your are welcome to indulge in those, in their home, only if you do not trespass on their space.

16. Your advise is invaluable.  But it may not be wanted.  So please refrain yourself.

So I will refrain myself, for now.  But before I sign-off, just think about it.  I started off about dealing with in-laws in specific.  But it broadened into treating people in general.  After all in-laws, me and you included, are people.  It does not take a genius to figure it out.  Just treat them as you would a stranger in this civilized world.  Distant, polite, kind and with a smile.  No more, no less.

Is that too much to ask?

***UPDATE  While on the topic, here is an article that hits the nail right on the head: http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net/2008/06/how-to-get-along-with-the-in-laws-dealing-with-in-laws-and-extended-family.html.

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3 Responses to “Dealing With In-laws”

  1. Susan Says:

    the story of my life!!!!

  2. Selvi Says:

    14. If you want to run a home, run your own home.

    Good One

  3. Selvi Says:

    “Just treat them as you would a stranger in this civilized world. Distant, polite, kind and with a smile. No more, no less”- Very well said!


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