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In-laws can be challenging in the first place. But, when you throw in a temperamental and unstable mother-in-law
(MIL), things can be exponentially challenging. A few years ago, there was an email that echoed around the world from the most spiteful and venomous MIL.
Here are some snippets from the email:
It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you. Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:
* When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless
you are positively allergic to something.
* You do not remark that you do not have enough food.
* You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
* When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.
It is tragic that you have diabetes. However, you aren’t the only young person in the world who is a diabetic.
I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is
nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over
the years for their daughters’ marriages.) If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.
What would your reaction be to that email? Quite shocking, right? If you would like to read the email click here. Not all mother-in-law’s are that bad, but it sometimes can be challenging to deal with overbearing, has to have the last word or is always right, or I’m his Mother, I know best-types. Some tips to always rise above and not stoop to her level is:
1. Remember the “mere exposure affect”
Contrary to the well-known saying that “familiarity breeds contempt,” in fact, familiarity breeds affection.
The “mere exposure effect” means that repeated exposure makes people like faces, music—even nonsense syllables—better. The more often you see another person, the more intelligent and attractive you tend to find that person. Instead of avoiding your mother-in-law, take the time to see her and talk to her. You may start getting along better if you engage with her more often.
2. Do something nice for the difficult person
It’s really true: Do good, feel good. You’ll also inspire the difficult person to feel more loving toward you.
3. Act in accordance with your own values
One of the mysteries of human nature is that when we accept ourselves, other people tend to accept us. When we don’t accept ourselves, people tend to pester us. If you know your own values, and live according to them, pointed remarks don’t sting nearly as much and the other person begins to realize you have your own life and will live it accordingly.
So, don’t let the mother-in-law or any in-law take you for granted or make you feel inadequate. Your significant other chose YOU, so let that speak for itself.