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Can't stand your in-laws? Try these techniques

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

In-law survival guide

Not everyone is blessed with the ideal in-laws. In some cases, you might even wish you could trade yours in entirely. If that sounds like you, we’re here to help.
Snooty couple

Next time your mother-in-law drives you nuts or your sister-in-law makes a crack about your outfit, try these simple but no-fail techniques.

Get some fresh air

Sometimes all you need when you’re feeling stressed (and possibly like you want to toss a pie in someone’s face) is to casually excuse yourself and get a breath of fresh air. The cold will snap you out of any residual anger and you’ll have removed yourself from the situation causing your anger. The longer you stay put, the harder it’s going to be to stay calm and ride out any problems your in-laws are causing you.

Sidle up to someone neutral

Ideally not everyone in your husband’s family is out to get you. There will likely be someone (other than him), like his sister, a cousin or family friend whom you can focus your attention on and spend time with. That way you aren’t continually in the line of fire with his mom or whoever it is that has it out for you.

Take a deep breath and count to 10

Before you fling the mashed potatoes at your mother-in-law for her latest back-handed compliment, do yourself (and your guy) a favor by taking a mini time out. Instead of retorting with something you’ll regret later, take a deep breath and count to 10 in your head. Repeat if you need to. The silent break will help you let off some steam before you react in a negative manner.

Change the subject

Is your mother-in-law asking you for the twelfth time when you’re going to give her a grandchild? Is she making underhanded comments about your weight? Before you get into an argument, change the subject. Shift the attention onto someone else at the table by asking a neutral question or commenting on the food or weather.

Nod and smile

There’s something to be said for just faking it until you make it. Remember it’s only one night, and if you can just grin and bear it through to dessert, you should be fine. If someone is stressing you out or saying things that make you upset, sometimes it’s best to nod and smile. You don’t have to take your in-laws’ crazy advice, but you also don’t have to get in a fight about it. Just pretend you’re having an OK time and soon enough you can hightail it out of there!

More relationship tips

5 Easy ways to make more time for each other
Let it all out: Why fights can be good for your relationship
How to start and end an argument the right way

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