The holidays can be a wonderful time to savoir moments with family — unless you’re someone who has to deal with difficult in-laws. If the idea of seeing your mother- or father-in-law fills you with stomach-churning anxiety, try using the tips below to keep things cool, calm, and collected!
A Guide To Dealing with In-Laws During Holidays
Stick Together With Your Partner
Remember your vows and your commitment to being by your spouse through the good and bad times? Well, it's time to prove how much you meant them! Whether it's visiting your parents or your spouse's parents, you must remember that the two of you are in this together. In other words: don't gang up on your spouse with your parents or in-laws. Instead, go into it ready to defend your spouse and plan to quickly pivot away from potentially volatile situations or conversations.
Take Your Time — But Don’t Watch the Clock
If you find yourself in a situation that's about to get ugly, call for a time out. At the very least, walk away and take a few minutes to gain your composure — this will save you from saying something you might regret!
On the other hand, don't be a clock-watcher. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that watching the clock might make your experience even less enjoyable. Researchers Claire I. Tsai and Min Zhao explain that "rather than weakening affective episodes over time, duration knowledge actually intensifies them, rendering a positive experience more pleasurable and a negative experience more aversive."
Be Prepared and Respectful
It goes without saying that you should be polite. That extends to being prepared for anything, including partaking in foods you might not have otherwise considered. If your in-laws have spent hours cooking a feast, avoiding certain foods or dishes could be a pathway to a heated argument and hard feelings that last far beyond the holidays.
Defend yourself from uncomfortable bloating and gas caused by certain holiday foods by taking along some Gas-X Extra-Strength Chewables. Gas-X products contain simethicone, an antifoaming agent that can reduce the buildup of intestinal and stomach gases. While Gas-X Extra-Strength Chewables can’t help you avoid your mother-in-law’s jello salad, they can help you get relief from any bloating and abdominal discomfort caused by that salad in minutes.
Consider the Generational Gap
It’s never advisable to allow yourself or someone you love to be disrespected by others, and there are always teachable moments, but do try to consider where your in-laws are coming from before you launch into a debate that may be tricky to get out of later.
If you sense they’re open to having their opinions changed, then by all means, start an eye-opening discussion. But if you know for a fact they’re not interested in seeing things from a different perspective, there are always other topics to get into at the table.
Is it possible to get through a night with your in-laws where everyone leaves feeling happy and heard? Of course! If you let the spirit of the season guide your intentions and you go in prepared, you can achieve true success.