Many people cringe when they hear the word, “mother-in-law”. You get visions of arguments, stress and eye rolling. And since this past Sunday was National Mother-in-law day, we want to help you have better relationships with your mothers-in-law.
Before reacting to what your mother-in-law says or does, ask yourself why. Why do you think she said what she said or did what she did. Making sense of the situation, helps you understand her. And it tends to decrease negative emotions towards her or about the situation.
When your mother-in-law makes jabs, you can reframe. Let me give you an example of reframing. Let's say that your mother-in-law calls your son “nosy”, instead of getting angry or letting her words irritate you, you can say, “yes, he is curious”. This is a subtle way of flipping her comments to the positive.
When you want to talk to your mother-in-law about a particular situation, find a time that the two of you can chat in person or over phone. Share what’s on your mind and give examples of what you mean. Focus on the issue. Separate the emotion. And watch her body language for signs of stress and anger. Pivot the conversation as necessary.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.
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