partner's parents have invited you for dinner and you really
don't get on with them. Your partner is looking forward to spending
some time with them and you realise a visit to the in-laws is unavoidable.
Don't worry we've put together some tips to ensure your time can
still be enjoyable.
Get yourself in the right mood
Accept the inevitable. If it is
unavoidable, what's the point in stressing out over it for weeks beforehand?
Don't let the prospect spoil your mood, and don't fight with
your partner over it – remember,
we get to choose our partners and friends, families we have no choice in.
When the dreaded day arrives.
Don't go empty-handed, ask what you can bring, your partner will usually
have an idea of what they would like and he/she will be pleased you asked.
Apart from it being good manners to
make a contribution, it is also difficult
to be unpleasant to someone who arrives with a well-chosen gift.
Try not to consume too much alcohol, you may end up too relaxed, say
things you don't want to and forget all this wonderful advice.
Leave off sex, religion, race and politics. If you don't get on with
your inlaws then this is not the time to discuss any of
these things. If someone tries to draw you into a discussion on any of
these topics, don't take the bait. Simply change the topic or smile nicely
and say you think it's better if you agree to disagree. You're not going
to change anyone's opinion on anything over dinner.
Fly below the radar. If anyone says anything unpleasant
to you, just let it go. People cannot antagonise you if you won't let
yourself be antagonised. Remember this day will be important to your
partner and he/she will admire your self-control.
Instead find something to compliment. Say something
nice about the food, mention the new curtains, the new plant in the garden,
the decorations, whatever. Everyone likes to be complimented, but be
sincere – people can smell falseness a mile away.
Whatever you do, don't criticise the food – or
anything. This is the quickest way to get tempers running high. Even
if you're vegetarian and they're doing a Sunday roast, say nothing. You
don't have to eat anything you don't want to, but don't spoil it for
After the meal
Offer to do the washing up. If you help clean up the inevitable mess
after a family meal, your shares in the family will definitely go
up. And remember, the kitchen is also a handy place to escape to if the
conversation becomes insufferable.
Remember you're doing it for your partner. Being as
friendly as you can will go a long way to making your partner happy.
If the children are making a noise, or your in-laws are smokers, or vegans
or whatever – remember it is just for three or four hours. One
can survive anything for a short time. And the quickest way to pick a
fight with anyone is to criticise their family. Leave that to them.
When you get home
Don't offload all the misery of the day onto your partner, let him/her
have the whole day to remember as a pleasant one. you can always leave
anything you didn't like for another more appropriate time.
Give yourself a good pat on the back for getting through
dinner with the in-laws.