Meeting the in-laws is as important as it is nerve-racking. You want to create an impression and at the same time you what to appear as natural as possible. You do not need to try so hard, you have just 5 minutes to make an impression. That first 5 minutes can make Apr mar the meeting all together. So, it’s important to create that first lasting impression.
You are already at that point in your relationship where it’s time to introduce eachother to your respective families and you are already a bundle of nerves, no cause for alarm, it’s normal. You are meeting those sets of people who contribution might lead to the success or downfall of your relationship. But before you meet your partner’s or significant other’s family, you need to get prepared just like you would get prepared for a job interview. There would be interrogations from all angles both comfortable and uncomfortable so you need to get prepared.
Be well informed about the family
You should know that all families are not exactly the same. What you do in your own family might be different from your partner’s family, so do your homework well. Ask your partner questions on the cultural orientation of their family. Some conservative families prefer to shake hands or hug as forms of greeting, while others expect your to prostrate or kneel down.
The way you dress gives a lasting impression. You are going to meet your spouse’s family, not to the club or corporate meeting. Dress according to the occasion in a smart and stylish way. Desist from wearing ripped Jean or crop that shows your midriff on the first meeting. No matter how conservative that family is, they would not be impressed by you.
Bring a gift
This shows your generosity and gives the impression that you care about them. But, don’t be extravagant or showy like buying a vehicle or washing machine. Just a small gift would do like a bottle of wine or dessert.
Courtesy is very important. No one wants to be around a rude or obnoxious individual. These are ways to shoe courtesy:
- Try the food even if you do not like it and compliment the food. If what is been served goes against your religion or cultural orientation, politely make the cook know.
- Avoid cursing and cussing on the dining table or during conversation.
- Show table etiquette
- Let them know how nice it was to meet them.
Desist from consistent checking of phone
This is one of the biggest fallacies. Your prospective father in-law is having a conversation with you and you mumbled an answer with your head bent over your phone. It is a sign of disrespect.
Avoid moody answers to questions
When it gets to a point where the questions becomes too much or uncomfortable, do not show disinterest or irritation. You are interested in their child, so they are interested in you. They want to know all about you. Some families intentionally go over the board with their questions to see your reaction.
Don’t try too hard to please
Be yourself with an iota of politeness and respect but don’t overdo it. Your behaviour will be misinterpreted as false pretense if you go over the board with you trying too hard. Impress them by being yourself.
Start conversations that show you are interested
Ask questions about the childhood of your spouse, you are free to ask embarrassing but not inappropriate questions about them. Ask how the parents met and fell in love. Make a comment about the mundane things you see around them and let them talk about it.
Do not go over the board with your compliment
Sometimes when our nerves spike up, we start say things that show our nervousness. When you compliment too much it becomes insincere flattering which is very annoying. You do not want to be seen as slimy. Don’t let your nerves take over your mouth. It is not necessary for you to compliment everything only the important ones.
Call them by their preferred names
Some like to be referred to as ‘Sirs’ and ‘Mas’ ‘Mrs’ this and ‘Mr’ that. Don’t go ahead of yourself and start calling them Mum and Dad. They themselves would be the ones to tell you either to call them by their first names or Mum and Dad.