Family is important. With marriage, you become a part of more than one family, and you share each other’s friends, parents and siblings. While getting along with your mother-in-law and father-in-law might be a tricky affair, getting along with your partner’s siblings is not that difficult and is worth a try.
After all, they’re your brother or sister now that you married into their family. Over time, these relationships will become a support system, and it’s ideal that you try to get along and even become close friends who can see each other as siblings.
This is not always easy, but with a few good ideas and a little bit of effort, you might find it easier to build a nice relationship with your husband or wife’s siblings.
1. Try to understand each other
It’s easy to misunderstand people the first time you meet them. But don’t stop at that. Try to get to know your brother or sister-in-law. Be open and try to avoid misunderstanding them. Observe well to know the kind of habits they have or the things they do not like. Soon, you might know how to talk to them so that they understand you, and they’re also likely to make the same effort. Of course, this cannot be a one-sided effort, so ideally, they should start making an effort too after some time.
2. Find something in common
Getting along with someone usually starts with talking to them. So find something both of you have in common. It can be something as small as liking the same food. You could start by discussing the food, and the discussion could drift away and go to other topics like travel or your hobbies. Before you know it, you’ll find out quite a few things in common, and a LOT to talk about!
3. Ask questions
Ask your brother or sister-in-law about themself. Making them feel like you care enough to get to know them is important. Your interest in getting along helps them put in the same effort towards you and with time, you’ll start to like talking to your in-laws. Make sure to avoid very personal questions in the initial stage however, because that might make them uncomfortable.
4. Spend some quality time together
Try to go for a movie together, or shopping. It really just depends on how both of you like to spend time. Spending time doing something together can give you a chance to have interests in common. Some activities you can try together include cooking, movies, or taking your kids on playdates. Just make sure the time is spent enjoying each other’s company or getting to know each other.
5. Try to be Patient
Yes, just like your sibling’s antics, your brother or sister-in-law can also get on your nerves. It’s a common thing. Try to keep calm and take a breath as these things happen. If you want, you can imagine they’re your sibling and that you don’t want to be mean. Of course, you shouldn’t be too patient each other - stand up for yourselves when you feel the need. But try to keep your calm as much as you can.
Your brother-in-law or sister-in-law might actually be a best friend in disguise for you. But you can only find out if you give them a chance by interacting or spending some good time with them. Take the opportunity when you can to make a positive step in their direction - soon, they’ll be your second family!
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