However, worrying is a wasted energy. Forget all those stories you read that tended to portray In-laws as monster, in-laws can be pretty cool people if you give them a chance. They’re human and are probably as nervous as you are too about that first meeting. Your job is to be at ease and to put them at ease. Be your charming and sweet self, the odds are they will reciprocate. After all, when all is said and done, in-laws want to love and to be friends with the latest addition to the family – that person is you. So while the thought of the first meeting can be nerve wracking, a little bit of preparation and effort should see you through it, hopefully without much incidence and that is where this article comes in – to help you breeze through the process, effortlessly.
Here we go, seven tips to help you have a perfect first meeting with your in-laws-to-be
1. Do your homework
One way to eliminate fear and have a good meet-my-in-law day is to do a little homework and find out the likes and dislikes of your in-law(s). Ask your partner about the family’s interests, what each person enjoys, the games they play, talk shows they enjoy and how they react to situations. It is necessary to know enough about these persons if you want to hold a decent conversation. And a decent conversation about what people enjoy is a good way of reducing tension.
2. Set a time and be punctual
No parent wants an in-law that keeps them waiting. Since in most African homes, meeting the parents is often carried out in the family house, your only duty is to ensure a convenient time is set for everyone and to be punctual. This is true even if the meeting is somewhere neutral like a restaurant for instance. Being punctual is good manners and a sign of respect for your inlaws. Trust me, it will be appreciated and it counts in your favour. Moreover, you don’t want your relationship with the in-laws to start with your partner apologising for your lateness.
It’s also a good idea to have a predetermined ending time. That way, it is easier to get away from the meeting regardless of the direction it appears to go. A prolong meeting would often indicate the in-laws are getting along well with you. However, it’s good idea to to cut it short so everyone can get back to their lives.
3. Dress for the occasion
Your dress can either help you win or throw you off. Remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression. So dress nicely taking into consideration the venue of the meeting. Nice hair style, clean fingernails, and well applied makeup. Don’t wear anything provocative such as low-cut, skin-tight, or see-through clothing. Look polished and pulled together. You want your future in-laws to be happy you’ll be joining their family.
4. Be interested in your in-laws
Remember point one above? Put it to good use. Armed with the information you had gathered compose a list of conversation starters (in your head maybe) because chances are, there would be conversation blocks at some point where everyone has discussed a topic well enough, laughed and there’s nothing more to say. Moreover, people get interested in other people when you are interested in them, so ask your in-laws questions about their likes and interests (keep it positive) and be genuinely interested in their response. Make the occasion about them and not about you. This will keep them relaxed and will reduce the pressure to impress on your part.
5. Steer clear of heated debates
The day to meet in-laws is not the day to get into heated economic or political debates about tjird world problems. Even when politics is enjoyed by the in-laws, it’s safer to steer clear from it cause it could lead to conflicting opinions if the individuals support different groups. The first day is not to show your political debate prowess. If perchance, such topic is raised, wisdom should be applied in keeping it as brief as possible.
6. Bring gifts
Know those you’ll be meeting in advance and bring a small gift of appreciation for each family member. Making the gift something based on their interests will no doubt earn you some extra brownie points.
7. Appreciate them
After the meeting, don’t forget to send thank you notes as soon as possible. Appreciate them for hosting you regardless of how your meeting turned out.
Did I miss out any point? Have you ever met the in-laws and what was the experience like?6 Share with us in the comment section.