dealing with a difficult mother in laW

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 Bojoy 2 Comments

For the last few days I've been trying to seek articles on this topic. I guess you have a hint why. I've been trying to seek some light, seek real people who shares my feelings and dilemma. It's been difficult for the past few days. It's been really hard to carry I just need to put some load off my shoulders. I've been living with my parent's hubby for almost 2yrs now. My MIL (mother-in-law) and I are not that close, I find her hard to handle that's why I'm sort of avoiding close contact with her as much as possible. I just don't want to snap in front of her, knowing she has health issues such as high blood pressure. She's a perfectionist, bossy, angry, judgmental and critical of others. When she starts to yap it'll be endless yapping, and she could even say very hurtful words. I've heard it all before and i don't want to hear it all again. So that's why I have kept my distance. And just last week we had a confrontation again. I just kept my cool. But that time I verbalized my thoughts and feelings. And now, i feel like i never want to go back to that house. I feel trapped. If not for my respect for them I could have just walked out their door a long time ago bringing my son with me. And alas I will never see her again. But i just can't because I don't want conflicts. But now it seems so hard to endure, staying at her house pains me. Why do I have to stay in that house when I have a choice to walk away. I'm really trying hard to get a new house of our own. If not, and things will get more difficult, then maybe I just have to go back to my parents then.

Luckily I found this very helpful site, MotherInLawHell. I've also read articles and stories that are very useful and could somehow lessen my burdens. I know I'm not experiencing this all by my self. And I just want to share some tips I have read and hoping to learn.
Here are some insights and steps for dealing with these highly difficult - even, impossible - people.
  1. Recognize that impossible people exist; you will eventually encounter them. There isn’t a thing you can do about it. The first step is all about facing reality: If you think you might be dealing with an impossible person, you’re probably right. When in doubt, proceed as instructed below. The headaches you save will be your own.

  2. Be aware that some people simply aren’t compatible. Sometimes, a person who gets along with everybody else quite well is an impossible person for you personally. Most relationships between people contain many shades of gray, but some people simply mix as well as oil and water. It is common to hear your impossible person proclaim that “Everyone else likes me.” This is an attempt to shift the blame to you, so don’t buy it. It doesn’t matter how this person interacts with others. The fact is, the way the two of you interact together is terrible. Remember that blame never changes the facts. To counter this, tell them that it is a logical fallacy, or specifically an *Ad hominem.

  3. Understand that it’s not you, it’s them. This can be surprisingly difficult, considering that impossible people have complete mastery of blaming skills. If you’re dealing with an impossible person, you’re probably being told on a regular basis that every conceivable thing is your fault. It isn’t. As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” Chances are, the more often they blame you, the more they themselves are actually at fault. Keep in mind that this is not to be used as a way to blame them. Blaming is what impossible people do, and they do it well. Instead, you are only facing the facts, for your own sake. That being said, here’s a simple way to tell: If you accept responsibility for your own faults and resolve to improve yourself, it’s probably not you. Remember, impossible people can do no wrong.

  4. Defuse them. Stay calm, and don’t spit angry words at them, whatever you do don’t cry - this will only stimulate them to do more of the difficult behavior. Try ignoring them. Try looking away or starting another conversation, with a totally different topic. Find something you can agree with or praise them for. Do not, under any circumstances, join them in bashing, blaming or complaining. Do not bad talk to their face or to anyone else because then you are sinking down to their level. Add something positive. Redirect by focusing on something, anything, positive in the situation or in the conversation. Whatever you do just stay calm!

  5. Realize that you cannot deal with impossible people the same way you deal with everyone else. In some ways, they need to be treated like children. Give up all hope of engaging these folks in any kind of reasonable conversation. It will never happen, at least with you. Remember what happened the last fifty times you tried to have a civilized discussion about the status of your relationship with this person. Chances are, every such attempt ended in you being blamed for everything. Decide now to quit banging your head against a brick wall.

  6. Protect your self-esteem. If you have regular dealings with someone who tries to portray you as the source of all evil, you need to take active steps to maintain a positive self-image. Remind yourself that this person’s opinion is not necessarily the truth. Understand that oftentimes, impossible people are particularly “fact-challenged.” If the attacks have little basis in raw fact, dismiss them. You can’t possibly be as bad as this person would like you to believe you are. Do not defend yourself out loud, however. It will only provoke the impossible person into another tirade.

  7. Guard against anger. If it helps, consider the fact that your anger is actually a precious gift to the impossible person. Anything you do or say while angry will be used against you over and over again. Impossible people tend to have amazing memories, and they will not hesitate to use a nearly endless laundry list of complaints from the past against you. Five years from now, you could be hearing about the angry remark you made today (which you didn’t even mean in the first place). Impossible people will seize anything that provides them the opportunity to lay blame like it was gold.

  8. Give up self-defense. Understand very clearly that you cannot beat these kinds of people; they’re called “impossible” for a reason. In their minds, you are the source of all wrongdoing, and nothing you can say is going to make them consider your side of the story. Your opinion is of no consequence, because you are already guilty, no matter what.

  9. Understand that eventually, you and the impossible person will have to part ways. Whether they are a friend, a boss, a parent, even a spouse, the time to leave will eventually manifest. Maintaining a relationship with an impossible person is, literally, impossible. If you can’t (or won’t) make a physical departure immediately, make a mental one. In your mind, you’ve already left the relationship. The only thing left to do is wait for physical reality to reflect that fact.


2 lovable comments:

bang! tura ni gawas njd ang totoong saloobin ni bojoy.. tsktsk. lisud jd au mkipuyo sa in-laws lalo na kng ang ugali is hard to handle. best solution? mag lahi mo so u can have all the freedom - mabuhat nmu tnan gsto nmu and mapadako nmu ang imng baby the way u want him to grow up :)

goodluck joy. i was just blessed ke ang aq in-laws, though hard to handle gmay, at least ma dala2 lng. hihi.

little zoie said...

nice post, sis!

i'll keep this in mind... although wala pang kaming misunderstanding ng in-laws ko... **cross-fingers** hopefully, wala talaga...

have a great day, sis!
kisses to your little ayne from little zoie!