Will they like me? This question is a heavy weight upon your shoulders until you can finally shake off the jitters that come before the first meeting with your future in laws. While some parents anxiously await the chance to ask questions, inspect your character, and uncover hidden faults, many future in laws simply want to make sure their "baby" is in good hands. Being your natural self is always the best way to go, which I know is better said than done.
Other tips on making a decent first impression on future in laws include:
1) Your Clothing and Hygiene
When meeting your future in laws, it is suggested to leave the seductive high heels and swooping neckline in the closet. Prepare to have your appearance scrutinized, so staying a bit on the conservative side doesn’t hurt. Whether you're congregating at a swanky eatery, your living room, or the golf course – remember to dress appropriately for the occasion. Your future in laws will certainly appreciate clean hair, polished cuticles, tidy fingernails, brushed teeth, and fresh breath.
2) Come Prepared
When it comes to future in laws, I suggest getting a heads up on their pet peeves and interests. It certainly helps if you don’t disrespect Dad's favorite football team or light up a cigarette in your in laws non-smoking home upon your first get-together. The same goes for an engagement between two people from different cultures. Your future in laws will be impressed to see that you have taken the time to learn, respect, and follow some of their traditions and customs.
3) Best Behavior
Speak to your future in laws with respect and politeness. Refrain from answering questions using "yeah," "yup," or "uh huh." Remember to say "please" and "thank you." Basically, you need to be on your best behavior in order to make a decent first impression.
4) Body Language
Your future in laws will most likely pay attention to how alert, considerate, and interested you appear during the first meeting. They will scan your body language like a hawk, taking notes on your eye contact, head nods, facial expressions, and body position. Whatever you do, don’t look around the room when spoken to, tap your foot with impatience, glance at your watch, or slouch.
5) Avoid Hot Topics
As you begin to hold a conversation with your future in laws, stay away from controversial topics that could spark a heated debate or alienate your viewpoints. Avoid talk of religion and politics. While we're on the subject, I wouldn’t tell any dirty jokes either.
All in all, your future in laws are not the Grinch and the Wicked Witch of the East, so take a deep breath, relax, be yourself, and don’t push too hard for you to be loved and fully accepted upon first glance. Remember that this is a transition that will take everyone a bit of time getting used to.
All photos in the article are by Jennifer Skog