American psychologist Tara Brach, a prominent exponent of Buddhist meditation and author of Radical Acceptance, proposes mindfulness habits for handling in-laws in the New York Times column Meditation for Real Life column:

  • Set the intention to be accepting, patient and appreciative with your in-laws.
  • Know that some situations might make you emotionally reactive.
  • When these moments arise, breathe mindfully and send a caring reminder to yourself to help regain your balance.
  • Whenever you remember, ground yourself in mindful presence by relaxing your body, bringing a slight smile to your mouth, and taking a few full breaths. In these moments, recall your intention.
  • Purposefully notice what you appreciate about your in-laws and when appropriate, let them know directly.
  • Be mindful of where they might be feeling uncomfortable, vulnerable or anxious, and with care, see how you can be helpful.
  • Forgive yourself, and them, for ways your time together may be difficult.
  • Pause and fully savor the moments when there’s affection, humor or kindness.

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