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What if my mom doesn’t like my chosen one? What if my mother-in-law thinks I’m not good at housekeeping? It is normal to be alarmed when there is a real threat. Say, primitive man was threatened by wild animals, and the alarm was a signal for the body: react instantly – run, fight, jump. Today, people are tormented mainly by imaginary, hypothetical, and possible threats. But the mind and body still have the same set of responses to anxiety, no matter if this threat is imaginary or real.
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- “Mom, very likely, will not like my chosen one.”
- “The mother-in-law will see the dirt on the floor, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”
- “I have to overpower myself and communicate with these strangers, and it will all be just awful.”
In a moment of anxiety, we do not think about how much we exaggerate the likelihood of a disaster or its ability to cause damage. Then, when everything ends, you can rethink and understand that in fact, the probability was much lower, and the degree of damage was not so terrible. However, it is very easy to analyze situations after the fact. But what to do while waiting is another question.
Or, on the contrary: “She will take the side of her mother, and I will be alone.”
The confusion of roles is familiar to many: when parents come, who am I – daughter or wife, son or husband? Whose interests and desires should come first for me: my wife (husband) or my mother? The question is difficult, because there are a million family situations.
But, nevertheless, in most cases, the answer is this: the marital relationship is more important. If your other half has already complained to you about not taking her side, consider that this may not be a very effective tactic. If, on the contrary, you just find yourself in the position of “they are all against me”, then it is worth realizing that this particular visit of guests is not a very good reason to try to make changes. It will be difficult. However, you should definitely try to change the current situation in principle.
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You will be suddenly given additional work shifts (sent on a business trip, called overtime) for a period of time while your parents are visiting. Or children will get sick when you have plans to show your relatives all the nearby attractions. Or mom and brother (stepfather and uncle – fill in the appropriate) will start their “favorite” topics, and a scandal is inevitable.
It is impossible to insure against this. It is unrealistic to foresee all possible problems. To re-educate people is also, and you shouldn’t. Therefore, if there are facts that indicate that a specific problem will arise (and you know which one), talk to your spouse in advance about how you will solve it. Develop Plan B, so to speak. If there are no expected specific problems, but worries about “you never know what”, try the exercise “Thank you, brain!” at the end of the article.
Here is an example of an exaggerated catastrophe: “There will be chaos, and it will be so terrible that I cannot cope.” On reflection, you realize that this is an exaggeration. What can be done? Make a schedule of shared leisure activities, what you will do, what to do, and who is responsible for implementing this plan. And it shouldn’t only be your guests. If you plan to stay for a long time, for several weeks, then consider renting a hotel for them for a couple of nights somewhere nearby: they can see something interesting in the city, and you can relax a little.
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For example, will be dissatisfied with the treat, the entertainment you offer (or not), cot accommodations, allergies due to your cats, your habits – continue the list as you see fit.
You feel like you have to do everything in your power to make your guests happy, so that they like it. This desire is quite understandable – the fear of negative assessment, criticism can be very disturbing. In general, a person wants to be inside society: no one likes to be rejected and isolated.
I’m unlikely to discover America if I say that it’s not possible to be pleasant to everyone. You can’t please everyone. There is no guarantee that people will never think badly of you or discuss you behind your back. All this is really possible. Consider, could it be that you are now again exaggerating the degree or likelihood of a catastrophe? How will it actually be, most likely, if we reason objectively? Even assuming that something goes wrong and your great aunt is unhappy, will you survive the incident? Will you remember this in a year? Will you experience this discomfort just as sharply in a year?
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This exercise allows you to separate yourself from your anxieties, to realize that emotions and thoughts are just emotions and thoughts that sit inside the anxious brain and boil there. They may differ from reality and from your life goals and objectives. Of course, you can use it not only in the situation of a visit from relatives, but also in all other situations that bother you. The next time your anxious brain tells you the pattern “What if something happens and it’s terrible?” Say out loud, “The brain tells me that a catastrophe is possible. Thank you, dear brain! I appreciate your concern for me. But we’ll see how it really goes. ” Then return to your life.
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