You learn something new everyday – that is, if you are paying attention! Obviously, it’s May now, but I’m still learning! I was distracted by a dream-come-true adventure – some of which I will share later. 😉
In March I learned ….
1. … that even though I am the same person, my DILs react differently to me. So, I react differently to them. Which probably causes them to respond differently to me ….
2. … that you can’t make someone like you. You just can’t. So, stop trying. It’s pretty pathetic.
3. … that my new DIL, Natalie, is a good cook! She prepared a tasty Italian chicken dish on Friday night and chicken stew that Sunday. Mmmm.
4. … that a worthy goal will stretch you … by challenging your excuses, demanding that you re-examine your priorities, and giving you a glimpse of what could be! Adopt one … and run with it!
5. … that, given enough time and room, even normally quiet introverts will share significant things with you. Beautiful!
April, here I come! ….. Hmmm. Maybe I should skip April and go straight through to May.
Only go in as far as you are invited.
In the MIL/DIL relationship, this sounds like a very healthy approach.
When you visit someone’s home, do you barge in or do you ring the doorbell and wait for someone to open the door? Do you march into their kitchen and open their fridge or do you wait to be invited to sit down and be offered a cup of tea and biscuits? When they offer to give you the 25 cent tour, do you insist on viewing the bedrooms or do you follow their lead as they point out things that they’d like you to notice?
Is your MIL/DIL a hugger? Or not? Be sensitive to this. Is it a cultural thing or a personal preference? Does your MIL/DIL want help when cooking a meal? Or is the kitchen her domain? Or advice on parenting or investing or how to throw a great party? Does she mind when you text her at work? Is your phone call every Sunday welcome? When it comes to where to buy a home, a name for the baby, how to land that great job, whether she should home school the kids …
… only go in as far as you are invited.
If you push your way in – on any issue or in any situation – it’s likely you’ll be met with resistance … in the form of coldness, withdrawal, sarcasm, criticism, correction, or worse – outright rejection, verbal attack. Who among us likes pushy people? Or busybodies who are regularly interjecting themselves in other people’s business?
Patience. Wait until she is ready for the next step toward sharing. Wait until she sees more of who you really are instead of who she thinks you are. Wait until respect comes into play … until familiarity and trust have their way. And acceptance. Maturity. It takes time. Only vegetables and fruits germinate, flower, ripen and re-seed in the same year. Few relationships mature that quickly.
Don’t kick against the goads. Recognize that you both have a lot to offer one another. And neither of you needs to be in a hurry to be liked, appreciated, understood and ….. loved.
That’s what I’m learning. 🙂