Odd little question...


Oct 28, 2006
Does anyone have some good little words of wisdom, slogans for courage, that you use in stressful times? With the holidays approaching, I am anticipating (with slight dread) a higher than usual amount of time with my inlaws... and although they're not bad people, per se, they have a tendancy, shall we say, to bring out the worst in me.

See, they're not very fond of each other. Decades old bitterness, resentment, poor choices on top of a dreadful year of luck for some of them... well, this Christmas should be a beaut. Not. :confused1:

In the past, I have sucked bad a few glasses of wine to take the edge off, but I recently lost a whack of weight and I'm not interested in putting it back on by relying on the sauce, if you know what I mean. DH is just used to them, so it doesn't bother him a bit - can't go there for help.

Anything little chants or pep talks (that I can repeat in my head ad noseum)would be appreciated.

Oh - and Happy Holidays to all of YOU! :heart:


eat me
Nov 8, 2006
What I've always done was to nod my head and say "mmm hmm" but think about something that makes me happy, like which bags I planned to get :P


Oct 28, 2006
Yes! I plan on staring at my LV a lot this year, keeping it in view at all times. I get the smile and nod thing - it's just so hard to be the UN all the time. These people bicker constantly. It's positively miserable to be around!


Jul 5, 2006
I absolutely detest my mother-in-law. She is a very bitter, nasty woman. My DH's family is very religious, so drinking alcohol to get through the visit isn't an option. (On a visit this summer, I thought about pulling the waitress to the side and asking her to make my iced tea a long island iced tea, but the evil woman would have sniffed that out!)

On a visit to my house a few years ago, she insulted my entire family, my choice of home decor, my clothes, my car, the way I folded clothes, my cabinet organization - pretty much everything. I told my DH that she wasn't welcome back. She has been back, but I just make myself scarce (work late, go out with friends).

The last few visits I have plastered a smile on my face and ignored, ignored, ignored her. I try hard to think about other things or sing in my head. It's the only way I can get through the visit. I know that sounds terrible, but it's the best I can do! After 14 years (13 married), of dealing with her, I have found this to be the most peaceful solution for all.


Oct 12, 2006
You can't resolve the conflicts they have with each other, whether they are old or new, regardless of what they are about.

What you CAN do is maximize your own pleasure by finding something nice or interesting about each one of them, and forging at least cordial, and hopefully close and rewardiing, relationships with each one as an individual, independent of their dysfunction with other family members, their feuds with co-workers, or their intense dislike of Kofi Annan's neckties.

Think of it as your Blessed Shopping Season gift to yourself!


Aug 26, 2006
North Carolina
A few things that have helped me:

Be the better person; maybe no one will notice or thank you, but it will be a personal, private victory for you

I cannot control other people; I can only control myself.

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.

Usually people's unkind actions/words have to do with them (some inadequacy in them) and not me, tho they may say I'm the reason.

the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (R. Niebuhr--sp?)

Best of luck. Holidays are stressful. Have the happiest holidays possible!
Jun 16, 2006
Washington State
I try to remind myself that somewhere, someone is much worse off than me. Does that sound bad? lol

I am fortunate to LOVE my MIL and SIL. They moved out here in September from pennsylvania and I am so glad. However, they do try my patience every once in awhile because they are big on cursing and yelling. It's just what they do. And it brings that nature out in hubby which I hate.

Just remember that you can't do anything to change them. The only thing you can do is control your own behavior and emotions.
Jan 29, 2006
Chicago, IL
I try and remind myself that I am in control about how I let people affect me. I have been much better about setting guidelines with the negative people in my life, and I do it WITHOUT anger....I've even had to do it w/ my own Mom when it comes to her total co-dependent realtionship w/ my brother.

Remember, not to tolerate toxic people in your life. You can control your emotions, but not the poor choices or behavior of other people.



Choose to be happy
Sep 19, 2006
in a fairy house
I always use "don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff"....and 'fake drama', which I refuse to react to.

If there is confict going on, I spend as much time with the kids (my own and the nieces and nephews) as possible...they always need help putting toys together or setting up games, etc...that why I remove myself from the pia adults and I get to be the cool aunt ;)


Oct 28, 2006
Thanks you guys!! All your words are really helpful. And it's comforting to know that some of you are in the same boat as me. You'd think after being w/ my husband for 10 years (8 married) this would get easier, but it doesn't.

AJ - you hit it on the head. They're toxic. Some people just bring you DOWN to their level. And that's a place I don't want to be.

Shimma - I've tried. MIL is the only one that I have had any success with. For the rest, I have had to adopt a "DO NOT ENGAGE" policy. So sad.

I have been hosting most of the holiday events for my in-laws b/c it keeps me busy in the kitchen, so I don't have to mingle w/ them. However, this year, SIL is doing it for the 1st time - so I have no choice but to sit and (yech) listen to it all.

Thanks again...