The festive season is always full of Christmas parties, catch ups and family gatherings and for some this can be a hard time especially if you suffer from anxiety or get particularly nervous in social situations, and after reading Jacamo’s tips for meeting the in laws this Christmas it got me thinking about when I met my boyfriends parents for the first time and the tips that I gave James on meeting my parents for the first time, even though this will be my 5th Christmas with James this will actually be the first year we have ever spent Christmas together so it’s something that I am really looking forward to! Some of you may have the delight of meeting your boyfriends parents for the first time this year (whether it’s during Christmas or not!) but it doesn’t need to be a nerve wracking experience and trust me when you do get nervous that’s when you don’t act like yourself, so if you are meeting your boyfriend or girlfriends parents for the first time here are my top tips to leave them with a brilliant lasting impression of you (I know how fabulous you all are though!).
Dress For The Occasion
Vain as I am, for me appearance is everything and if you look good, you feel good and that rubs off on other people. I would never recommend over dressing but you should always try to look smart for your first encounter, I’m not talking full blown suits or dresses and heels, but something that is comfortable and gives a good impression. For me shoes are a sticking point and people really do notice your feet first, so if you have a good pair of shoes on, you can conquer the world, and you’ll also win some brownie points with their mum if they’re also a shoe fiend!
Before meeting said parents I would 100% recommend quizzing your other half about their parents, such as their hobbies, jobs and anything else that may come in handy. You may also want to check what NOT to bring up, this will potentially save you from any sticky situations where you just end up digging yourself a bigger hole! Leading on from this it also helps to think of questions to ask beforehand to fill those awkward silences with, I always ask questions whenever I meet new people as it shows you’re interested in what they have to say and it also helps to take the pressure off yourself.
I always think it’s a kind of an obvious thing that you should bring something with you for your first meeting, especially during the festive season! Flowers are usually a winner especially with mums, wine, chocolates, biscuits etc – these generic presents are loved by all (but maybe check if your in laws have any dietary requirements beforehand!). Giving a present shows your caring side and that you’ve made some thought to meeting them beforehand.
Watch Your Language
If there’s something I hate more than bad spelling it’s swearing. A day will rarely go past without me hearing a swear word of some point and I just think there’s no reason for it, but unfortunately that is the society we live in nowadays. It’s personal opinion whether you find it acceptable or not but as a general rule of thumb DO watch your mouth when you’re meeting the in laws as swearing profusely without realising you’re doing it is not cool! Equally don’t be a motor mouth, and try not to be too opinionated as that could open a deadly can of worms!
Most of all, relax!! You don’t need to be nervous, it’s understandable that you want to make a good impression but if you just act yourself you can’t go wrong. If you do suffer from nerves, deep breathing is the best advice I can give. I still get nervous during public speaking situations and I try to calm down by breathing in through my nose deeply, holding it for a little bit and then breathing out through my mouth really slowly. This helps calm me down immediately and its been getting me through nerve wracking situations for years. With this in mind don’t think about the ‘meeting’ too much beforehand as this will spring up a mountain of thoughts in your head, and as the saying goes worrying gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere!
From my personal experience it really is such a hyped up experience that there is no need to worry about, everyone wants to make a brilliant first impression, but their parents are just ordinary people after all (unless they’re royals of course then I cant help with any tips there!) and they do just want to get to know you a bit better. With that in mind the best tip I really can give is ‘Don’t worry’!
What do you think about my tips on meeting the in laws? What would be your top tip? How do you overcome nerve wracking situations?