Making conversation with inlaws

talesfromthechickpea asked:

Boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit.  I never know what to say and always end up feeling awkward and weird. Could you guys give me some suggestions for parent-in-law appropriate conversations?

realsocialskills said:

First of all, it’s normal to feel a bit awkward around in-laws. That’s not necessarily a sign that something is wrong. Being around in-laws is weird because they’re often close to your partner and not you. They also are often close to your partner in ways that you are not, and they probably cross all kinds of boundaries with him that you are careful to avoid crossing.<p

It’s a confusing and complicated relationship, and it feels awkward for a lot of people.

That said, there are principles of how to talk to in-laws that sometimes work.

Ask about stuff they do and care about:

  • If they are active in a club, ask about the club
  • If they have a hobby, ask about it
  • If they like talking about work, ask about work
  • In conversations like this, listen more than you talk, and don’t offer advice unless they ask for it

Sports is a safe topic among sports fans

  • Did you see the game last night?
  • (this works best if you also watched the game, but it can also work if you didn’t but know they like to talk about sports)

Fandoms you share:

  • Did you see the latest episode of (show you both like?)