Page 21 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 21

badly, or shut them out or ignore them, you risk passing          of what is already happening, so you are just stating the
that toxic behavior onto the next generation.                     obvious. If that doesn’t work, find another family member,
                                                                  friend, therapist or religious counselor with whom you can
Things to Remember About In-laws                                  discuss the issue. Telling your story to three separate people
                                                                  and getting their feedback can give you fresh perspective on
Respect Personality Differences: Remember not                     in-law issues.
everyone thinks the way you do. There are personality types
that affect how we deal with loss. Many people know about         In Conclusion
the Myers-Briggs test, best known for categorizing people
into introvert or extrovert along with other personality          We have all had problems with family members at one time
traits. I also like the Enneagram that gives nine personality     or another and are especially venerable to disagreements
types and categorizes people into heart-based, body-based         during times of stress. However, in the end they are the ones
and head-based. The point is that friends, family and in-         you can most likely count on for support. So, today take a
laws may not be out to hurt you, but may be operating from        fresh look at the situation and open your heart to let in even
a totally different worldview. Your rules of good conduct         those in-laws who have given you the most trouble.
may not even be on their radar screen.
                                                                  God Bless,
Respect Gender Differences: Women produce
hormones that tend to make them more prone to emotions.           Dr. Gloria Horsley
They tend to grieve using face-to-face interactions,
while men tend to grieve shoulder to shoulder by doing            Open to Hope West Coast
something active. Your male in-laws might paint the fence         1385 Dana Avenue
or mow the lawn while your female in-laws may be more             Palo Alto, California, 94301
responsive to sitting down for a good chat.             
Forgiveness: In-law grief grudges are a waste of time and
energy. Drop those old stories, or talk it out with a therapist   Open to Hope East Coast
or at The Compassionate Friends meetings. Many people             125 West 72nd Street Suite 6F
find that journaling is also a helpful way to relieve tension.    New York, New York,
Be a Positive Role Model: Remember what goes around
comes around. Be the change you want to see.            

Take a Care Break: If you have been over giving to                Dr. Gloria Horsley, MFC,
your in-laws, stop; and if you have been under giving, try        CNS, PhD, is the founder and
reaching out.                                                     president of the Open to Hope
                                                                  Foundation an internationally
Ask For Help: If you are having in-law problems, ask your         known grief expert, a
partner to intercede as being a biological family member          psychotherapist, and bereaved
gives them the most power. If it is a mother or sister-in-law     parent. Gloria cohosts the
problem, simply ask your husband/partner to take them             Internet radio show Open to
aside and say, “I know you are having problems with my            Hope, at www.opentohope.
wife; if you don’t work on getting along, I will not be able      com, and has authored a
to see as much of you”. The reality is that this is a reflection  number of books and articles.

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