I love my mother-in-law. She is the kindest, sweetest person. When I’m with her for an extended period of time, however, I’m my worst self around her and I don’t know how to change it. This past week she stayed at our house and I had a really hard time being nice to her (for no real reason). The things she does that bother me are the following: asks tons of questions about everything I’m doing, stares at me when I’m making breakfast or anything in the kitchen, asks “What? What?” when I’m talking to my husband so that we have to repeat everything we say to one another so she can hear it, constantly apologizes for everything, repeats stories. This is just who she is and I know I’m not going to change her, I can only change my thoughts. Here are my thoughts when she does those things:
– She is so annoying
– I wish she would stop talking
– I just want to make breakfast in peace
– Why is she so nosy?
– I wish she wasn’t here.
Of course, thoughts cause me to act distant, not respond to her questions (even though it takes more energy to ignore her), lash out at my husband, etc. I know it’s my choice to think these thoughts. I’ve done a lot of self-coaching around this over the past year but I just can’t seem to change my thoughts or even simply allow the thoughts and feelings to be there without acting in a way that I regret. As soon as she leaves, I immediately wish I was more warm and welcoming. Would love any guidance!