During this holiday season many men and women will be introduced to the family of their significant other for the first time. Usually the mate being introduced is a bit nervous and overly concerned about being accepted.
Meeting anyone for the first time usually requires a small amount of anxiety; however, meeting the family of your mate during the holidays presents a higher level of anxiety. I believe that the grand ceremony of the holiday season sends the message that whoever is being introduced is someone that is special to the family member making the introduction.
Nevertheless, there is a method that I have always used to remove or at least reduce my anxiety of meeting the family. The first thing that I take into consideration is the reputation of the person who invited me. Whatever the family feels about my companion will be automatically, until I establish my own identity, transferred onto me.
My advice when meeting your new companion’s family is to realize that you are judged by his/her reputation. If he/she has the reputation of making poor relationship choices, you will be considered just another mistake or vice versa. There’s no way around it. If your companion has a family reputation of being a bit ‘nuts’ then you too would be considered a bit ‘nuts’ or naïve and too blind to see. Don’t expect anyone to give you the ‘heads up’ because they won’t. However, on the flipside, if your companion is considered a good catch and very wise then you would automatically be considered in that same category. As they saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together,” unless of course, you’re the bird and the other is the one with the ax.
Two conventional wisdoms with meeting the family are to put your best foot forward and make a good impression because you can never make another first impression. However these conventional wisdoms only apply if you have good manners and social skills in the first place. If your companion doesn’t want to leave you alone and a few minutes it’s either because there’s a fear that you would let the family know how uncouth you are or you might discover a family secret. My suggestion is to let your little light shine and mingle. Don’t sit under your date like a crybaby kindergartner, if your date trusts you to mingle then mingle. Try to ascertain if this is the type of family you want to see again let alone become a part of. If your date doesn’t trust you to mingle then ponder the scenario.
Personally, I don’t believe in getting stressed out over meeting anyone, especially during the holidays. This is a time that most people are officially kind and putting on merriment. Everyone has issues and challenges. However, it is advisable to show proper protocol. Bring a gift for the host or household. Make appropriate small talk. Be courteous. Don’t drink too much or use profanity.
And above all avoid explosive discussions i.e. sports, politics, religion, and other peoples’ business or trying to impose your point of view.
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