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24 June 2006 @ 11:27 am
Tenderizing your MIL  
Just wanted to bring up something I've noticed - lots of us younger folk seem to be OK with being openly expressive with our peers, but when we get with our more traditional elders we just clam up. It just comes from having the whole Asian family hierarchy drummed into us.

But I've discovered something pretty interesting. As an adult, if you're affectionate with them, they tend to react with surprise, and a degree of shyness.

For example: I've found hugging older folk throws them off a bit, but afterwards they walk around with an am4 qio3 (secret smile) on their face. If a hug is inappropriate, rubbing their back with an open palm works too. : )

Some of them just don't know how to handle it and react the only way they know how, with sarcasm or rejection. But if you're thick skinned enough you can move past that easily. Like, if they say, "Don't be silly! What are you doing!" or, "Wah, why so loving, what do you want?", you can just lay it out plain. "Just want to sayang you, what. Nice?"

What do you think? Think it'll work with ornery MILs? It's hard to imagine it working with some people, but I say it's worth a try! I'm guessing after some time they should soften their stance a bit. What can they complain about to their friends? That you're too nice and hug her too much?
 
 
 
debbstar*debbstar on June 24th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
wahahahahah i love how you finished it - that you're too nice and hug her too much?

she might turn around and say 'what if she does this with all the guy friends she knows, and they get the wrong idea?'
you never know how these older folk think sometimes!

but you do have a point, maybe i'll try the rubbing back first. somehow they just don't strike me as a huggy type of family. i've only seen her hug my fiance once, and that was when he was flying off and it was more an arm around the shoulder type of hug (or rather around his waist - she's a petite woman!)
Happy Finger Puppet of DEATHamizadai on June 24th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
Haha, my granny was also never the huggy sort. She never initiated it, but I could always tell she was pleased after I hugged her.

I hug my MIL sometimes, rub her back other times. And because she has good skin, sometimes I stroke her forearm and compliment her on it. You should see her smile!

I've been very blessed - my husband's family is quite affectionate. But for them it seems to be more for greetings or special occasions. But I want my future kids to have lots of affection from their grandparents when while growing up so I see this effort of being randomly affectionate as an investment!
debbstar*debbstar on June 24th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
yeahh my fiance is pretty affectionate, although it seems he's only been like that with me, never with his previous girlfriends!
but hopefully that means our kids will have lots of affection next time too...
Amandamadmoneymonkey on June 24th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
Totally! All mothers love hugs. Esp if her son is not the huggy type.
But I can't quite bring myself to hug my MIL yet. I think she'll probably be ok with it, but I wouldn't want to rush myself into something so personal.

I am at the 'put hand on shoulder when saying thank you' stage now. How about you?
Happy Finger Puppet of DEATHamizadai on June 24th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC)
> I am at the 'put hand on shoulder when saying thank you' stage now.

That's fantastic! I started with the back rubbing.

Sometimes, I'll just hug her out of the blue while she's doing something. When she asks what that was for, i just grin and say "Nothing". And then I gallavant off and go back to watching Tv or whatever.

I like random acts of affection. Better yet, I like the 'huh?' look on her face. And the smile that follows. : )
Amandamadmoneymonkey on June 24th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
I do that with my own parents but the thought of hugging my MIL is really strange. But the good thing is, I can see it happening, given some time. That's a start!
debbstar*debbstar on June 24th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
i feel the same!
not quite ready for the hugs yet.. so i'll settle for the hand on the back first!
Amandamadmoneymonkey on June 24th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, I also would feel really strange so think will wait up a little. Heh.
Happy Finger Puppet of DEATHamizadai on June 24th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
> Esp if her son is not the huggy type.

I think this is a really good point, I never thought of it the way you say it. Maybe some daughter-in-laws are meant to fill a niche in their MILs lives that their family hasn't quite addressed. : )

They might not even think affection is important until a loving DIL comes along. I like that thought.

Amandamadmoneymonkey on June 24th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
I agree! I think in some instances, a DIL strengthens the mother's relationship with her son because you show her the affection that her son doesn't normally show. Spending time talking to her also opens up communication between mother and son because a lot of guys just don't sit down to chat with their mums. So, go us! Heh.
jade_blossomsjade_blossoms on June 27th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
My future MIL shakes her son's hand even when he's leaving for another country. That woman is classic.
Happy Finger Puppet of DEATHamizadai on June 27th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, really? that's really something. Have exceptionately affectionate children who will break her cool veneer.