You can hardly believe your luck. You met the guy of your dreams and low and behold, it’s a happy, healthy relationship that is progressing as it should. But just as you’re thinking you may have hit gold, or at least the jackpot, after a Thanksgiving meeting with your family, the verdict from the familial relations is well¦less that positive. What do you do when your family or friends can’t stand who you’re with?
Before you leap to his defence and slay dragons, maybe pose the simple but necessary question back to your concerned family. Why? And again, before you launch your full assault, listen to what they have to say in its entirety without any interruption. Before you respond, try to summarize what they’ve said and repeat it back to them to ensure you’ve got it bang on right.
Was there an event or was something said that initiated this conversation? Did he do something that might not have been interpreted as appropriate by your family? You might see this in cross cultural relationships more so. If that’s the case, can it be cleared up right then and there?
If it was much worse then a simple misunderstanding, is there something you can do to fix it? Try asking what would make it better from their end? And if it makes sense to you, do it.
Tough to do when you’ve got your head and heart entangled but if you can, pull yourself away for a minute and take a birds eye view of the situation. Who is saying what? Is it everyone who isn’t his biggest fan? Your family and friends included. Give it some thought. Could they have seen something that you might have been unable to see?
Bottom line: avoid jumping to an immediate defence. Most people just want to be heard, so hear your family out as it relates to their dislikes and problem solve together to try and remedy the situation.