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Harvard-trained etiquette expert shares impressive input on how one should deal with rude in-laws

Sara Jane Ho's insight suggests that with the most subtle response, one can avoid conflict and chaos during the holidays even if in-laws play the rude card.

Harvard-trained etiquette expert shares impressive input on how one should deal with rude in-laws
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Liza Summer; CNBC Make It | Sara Jane Ho

Marriage is undoubtedly the bonding of two families, where one of the major worries couples have is warming up and bonding with in-laws. Often, in-laws may not gel with couples, which causes partners to get into a fix. A person gets stuck between maintaining the peace for the sake of their partner or getting back at in-laws who are rude and judgemental. CNBC Make It spoke with a Harvard-trained etiquette expert to help tackle the situation. Sara Jane Ho suggested a brilliant way to respond to such in-laws and family members and titled it the No. 1 method to use in such scenarios.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| MART PRODUCTION
Representative Image Source: Pexels| MART PRODUCTION

As an expert on etiquette, Jane Ho understands how mannerisms work and how they can have pros and cons. Right from dealing with physical mannerisms related to dressing and eating to knowing how to conduct oneself in different scenarios, Jane Ho has seen it all. With all of these in mind, the author of “Mind your Manners” shares brilliant tips that can ease the entire atmosphere and avoid conflict or discomfort. As bizarre as it seems, Jane Ho suggests “agreeing and playing along” or “being all smiley” when an in-law passes an indirect rude comment or even a direct insult.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Alex Green
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Alex Green

Elaborating on the same, she stressed the need for partners to let their spouses handle their own parents instead of jumping in at the first insult. “If you want to piss off your in-laws, let your spouse do it, not you,” she said. She added that reprimanding or creating a scene with in-laws is not the best idea and that one’s spouse should do the “dirty work” of correcting them. She further emphasized that it’s the same vice-versa. “You need to take care of your parents and they need to take care of their parents,” she explained.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sara Jane Ho (@sarajaneho)


 

Jane Ho highlighted that it may not always be something one can agree to or even smile about. In such cases, she recommends remaining silent and not reacting at all. The idea is to let one’s spouse take over rather than being the bad guy. In a previous interview with the outlet, she spoke about how to deal with people in general who say rude things to a person. She offered a unique perspective that puts the other person in check and also makes a strong case for a person without having to react impulsively.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sara Jane Ho (@sarajaneho)


 

Connecting that interview with the case of rude in-laws, Jane Ho said, “Oftentimes, I feel like when people are being rude the best thing is to just not say anything. Let everyone wallow, and let them wallow in their misbehavior.”

“The greatest power is showing that the other person doesn’t have power over you,” she added. The expert has also hosted the Netflix show “Mind Your Manners” and even takes etiquette classes across the world. Her Instagram holds glimpses of these events along with bits of advice quoted by several personalities that greatly aid etiquette and behavior and dealing with those who don’t possess the former. With the holiday season upon us and family visits, these tips can come quite handy. 


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sara Jane Ho (@sarajaneho)


 

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