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Best And Worst Ways To Woo Your In-Laws, Science

Update Date: Nov 05, 2015 10:58 AM EST

In-laws are usually looked at with a jaundiced eye---especially when it comes to winning them over. Is there a formula for it?

Apparently there is! In one study published by Menelaos Apostolou in the journal Human Nature, the best ways to impress them is not with gifts or lavish dinners, but with alternative techniques.

Apostolou listed 41 of the tactics that are used by adults to win over in-laws. He did mark out some "most" and "least" successful of those, and also mentioned seven types.

In his study, Apostolou wrote that "The 'I am right for your child' and 'No confrontation' tactics were found to be most likely to be successful, whereas 'Approach' and 'Tell them I am good!' were least likely to be successful," according to the press release.

So the "I am right for your child" trick tries to show the in-laws that they are very finely suited to the child. But this has to be shown and demonstrated with examples.

Secondly, the "No confrontation" tactic is simple. No arguments or disagreements---none whatsoever, with the parents. Never negate any statement made by the in-laws.

The "Approach" tactic is all about presenting them with gifts or dinner invites, in order to woo them. However, these tactics are not useful or impressive.

The "Tell them I'm good!" trick is all about the son or daughter convincing parents that he or she is well-matched with the partner. It doesn't always work!

Related tricks include "I do not deserve this!" and "Why don't you like me?" that try to fight the in-laws' rejection and dislike. In these approaches, partners try to work on the mindset and moods of parents---but they fail most of the time.

One more trick is the "You have to accept the situation," which is not confrontational, but includes the parents trying to prevent the in-laws from meeting their grandchildren.

However, the study showed that the mothers seemed to be affected by the tactics more than the fathers. As Apostolou studied more than 700 Greek-Cypriot families, she also noted that certain cultural factors may not be applicable for other families.

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