Dealing With Difficult People | 3 Steps To Take For A Stress Free Wedding

dealing with difficult people

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Difficult people. Drama. It can make or break the most important day of your life. We’ve all seen movies depicting our worst nightmares. You know…that naughty little nephew sending your perfect, thousand dollar, designer cake flying through the air…the drunken best man’s embarrassing toast…monsters-in-law. Shudder to think! How do you walk that delicate tightrope line between bickering, divorced parents and overbearing but well-meaning Aunt Gertrude, and still have your perfect wedding day? Dealing with difficult people is an important part of creating a stress free wedding.

Now that I’ve all but killed your engagement buzz, let me share a little secret! The key to controlling difficult people and difficult family members during the wedding planning process is all in how you handle it. “But you don’t understand; my family invented drama!” You wail. Trust me. The longer I live, the more I realize that every family is almost as crazy as mine. Keeping family drama to a minimum is as easy as saying “I do!”

Great news: your engagement is the natural time to set boundaries. Realize now that you are marrying the person of your dreams–and his/her family! Use this time between the romantic proposal and saying “I do” to teach each other and your difficult family members how to treat you. Take a look at how you handle yourself.  Are you a doormat? Do you let others walk all over you, wiping their shoes on your pretty white slacks without comment? Maybe you’re a Prima Donna? Do you routinely expect others to do your bidding? Chances are that if you’re somewhere in between, you’re not dealing with these difficult people at all, so grab a cocktail and put your feet up.

difficult people

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Doormats

Speaking up in a gentle, loving way is easier when you interject a bit of rehearsed language, and humor is a nice lubricant for getting those difficult words out. Difficult family members rarely want to wish anybody harm so always assume positive intent. Practice a couple of key phrases that feel good to you. For example, you want a black tie affair. Because you are so considerate of others’ feelings, the bridesmaids dresses you’ve selected are a classy little black dress that flatters everyone, something the girls will actually wear again! Your mother-in-law-to-be insists that since she’s paying for them, your bridesmaids will be wearing a frilly hot pink number with icky green polka dots. Gulp. What do you do?

difficult family members

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1. Immediately consult with your maid of honor. She will feel so good to be exercising her special role for your big day!

2. Together, work up an opening phrase. Something like “Joan, thanks so much for agreeing to purchase the bridal party’s gowns”.

3. Come up with two acceptable choices, and be sure to state the challenge in a way that includes your MIL2b. “We’ve found a dress which flatters each bridesmaid, and one that they can wear at dinner parties later!”  If she says, “well, what about the cute ones I picked out?” you can respectfully respond by touching her arm while stating, “yes, the festive fabric you’ve chosen will be perfect for your grandchild’s baby shower!”  If she doesn’t melt with delight over the prospect, offer her a choice. “and the bridesmaids are willing to pay for their own if that works better for you.” Once you’ve shared your rehearsed phrases with her, just smile. Do NOT say another word. Let her fill the silence with a response, and you have instantly turned the tables in your favor without ugly accusations, painful insults, or obnoxious threats. Once you’ve done so, you have commanded respect in a gentle, diplomatic way that will establish important boundaries with this VIP.

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RULE
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  1. michaela

    Yvette – love this article… it’s so true! Because our traditional wedding suddenly became very non-traditional (eh em baby bump) everyone immediately thought that what we had planned, or what our wishes were suddenly were not important…it quickly became a “last minute thrown together” event that everyone thought they could have input on…

    Such as, “I’ve got a 50th birthday party to go to that weekend, could you change the wedding date?”

    Yeah. Right. The minute I started letting go of trying to please everyone was the minute we got “OUR” dream wedding back!

    We’re very excited now!

  2. Laurie

    Excellent advice Yvette! I love the way you would go about showing the future MIL just who’s boss! Because, like her or not, your mother-in-law will be in your life from here on out so starting on on the right foot is smart….very smart!

  3. Laurie@Gift Baskets for Women

    I can relate to this post. I have been married over twenty years now, but it sure doesn’t seem that long. We had quite a few difficulties to overcome, such as, my family wasn’t so sure I should marry who I was marrying! Now that’s a challenge.

    There was also things like open bar vs. not open bar and having more in the wedding party than I originally planned. I really wanted a “simple” wedding (if there is such a thing!) Oh well, it all worked out ok.

  4. Terri

    This is a great post. I think almost anyone can relate to this. Long gone are the days of “Leave it to Beaver” where everyone’s family was picture perfect. Now that we are in the era of the blended family, this post couldn’t have come a better time.

    While I would hope that many families could pull together for such a special time in a couple’s life I understand isn’t always possible for several reasons. If trying to work it out with family members is too much of a hassle, the couple can always have a private ceremony for just the two of them. There has actually been an increase in couples simply going to city hall or going to a faraway location for a faraway ceremony. After all, a wedding is just about the bride and groom. Family celebrations can come afterwards. that way drama is avoided at all costs on the most special day of your life.

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