Post # 1
This is an issue that puts me right in the middle and feeling awkward.
My guy is really nice to my family and realliy likes them, but he is extremely quiet around them. He is pleasant, smiles but does not take the initiative to engage them in conversation.
My parents and sister also like him but feel like he is being cold and snobby and choosing not to speak to them. This could not be further from the truth. He wants to much to make a good impression on them that I feel like it could be paralyzing him and causing him to be so quiet. My family is really upset that he seems so standoffish.
I don’t know what to say to Fiance and if I should even say anything. I don’t want him to feel MORE awkward, but my family is getting frustrated and i just want everyone to get along.
Post # 3
I have the opposite problem. My family doesn’t make much effort with my Fiance and he asks me fairly often if he’s done something to offend them/why they don’t like him. It breaks my heart. We live in a different country than my parents, so I’m not sure how to foster a better relationship between my man and my family.
Sorry I don’t have any advice for you. 🙁
Post # 4
OP I would speak with your family father than your Fiance and explain to them that he is just nervous and quiet and still at the stage where he wants to make a good impression. Its their misunderstanding rather than his error, when he’s ready he’ll warm up
Post # 5
I am basically in your FIs position.. I am a very quiet girl, painfully shy, especially around older people, for example friends parents.
Even now, after more than a year of being with my FH and living with his parents, I seldomly come up to them and initiate a conversation. It’s just not in my nature, I grew up to not talk unless I’m being talked to, or if I have something “meaningful” to say (my Dad’s family was really weird and my Mom’s family is on the other side of the globe).
Is your Fiance shy around new people? Especially groups that know each other very well can be soooo intimidating. I would say explain to your family that he’s in no way trying to be cold, and ask them to give him some more time. Putting pressure on him might make him feel even more lost/nervous.
Post # 6
Do you know why he is so quiet and reserved around them? Is he a naturally shy person? Is your family dynamic totally different than his family’s? Does he always clam up when trying to make a good impression, or is the first time you’ve noticed? I think it’s a good idea to be honest and bring this issue up with him, especially since your family is getting mixed signals from him. He might feel defensive, so you might want to be as gentle as possible when talking to him about it. Just tell him that you notice he acts differently around when he’s around your family, and ask him if he’s noticed that too. If he acts surprised or is reluctant to talk about it, give him just a few concrete examples of how he can appear aloof. Maybe make some suggestions about how he can show some of his positive attributes around your family (i.e, “I love it when you crack jokes about xyz, or share your stories about …, etc.). That way, you’re not just telling him what he’s “doing wrong”, you’re also giving him solutions. Good luck!
Post # 7
Kind of like the PP – can you give him some help – Oh, you’ve got to hear this story from FI’s work/school, Fiance did this awesome thing the other day, Fiance likes that sports team too.
My DH was very awkward and quiet around my family at first too. It helped that I have three younger siblings, including a brother 2 years younger that DH got along with really well. So we’d play board games or cards and such, and it helped smooth the ice.
I”m still pretty awkward around his family though – I never want to say or do the wrong thing – so I’m always afraid they don’t like me.
I would also talk to your parents and tell them he’s just quiet and shy – because if he picks up on the fact that they think he’s being cold and snobbish – it’ll only make it worse. I know I would retreat even further if my in-laws thought that about me and didn’t think I could make it better.
Post # 8
I am a very open person, but I was the same way with DH’s family probably the first six months I started going around them . Now I am my normal self, and his family loves me as much as they love him. He is probably just trying to feel them out, learn their mannerisms, and gauge their reactions to what he does say. In my case, his family was a very different crowd from what I was used too, loud and rambunctious, enjoys to drink together, etc. — and it took me awhile to feel comfortable to be myself around them, or be able to be myself without saying something akward or offensive.
He was the same way. My family is much more reserved and conservative than his , so he chose silence over being too loud /obnoxious for my family’s taste. . Now he is himself and my family adores him.
I would suggest just giving them more time, and trying to engage them in conversation more. It’s all a learning experience!
Post # 9
@lilsweetie:A golf outing with your dad and brother may work. Also a family game night with drinks and tons of interaction may help break the ice. Don’t forget the booze.