Indian Mother-in-Law keeps offering to buy me things- is this a cultural thing?

posted 2 years ago in South Asian
Post # 16
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

rosabelle :  Yay! Glad things are working out between your families 🙂 One note about texting in regards to your original question. I think I might be able to pinpoint exactly what is going on here – by chance is your Mother-In-Law texting you on Whatsapp (as opposed to regular text or iMessage?)? If so, my parents (and many Indian parents) tend to use Whatsapp as social media rather than as private messaging. So while you may THINK she’s sending you all these pictures specifically to YOU asking for your personal opinion, you may just be a part of a group or a part of a list of people she always forwards everything to. Most people don’t actually respond to a lot of the things my parents send via whatsapp – only if it’s super relevant to them. So maybe try slowing down how much you communicate with her by text and instead focus on giving insights when it’s specifically about a gift/clothes/jewelery meant for you? Or, when all else fails, use the thumbs up emoji, haha! Always a neutral ground.

Post # 17
425 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Instead of general compliments (ie “Wow that’s such a pretty dress”) give compliments that are specific to her (ie “Wow I can tell that dress will look so pretty on you”, “oh that decoration will match your home so well”) and then if she says ‘do you want it’ you can say “oh I don’t think it would fit with me”.  Hopefully with a her-specific compliment she won’t even ask but it will make it clear that you’re complimenting the object specifically for her?  IDK about the cultural aspect but I use this for people who are American like me and have similar habits so I’m guessing it would work on anyone…

Post # 18
712 posts
Busy bee

pussinboots07 :  Yes, it’s the culture.  Im Egyptian, and we do the same.  

Post # 19
14 posts

thenetgirl :  your first post times 1000! Your advice is spot-on. 

I’m a nonIndian married to an Indian for 10 years and my Mother-In-Law still buys me jewellery! And a particular sweet I like, the pickle only I eat, the potato chips I mentioned I liked 9 years ago and she found again, the handkerchiefs I prefer and pretty much anything I’ve ever even looked twice at! She’s ridiculous and sweet! My SIL is the same!! All the things. You can say no, but you will eventually lose, so accept that now. 🤣 My Mother-In-Law just announced to me she is buying me more jewellery in October, I’m guessing for Diwali or Lakshmi puja? I always say no when she offers anything, from diamonds to halwa, but if she’s already bought it or marching me into a jewellery store I go along with it. Feel free to politely decline offers, but also consider accepting some. Both my Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law notice when I wear the jewellery they bought me and they always smile and mention it. It is a big deal to take care of your daughter in law and put some sparkles on her! You can refuse, but not every gift. Accept ones you would really like and show her later how you enjoy it. Every culture likes that!! Another cute thing my Mother-In-Law and SIL always do is get mad when I thank them. “Here’s a ridiculously expensive diamond pendant.” “How sweet of you. Thank you so much!” “What thanks???” And then a long lecture about family. 😊 Really, Indian in-laws are weirdly amazing. Or I am insanely lucky!

And I can’t find who wrote the WhatsApp comment but that is also spot on! A 💖👌 will also work! Ha!

Post # 20
2 posts

I am an Indian and am a mil now. So I found this trail very interesting as my son is dating an aussie now. I have bought her indian outfits for my older son’s wedding and she accepted all of them gracefully. However, I have noticed that she refuses to accept most other offers to buy western dresses. 

My DIL on other hand is a bengali and she kept refusing most gifts  and offers to buy dresses so I have stopped asking anymore. 

But I would say personally, it is more because I have no daughter that I want to fulfill those wishes of buying girly things esp so when I had no one buying it for me. And I couldn’t afford very extravagant outfits when I was young and can spend lavishly now, so feel like showering them with gifts.

So personally I would say, dont say no all the time accept some that you like and tell her that you would rather use her gifts properly and not take them for the heck of it and then put it aside. Soon you will know and find a middle ground. Aslo try reciprocating as well so she also feels loved and taken care of.

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