You’re spending Thanksgiving with your partner’s family this year for the first time, or you’re tagging along with your SO and their buddies for game day. You want to be sure they like you, since you may be in their lives for some time, but you’re reluctant to showing your full self, since you’re scared they may not like you. It’s a cursed cycle! If you’re struggling to feel confident around your partner’s friends and family, I’ve rounded up some tips from experts to help you out.
"Pay attention to why you feel nervous," Dating coach Diana Dorell tells Elite Daily. "If you’re nervous because you really care for your partner and see a future and worry that they will like you or not, that’s pretty normal."
Whether you’re meeting your partner’s friends and family for the first time in your relationship, which is understandably a big milestone for you both, or are lacking confidence after meeting them a few times, there are steps you can take to gain more confidence. Just like with any other aspect of your life, like academically, professionally, or socially, there are tricks you can do in order to feel most yourself around others. Read on for some tips on feeling more confident around your partner’s family and friends.
Do your homework.
Before you meet the important people in your partner’s life, ask your SO for pointers about each person. It could be activities they’re into, where they’re from, or what school they went to. This could give you ideas for topics to bring up to those people, so you feel a little more confident engaging in conversation.
"If you know which one of them is a staunch Republican or Democrat, or an alcoholic or newly divorced, you’ll probably be able to avoid most faux pas," April Masini, relationship expert, tells Elite Daily. "And knowing you’re prepared and you won’t step in a puddle of awkward because you’ve got this intel from your partner, that is going to make you feel a lot more confident than if you didn’t have this. "
Know that they may be nervous, too.
Dorell says that if it’s a first time meeting, your partner’s family and friends may be concerned with making a good impression on you, too.
"Being yourself and trusting that that is enough helps you feel confident and puts them at ease to be themselves too," Dorell tells Elite Daily.
Dorell compares the situation to going into an audition or an interview: You want to adjust your mindset from thinking about making them like you to knowing you’re well worth their approval already.
"That leaves an excellent impression because no one ever forgets the person who is super at home with themselves and not trying to do anything other than invite others to do the same," Dorell says.
Respond to their tone similarly.
Nina Rubin (no relation), life coach, suggests you mirror your partner’s friends or family’s tone.
"If they are energetic, add a little enthusiasm to your interactions," Rubin tells Elite Daily. "If they’re very calm and you run hyper, meet them with a relaxed mindset."
Wear something you’re comfortable in.
Masini advises you pick out an outfit you’re comfortable in and to plan it out in advance.
"Try the outfit on," she says. "Make sure it fits and doesn’t need dry cleaning. Have a backup outfit, too. Lots of people are anxious about their appearance and feeling prepared with an outfit alleviates that anxiety and allows for confidence."
Dorell says that wearing your favorite underwear, makeup, or clothing can make you feel more at ease.
"Taking time to do that for yourself helps you relax and feel comfortable making conversation with them without worrying about whether or not you look presentable," Dorell says. "You will feel presentable because you’ve taken the time for you."
Have some "me time" beforehand if you can.
If you have flexibility in your schedule, try to plan the event with your SO’s friends or family when you have some free time beforehand.
"Prioritize your time before any meeting or get together, so you can prep for the meeting," Masini says. "Some people need a nap, a relaxing bath, and some meditation to feel prepared. Others simply need a good breakfast and a good night’s sleep the night before. Whatever you need to feel prepared — give yourself. Because feeling prepared is going to make you feel confident."
So now that you have all the best tips from the experts, you can go in feeling fully confident and sure of yourself. Go ahead, I believe in you.
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