Whether you want to get closer to a friend or even potentially start dating her, you will probably spend time around her family and loved ones. You might be invited to family game nights or even to dinner outings. Not only are these opportunities to enjoy your friend's company, but also to earn positive marks with her mother. After all, future hangouts with your buddy could get awkward if her mother is constantly scowling at you. Aim for a positive outcome and learn a few strategies to befriend your friend's mom.
Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Prep work can lead to a successful meeting with the mother, suggests Marie Hartwell-Walker, psychologist, in her PsychCentral article, "Meet the Parents: Navigating the Holiday Dinner without the Stress." Ask your friend about his mother's interests and dislikes. This will help you prepare conversation topics. It also helps you avoid any sensitive subjects that might stir negativity. For example, perhaps you and the mother have very different religious beliefs that could lead to a touchy conversation.
Focus on the Family
Even when you want to win over the mother, you can't neglect the rest of the family. If your friend's siblings, father or other relatives are around, talk to them as well. The mother will note how well you get along with those she loves. If you have trouble getting the conversation rolling, ask open-ended questions, suggests Hartwell-Walker, and show an interest in the answers. Mind your manners and be respectful during your interactions. Avoid crude jokes and swearing.
Mimic Her Actions
Subtly mimicking the mother's physical gestures -- such as sitting back and placing your hands in your lap -- can make her feel the two of you are on the same page. But mimicry tends to happen on a subconscious level. Forcing it can cause cognitive strain, suggests the Psychology Today article, "Mimicry and Mirroring Can Be Good... or Bad," by Jeff Thompson, a doctoral candidate studying nonverbal communication. With this in mind, allow natural mimicry to occur by empathizing with the mother. When she speaks, imagine her point of view.
Watch Your Body Language
Your physical gestures play a role in your likability. Practice open and friendly body language and see if the mother mimics your actions. For example, a simple smile allows you to greet the mother warmly. Smiling can also release endorphins, which trigger internal feelings of well being, says former FBI behavioral analyst John Schafer in the Psychology Today article, "Get Anyone to Like You – Instantly – Guaranteed." Therefore, if your friend's mother returns the smile, you both benefit from a boost in mood.
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