As I said in my previous posts many Filipinos whom I know are very emotional and, as I’ve already said, their emotional volatility (as I see it at least) is seldom an attack on you but rather the product of how the Filipino way of life has shaped the character of much of the population.
One of the lessons I’ve learned in dealing with my wife and her extended family is that I must think through very carefully BEFORE I COMMUNICATE ANYTHING.
I am not just talking about words here. I remember one situation in which I almost got punched in the face because I was standing arms akimbo and that came across as if I was kind of challenging them. That wasn’t my INTENTION but IT CAME ACROSS that way.
So the lesson I’ve learned is that you (and I) need to be aware of the possible IMPACT of your words and body language and carefully read your wife’s and her kin-group’s facial expressions to detect if, by the way you are communicating, you are coming across in a way that might trigger their emotions and be ready to SHIFT GEARS.
If it is too late and your communication HAS ALREADY ELICITED AN EMOTIONAL REACTION be QUICK TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE IMPACT and never MINIMIZE or JUSTIFY.
Justifying and minimizing would only create more tension.
This is the only way you can put down the fire and restore peace especially if the entire extended family is involved in the HEATED discussion.