MIL #3 was a woman overwhelmed and dominated, first by a strict Catholic father, and later by a strict Catholic husband. She was child-like and sometimes surprisingly childish, overly pious and modest, almost "nun-like". Her father's influence was so strong that she did not marry her first love, a handsome kind Lutheran man, because she didn't want to disappoint her father or the Catholic Church, and she declared loyally she would never "change" her religion. She talked about this man often, and when she did her tone was wistful and sad. The Catholic man she chose to marry had an extreme temper and was verbally abusive. So much for misplaced loyalty.
MIL #3 never stopped talking, usually at 100mph, with her eyes opened oddly wide in rapt enthusiasm (or mania). At first, dutiful daughter-in-law that I was, I gave my full undivided attention to her constant stream of chatter. The result of this was that, at the end of an hour, I was totally exhausted, left with a pounding headache.
This woman was a psychic vampire. I taught myself to tune her out and conserve my own energy.
What did I learn from this woman?
Know when to stop talking. You'd think this would be a natural instinctive thing to know, but it's not. I've met several people who will drown you with their endless chatter; the result is one-way conversation. Don't be afraid of your own shadow. Actually, this is most often where you will find peace and solace. Don't be afraid of new ideas; they don't bite. You don't even have to accept them into your realm, just know they are nothing to fear. Protect, with a vengeance, your personal freedom and choices. Make Common Sense your best friend.