When I was a child I had horrible social anxiety, I still do, but back then children where expected to be happy and friendly to their family members, hug them goodbye and act like they loved them. I had quite a few family members I felt uncomfortable around. I’d feel sick when they’d hug me or put their arm around me. Or if they tried to “play” with me by tickling me or something. I hated it all. I’d give my mom this look from across the room. Sometimes she’d catch on and say something to get me to go over to her. Sometimes she didn’t catch on.
Now my sons barely even two, and I catch him giving me that same look. He looks like he feels awkward and uncomfortable. And I call for him to come for me every time. And I feel so sad that he’s going to feel the same anxieties and that sick feeling when people I didn’t like where around me. I feel bad for the times I might not be there to get him away from that one person who just invades his personal space and makes him feel uncomfortable. I try not to push things, I don’t make him give hugs and kisses goodbye like my parents did, we wave goodbye to everyone instead. I just feel bad still that he might be feeling those feelings.