How do you deal with pushy waitresses, obnoxious aunts, meddling strangers, and loudmouths?
I'm an introvert, my spouse is an introvert, so no surprise, DS happens to be an introvert too. And at age 8 months-14 months, he especially did not like unwanted attention from strangers (now, for the most part, he does, just in small doses and on his terms). Unfortunately, he's a rather attractive smiley sort of kid, and large for his age, so people come up to him all the time, get in his face, and bombard him with questions, and assume he's older and more mature than he really is. Also, he's speech delayed, so other than his body language, he doesn't have a lot of tools to defend himself from unwanted situations. It sucks.
I've noticed with friends/family members who have little girls, it can be even worse because girls (in this culture) are expected to be more outgoing, social, cute, and "perform for adults on demand" in ways that boys aren't necessarily expected to.
Frankly, I tend to be pretty blunt when I notice my son is not comfortable with a given situation. I know I have the kind of kid who prefers to stay close to mama and watch from the sidelines before jumping into a new situation. And I don't mind telling other people to shove off, especially strangers, if they're making him uncomfortable.
I remember feeling shy as a kid and preferring to be left alone unless I was in the "mood" for social situations, so I don't force my child to interact with people he's clearly uncomfortable with. Most of my family has similar temperaments (or enough experience with kids) to know when to back off, so the problem is usually with strangers.
People would go on and on about how cute he was. "Thank you, I think he is too."
People used to come up to him and bombard him with questions. I'd say, "He doesn't talk yet."
People would want to touch him. "He doesn't like being touched by people he doesn't know well."
People (mainly family members) would want to hold him or pick him up. "He prefers to sit here with me awhile until he feels comfortable with the situation." or "He'll probably come over to you when he's gotten used to you."
People would bring their dogs over near him at the park (because they mistakenly believe he would want to pet their dogs). "He doesn't really like having dogs up in his face, they scare him."
And my personal favorites, "I don't think he's enjoying that." and "You're making him uncomfortable."