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Hi All,

Since my son was born last December, my wife and I have generally been pretty good on the home front. Normal stress. We discuss things and communicate pretty well. I also am very close with my parents and brother. So I feel comfortable there.

Concerning my in laws, I have always felt generally close to my them (including 4 sister in laws). But since my son was born, for whatever reason, I feel more anxious around them, like I can't entirely be myself. Maybe it's because I'm a new Dad now and I'm getting used to my role as a father and "who I am" as a father? For example, I may feel shy about being silly and affectionate with my son, whereas at home that isn't the case.

In the past, I have felt a little uneasy at times around in laws (before son was born) because there are so many of them, lol, and because they can be a little "overwhelming" personality wise. Never anything malicious, just strong opinions and high standards (but reasonable). However, I would say we are close. We laugh at the same things, get along well, etc. They even put me in their Will incase (God Forbid) something happens to my wife.

But for reasons still unknown to me, I am having trouble being as loose around them as I was before my son was born. I will conclude my entry by saying that I have struggled throughout my life, at times, with being overly concerned with what others think about me. So, I find that in the moment, at times, I fight off that sort of thinking. Sometimes I may personalize if one of my sister in laws seems cranky or quiet. (I may become somewhat more reserved or uncomfortable in this situation.) I am aware of it, so I just try to work it out on my own.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Often anxiety is made worse by feeling like you have no control. So take the initiative. Talk to one of them about something they enjoy, or something your son did.
 

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How much time do you actually spend with them. I ask because if its not too much I dont see it as too much of a problem in that you can just go with the flow because they are her family, but if its a lot them could you both agree to just see them a little less so that you can feel more relaxed?
 

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For example, I may feel shy about being silly and affectionate with my son, whereas at home that isn't the case.
I'm not a parent, but my suggestion is more related to 'calling out' how you're feeling in that moment. Given there's no malice or anything occurring around them, how about when you start to feel self-conscious around them with your son, call it out along the lines of, 'Okay I'm about to start being silly and affectionate with my son and admittedly I feel a bit self-conscious of others seeing me this way as I'm still getting used to it..' It can be expressed jovially. It's likely you will receive reassurance, however, that's not the point and it doesn't matter if you don't get it. The point is for you - that by calling out how you are feeling in that moment, it may well help you to get over and/or become more comfortable simply through hearing yourself acknowledge it. And perhaps in the longer run, may help you to care less what they think.
 
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I will conclude my entry by saying that I have struggled throughout my life, at times, with being overly concerned with what others think about me.
To paraphrase Dr. Phil's daddy who was addressing his son's same concern: " You would be surprised at how seldom others think about you". Don't take others actions so personally. We all have our own lives, concerns etc. Live your life as you see fit and if others have a problem with it you can figure they'll address it if need be. Enjoy your son!
 

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To paraphrase Dr. Phil's daddy who was addressing his son's same concern: " You would be surprised at how seldom others think about you". Don't take others actions so personally. We all have our own lives, concerns etc. Live your life as you see fit and if others have a problem with it you can figure they'll address it if need be. Enjoy your son!
Yes.

TS, you didn't say there was any negative stuff coming from the In Laws, don't presume any. If two people think the other doesn't like them, it can grow into a reality.
 
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