Most of my life I have forced myself to hang out with people. I always blamed my dislike of hanging out with people on my anxiety issues. I was diagnosed AS in the last year and my whole social life finally makes sense... It's not that I get anxious around the few close friends I have (friends I like!). I would much rather be alone, and I seem to have more sensory issues than I am specifically aware of... I am starting to get better at figuring out what things bother me so much, for so long I have dealt with it by just blowing up inside and melting down in private (or sobbing in public!).
When I was a kid, I was punished for responding to upsetting things. ie: when I covered my ears from painful sounds or my nose from smells that make me really sick--my mom thought I was just being rude and so I was punished for that stuff. Rather than being able to avoid things I had to just deal with it--my little stress meter went up a lot and of course, once it's maxed out I pretty much melt or shut down. I always knew I was really sensitive about some things, I just thought other people dealt with it better. I basically taught myself to ignore what was causing the problem and let myself flip out when I was alone so nobody could get upset with me. Not very healthy and now I have to pay more attention to what is actually setting me off--getting better at identifying these things though!
So, the whole hanging out thing puts me in a horrible mood... I start to get really agitated by them talking, coughing, moving around, etc... Basically, everything starts to bother me on a horrible level. I am quite sure it's a sensory issue that I get maxed out on my little stress bar and start to lose myself. I am pretty obsessed with not being rude (was punished as a kid when I was) and so when I hang out I feel it's rude/unfair to ask someone to shut up. I know there are ways to do it nicely, but it seems unfair to ask someone to stop talking--and really, by the time it gets there I just want to be alone at home.
This is the same reason I don't go out anywhere most of the time because I get so upset with things (social anxiety does play a major role in the going out thing, but isn't an issue around people I am comfortable with). I spend all my energy stressing when I am out--dealing with sensory issues as well as being careful not to get in anyone's way. I really have trouble going out anywhere alone that isn't a regular routine and if anything changes my stress meter goes up a lot... Hanging out with people is very sporadic. I hardly ever hang out with anyone--I just never feel like it and when I do end up hanging out the whole time I am thinking about being alone. I feel really shallow that I think/feel this way but I just dislike hanging out.... Oddly, when I've had boyfriends it's okay (usually because they've all been very long 1-3+ years--I live with them and it becomes routine)... Even without sensory issues, I don't think I would enjoy hanging out much but I could be wrong about that.
I have on a few good, close friends. I don't want any more friends... I like the ones I do have, even though I don't want to hang out. Part of me feels like I just don't really care about other people's lives--if a stranger needs help (on any level, even if just to listen to them), I help and I do care very much care in that sense... But, I don't really care about getting to know them beyond that... If that makes sense. I do care about my friends a ton, I am super loyal and, put their needs before mine most of time... I like to know how their day was, even the most useless details about it... If I am going to have a friend I feel it should be "all or none" like if we're not very close... what is the point? Especially since most people don't put up with the "I dont hang out" thing.
My question is... Do any of you experience a similar view on friendship and hanging out? Do you love/like your good friends but still have 0 interest to hang out? And, how do you explain to people that you just don't enjoy hanging out without hurting feelings??!
I try to be as nice as possible, since I had those kind of manners drilled into me as kid... I pretty much analyze everything before I say it to make sure it can't hurt feelings or be rude on any level... But, it seems like when I tell people it's stressful to be out or around anyone else... They always seem to debate or reason with how I feel--I feel kind of pressured into hanging out with them or I just get angry after trying to be kind about it. It's like I either don't explain the issue well or they take it personally (thinking I dislike them, or they are special enough to get around my issues)...
It's really frustrating and I am not sure how to deal with this anymore
I am tired of making "excuses" and I can't lie and say I am busy, etc :/ People have suggested I just tell them, "no" but I feel like they deserve an explanation... Especially if they ask more than once :[
Sorry that was a lot longer than I intended... Just wanted to give you guys some kind of idea where I am coming from and see where you guys are coming from (in as much detail as you would like!!!)... How can I deal with this? :]