Parties and crowds are very different things to me, a crowd is lot’s of people, yes, and that makes me uncomfortable, but they can be dead silent which i love. Parties however are crowds with NOISE which i hate.
When i was a little girl i was very sociable, with ADULTS. I could not abide being made to associate with groups of children my own age, they were loud and stupid. I loved just talking to teachers, or teaching assistants, or my parents. Or any grown up i could find. They were much more quiet. I have never been fond of noise and used to do what i could to get out of school Discos. The first time my Mum said “Ok you don’t have to go” i was so relived, and spent that afternoon playing in the garden instead. I was only about 6.
Once i hit the age of 8 and i started making more friends my age, i started going to school disco’s and parties again, that lasted a few years until one evening I got sent home from one, as the stress of having to be with so many people, with so much noise gave me a headache and made my cry. For some reason at the age of about 10, i shut down and didn’t want to be with other people at all, i spoke very little and just spent time with my two good friends, i refused to go to parties. I went to two, which were at a neighbors, between the ages of 13 and 15, and each time i walked home early as i felt sick. My mother always used to tell me i was just being silly, she never stopped to think i might have had some anxiety issue, as after all “What have you got to be stressed about” she used to say.
My anxiety in loud groups was never horrendous, it wasn’t debilitating to my social function, but it did leave me feeling awkward and unhappy. I soldiered on, until i went to college and at 17 it all seemed to get better, i met people who were like me and it made me want to spend time with other people. This bumped my crowd-o-meter up to a really impressive circle of friends of 6. I’ve been getting better every year since, and i’m even getting over my phone phobia thanks to having to use it regularly at work.
Even today i can’t really socialise in a group much larger than than a few, at work it’s fine, i can deal with it, there are not many of us and we are all rather quiet people, but i don’t choose hustle and bustle.