How do you guys go about turning down parties? I can't deal with big social events at all and avoid them like the plague for a variety of reasons (anxious amongst lots of people, will not dress up for going out, hardly like any food so meals are a problem, noise, can't deal with all the conversations). I don't really like to explain this to people especially as I'm not diagnosed so I can't even give that as a reason. I usually go with distance or money. There is a party being organised for work at the moment and several people are trying to persuade me to go. I find these conversations very difficult and they keep coming up with solutions to my reasons for not going. How would other people deal with this?
Most people who know me well enough to invite me to a party know that I wouldn't accept.
If I am invited, I say it is very nice to be asked, but they wouldn't want me there, I won't like the food, I don't drink, I don't enjoy parties, and this is generally accepted. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid, such as a wedding of a close family member, or (not a party, but the same another get together although in different circumstances) a funeral. At the wake I will put on my best act, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake and try to make polite conversation. But that is the only exception. A funeral is for those left behind, not those who have just departed, and I realise how comforting it can be for the bereaved.
At work, there is no problem since they all know I am autistic and do not enjoy (well actively dislike intensely) parties. I always say that I hope it goes well and thank you for the invitation. There is no embarrassment from me about refusing, and I think they are relieved when I decline anyway!