Turning down parties

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?

Parents
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  • 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!

Children
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