It’s not that I hate people. I really love people honestly. I love getting to talk to people about things they are passionate about, about their life experiences, and where they have been. I think people are absolutely amazing. I don’t automatically hate everyone.
What I really mean is I hate the thought of being surrounded by strangers, or really large groups. It can be very overwhelming for me. It’s hard. When people ask me to hang out I might say “Nah, I really hate people”. Because “I actually don’t know if I can be around people right now, because some days I can’t handle human interaction and it stresses me out.” Is not really an acceptable response. “I actually feel really sad about everything and I don’t want to be harassed by people who think they are being funny.” Isn’t the best thing to tell people.
Its exhausting for me to be around groups for long periods of time. It’s over stimulating for me. My senses are taking in everything around me, people conversations, what other people are feeling. Everything is moving faster and faster, and I can’t keep up. It’s like being part of a race, that you didn’t know you were running. Even watching other people fight will stress me out. It’s part of being someone with a very high level of empathy. Social situations are super stressful for me.
Once I am overwhelmed I start shutting down. Sometimes “I hate people” is just an easy deflect. It’s not that I hate everything and everyone, it’s that once I’m drained, it’s hard to keep up with everyone else. I need some peace and quiet to calm down. I need for no one to directly engage with me for a little bit. I need to let myself calm down. It’s hard to do that around a group of people in a crowded area. It feels like being a trapped mouse.
Part of it is that it is easier to say that I hate people than to let someone into my life. It’s easier to shut everyone out. Most friends I’ve ever had, hurt me. A lot of people I trusted, lied to me.
I don’t want to be alone, but it’s harder to watch the people I love be affected by my depression and mood swings. It is hard to try to explain the real reason that I seem upset all the time, the real reason I cancel plans, and the real reason I don’t talk to anyone in groups, or in break rooms, or at parties. The real reason that sometimes I need to talk to someone. Because in the past, friends have told me I’m just doing it for attention. So I say I hate people, because it’s harder to let them in.