You Make Me Uncomfortable
Whenever I'm near you I tense up and get very uncomfortable. I find that being around you for an extended period of time is absolutely exhausting. I like you and all, I just can't stand to be around you.
What?!? Allow me to explain...
Those that know me well (all 3 of you) would not be at all surprised to know that I'm an introvert. Acquaintances and those just meeting me, however, might find it a little more difficult to pigeon-hole me. I do a fair job at public speaking, I participate actively in meetings, and I'm very chatty when in a large group. Anyone seeing this might think I'm extroverted. At the same time, I tend to go to lunch by myself and generally keep to myself throughout the day at work.
If asked, "is Joe introverted or extroverted?" most would probably say, "Hmmm...I guess he's a little of both."
The truth is, I'm all introvert, but pretty good at faking extroverted. Every time I act like an extrovert (and it's all an act) I am putting on a performance, and it's exhausting.
Even if I'm playing the introvert in a large crowd it makes me feel uncomfortable. A little claustrophobic, I guess, and maybe a little anxious. This time of year (December) is very hard on me. The crowds in the malls make me extremely uncomfortable, and I definitely do not look forward to holiday parties. They make me uncomfortable and usually exhausted.
So if you're part of a large group, and you ask me to join you for lunch, please understand that I decline not because I don't like you. It's because I don't like being around you. At least not in a large group. I can handle being around as many as 3 other people without issue. So let's go to lunch. Just you and me, or maybe a couple of other people if that works better for you. Just please don't be offended if I be me.