Social exhaustion

Does anyone else not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week? I hate going out anywhere anymore because it's so draining. I get startled so easily even whenever I am being hypervigilant and just interacting with people at all exhausts me immensely.

I feel really odd about this but I have a friend that wants to see me more than my social anxiety allows. I spent time with her today and now she wants to spend the night on both Tuesday and Wednesday. As well as going two hours away to spend the day in a bigger city. Today the visit I had with her lasted from 4 pm to 11 pm and I was not expecting it. When she asked if I wanted to go to the park and get a late lunch, I was expecting just a short get-together of maybe two hours and now tomorrow I have things to do involving people, but I have no energy to do them. Does anyone else feel like this?


Yes, it’s very much normal and typical. I might even enjoy the presence of friends a lot but there will be a moment I’ll just saturate. Depends a bit on whom. There are people with quiet energy with whom I can spend more time, others that I love but exhaust me in 45 minutes. There are days this has to be 0 otherwise I’ll meltdown or have an episode.

This also improves when you improve. Don’t forget it’s okay and important to set boundaries and not to get overwhelmed by things you don’t want to do. If you want to give it a try and see if you can expose yourself it’s okay too but there are days you can sense it, how it’s gonna go. It takes a time too to know when you’re just grumpy and your mood can shift or if it’s the wall of anxiety creeping inexorably.


Does anyone else not feel able to go out with people more than a certain amount of time a week?
It’s not that reliable for me, but I also don’t have social anxiety. I’m just an outgoing introvert with a finite capacity for stress. So it depends on what’s going on in my life. Social exhaustion? Absolutely. Where that kicks in? AND How much down time or isolating I’ll need to balance that / what that looks like? Both... Variable as hell.

This (below) is something I wrote several years back
The more involved a relationship is, the more energy goes into it. For me, there are different stages.
- Intimate relationships (family & close friends),
- close relationships (work, occasional friends),
- brief purposeful encounters (church, PTA/ other parents),
- hello human (gas station, post carrier, waitress).

I, quite frankly, don't have the energy to deal with everyone all the time. So I make choices, and pull back in order to protect myself. I know when I'm at either end of the spectrum (only interacting with family or gas station attendants) that I'm going off the rails. (If I'm even avoiding my mailman and the gas station Attendant... I've already gone off the rails. Past tense. Toast.).

Ideally, and when I'm doing well, I can maintain all the different levels of relationships in my life. They're part of what makes my life full, balanced, and rewarding.
So in addition to frequency, there’s also what sort of level being social fall under... and how well / how badly I’m doing PTSD wise.

Anyway you look at it, though? Doing well / doing badly, social to the Nth or isolating to different degrees? It’s an artform to master the balance necessary.
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Depends on who I'm around. My neighbor, ten minutes max and I'm done! She is a compulsive talker who doesn't say anything. If that makes sense.

Like @ruborcoraxxx shared if the person is low energy I can be around them and not get stressed. I have such brain fog if the person I'm around starts sucking all the air out of the room I'm gone.