I do like people and interacting with people; that isn’t the problem. Unlike allistic (non-autistic) people I use energy when interacting with others. I still stress that I like interacting with people but eventually I run out of energy and have to stop.
I will use the analogy of tennis here. Say you really like playing tennis and your friends all like tennis as well. However they have a lot more stamina than you do, so you have to stop playing a long time before they do otherwise you’ll collapse from exhaustion.
Ahh Djokovic you understand me
That’s how social interaction is for me; I have to limit the amount before I get exhausted or very stressed. It’s also worse with groups of people, I’ll stick with the tennis analogy to explain this. Playing tennis with one ball is easy and you could keep going for hours. Add another ball and it becomes trickier, but still manageable. Add another and you start to struggle. Here the balls represent people, it’s quite difficult to keep track of multiple balls at once. For me, it’s difficult to keep track of multiple people/conversations at once. Each one requires analysis and effort and if there are too many I feel overwhelmed. There is fortunately a simple solution. Take breaks. Like you would if you were getting too tired playing a sport. Or I’ll end up collapsed on the court covered in tennis balls.