About every 5 years I think maybe it's just my imagination or it will be different. Other people seem to enjoy them. But I go and find myself forcing myself to make conversation. As soon as I stop trying, I find myself sitting off to the side just watching the goings on. I don't drink, at all. I also don't care to act ridiculous around people I am only aquanted with. Luckily my DH is a lot like me, so we rarely go and we come early and leave early.
It depends on the party. I *loved* the Friday-night parties and the more 'private' parties (casual get togethers like at the owner's apartment, not official studio events) at my dance studio in Boston. There was always a huge crowd of "regulars" (like the eightysomething gentleman who does things like take off for Paris to dance salsa for two weeks) and good music and food. New studio parties are...okay. Crowd is smaller, everything feels more planned out and a bit contrived, and there are fewer people there to mingle (ie more couples who only dance together.) Not that there aren't good regulars (like the one guy who you would not think 'ballroom' when you saw him but who's one of the best leads there) but fewer and there's less casual mingling and no real "outside events." Still fun, but feels a little more like enforced fun.
And weirdly I like parties full of semi-strangers, like on QM2. Some people I know were skeptical about it when I described it, but who cares if the dance hosts were all twice my age? They're interesting and tons of fun. So were most passengers I met despite generally being older than me. You can only be lonely there if you TRY or get hung up about talking to people over the age of 50.
OTOH, the holiday party at this current job sucked, because it was mostly the waitstaff and the owner's friends getting drunk at the bar while the kitchen staff, who'd worked a shift that ran past the party's official start time, got roped into prepping all the food. That was our Christmas bonus, too, instead of cash. We weren't thrilled.
It depends on the kind of party, I guess. If it's the kind of low key, quiet thing where I can have a conversation with a person one-on-one, I'm OK. If it's loud and raucous I just don't know what to do with myself.
I am not hard of hearing (I don't think) but I have a REALLY hard time filtering sounds. If there is loud music or voices, everyone else seems to have no trouble hearing each other but I can't understand anyone. Not that I can't hear them exactly, I can't understand them; all the sounds muddle together to me. That just gets frustrating and tiresome.
Yes! I was thrilled to find out that there is actually a name for this -- I had my hearing tested in law school because I had such a hard time hearing in a classroom with poor acoustics -- paper rattling, people talking etc. -- and my hearing for tones in an otherwise quiet room was just fine. Very frustrating.
Problem has worsened as I've gotten older. Last two jobs I've learned I cannot filter out conversations going on down the hall -- simply cannot "Not Hear" it. Turns out that I have what is known as an "Auditory Processing Disorder" and basically the filter that should be on my hearing is missing. If there is background noise, I can't make out words, and then also have the problem of, in a quiet environment, I can't screen out conversations.
I've also been diagnosed with ADHD in the last six months, so at least I understand why the APD and ADHD work together to make it so difficult to focus! Google the APD and you can learn some more about it -- unfortunately there isn't much to be done for it, except to recognize it is an issue and keep yourself in situations where you are comfortable.
To answer the original question -- NO. I do NOT like parties. I usually can't hear, and while I can talk your ear off on a conversational topic that interests me (for instance, I stopped on the side of the road yesterday when traveling with my Scottie and talked to two other Scottie owners for almost half an hour!), I hate small talk. Especially with people I don't know and that I don't want to know. And I stink at pretending.
I prefer small groups where you can have one big conversation or a few small ones. Sit around have some great foods, a couple bottles of wine,....
I have a 'once a semester' dinner with some of the girls I did a study aboard trip with. Its no more than 5 of us since I only have a place setting for 5 and everyone can be a part of the conversation.
Big, huge crowded parties like competitor's parties at a 3 day or a CDE? I will go for a bit but will leave early.
I don't like parties either.
Dinners with friends, good food and wine with people I know, yes.
Dress-up parties with people I don't know, forget it. Fortunately my husband is very understanding and I don't have to go with him to his work Xmas or other parties. Hubby is chatty and loves meeting people. We are complete opposites in this regard, yet we get along great, it is so weird!
Even if it's just a get-together with friends, sometimes, I just don't feel like going.
I am an introvert and a bit of a hermit.
I also don't like hosting parties. Given the choice, I'd rather go than host, because then, I can LEAVE whenever I want.