Sometimes our own nature works against us. In my own case, I find my life is often blighted by the terrible shyness I have suffered since childhood. Over the years, I have found ways to cope and ways to disguise it, but it is always there. Unfortunately, it often conspires against me to give people the wrong impression.
I've been thinking about it a lot, and my comfortable limit seems to be three other people in a room with me. Anything above this, and I start to struggle against the urge to escape. A therapist would no doubt have some pretty wild theories regarding why this should be, but I don't need a therapist to explain that one for me.
For most of my childhood, I had to deal with no more than four people in the same room. I won't go into specifics of the family structure, but I can be certain of that fact. I was very rarely in the company of more people than that. The only times I was in the company of more people were when extended family or friends were present to celebrate Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and so on. Unfortunately, a certain member of my immediate family had a very specific character flaw, whereby those occasions were an opportunity to throw unwanted attention my way, embarrass and humiliate me. To make matters worse, they were also an opportunity to quote things I had said in the mistaken belief that they were private.
As a result of early life experiences, it is difficult for me whenever there are more than three people in my company. It is particularly bad when attention is drawn towards me. Another thing I have noticed is a tendency to react strongly to perceived embarrassment or humiliation.
I have heard the view that you can no longer blame past experiences for how your life has panned out when you have passed a certain age. I would counter by saying that, while you are ultimately responsible for yourself as an adult, bad experience can make things considerably more difficult.