My research group has a new member who is more outgoing than anyone else and draws a lot of attention to himself. He likes socializing a lot more frequently than I prefer to and has a more-the-merrier approach that I find very impersonal.
Over the summer, he added me and a number of other people to a "group chat" where we could all stay in touch and let each other know who/when/where socializing would be taking place. (Heaven forbid FOMO should rear its ugly head.) This is a pet peeve of mine: I find it very impersonal being added to a group chat of people I don't know well, where I end up being "implicitly invited" to lots of social events I won't have the energy for. I would feel much more appreciated (not to mention more likely to go) if people hosting events who actually wanted me specifically to be there to send me a text message privately.
I left the group chat because most of the messages were not relevant to me and I found the messages distracting. Recently I met up with a friend of mine who's also part of this and we had a few beers in his backyard. A few yards away this clique was playing board games in a nearby apartment. Since I did not have the energy or desire to socialize with this group that night, I left my friend's backyard without spending much time at the other apartment. My friend suggested that, "They would think I hate them" if I didn't go over there to say hi.
How can I deal with this cliquish behavior? I find it very impersonal and don't feel appreciated. Worse, because I don't turn up to socialize as often as others, I feel like the odd man out. The idea that I can't not show up or they will "think I hate them" reminds me of college (I'm in my late twenties).