I've always considered myself to be a "people" person. You know, chatty, extroverted, happiest when surrounded by large groups of friends, etc. I have never thought of myself as "shy," and have never had issues with public speaking. What I have recently found, however, is that I'm awful at walking into a room of people I don't know (but who seem to know each other) and striking up conversations with them. I just feel so - well, shy. I don't want to intrude. I don't want to insert myself where I may not be wanted. Who am I to be interrupting their conversations? Suddenly, I don't know what to do with my hands or feet, and my limbs seem completely extraneous. Why am I here, taking up space and air?
I get into these situations, and it's as though I have no momentum. I sort of just stand there, wondering what to do next. Awkward? Yes. A little awful, even? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Scarf: Gleaming Intersection Scarf, Anthropologie (on sale!)
Headband: Sky and Land Headband, Anthropologie
So, if nothing else, these experiences (mostly incurred while attending blogger meet-ups and other events I've been invited to, as a blogger) have made me reassess myself and my social skills (or lack thereof). My husband, who also attends similar events (mostly tech-related gatherings) and is a self-identified introvert, seems to do a lot better at these things than me, but I'm not usually there to see how he goes about it. So, I'm reaching out to the rest of you who may have more experience with this stuff - how do you go about, meeting and introducing yourself to people in a non-structured social setting which you attend alone? What strategies do you use in these situations?
And as an aside, I've learned a thing or two (from the perspective of a guest) on how to host these events well:
1) If the host is good, they'll know you and greet you as soon as or very shortly after you arrive.
2) If the host is really good, they'll introduce you to other guests, with whom you might find something in common, to help you find your footing and break the ice.
3) If the host is really really good, they'll keep an eye out for singles or standing-on-their-owns, and engage them with another person or group quickly.
Note to self: be able to do all of the above, the next time I host an event.