I went to a dinner party today. We had a conference and participants were invited to this dinner, so there were about 30-40 people there. I only knew very few and none very well. No friends of mine were there. I always feel anxious when I have to go to things like that by myself because I am afraid to be awkward and I feel a little lost in crowds.
My observations about myself: when I arrive, I look around and try to find someone I can greet (someone I know, the host, the dog, etc.). Then I check where I can get something to drink. Then I look around for a group of people who seem to talk about general stuff or stuff I can relate to, etc. and join them. I smile and nod and when I feel I have something to contribute, I do. Sometimes I end up talking to someone one on one, but that can turn awkward when we run out of things to say. Tonight I had a few sort of awkward (but not painful) conversations. Then I joined a table and was drawn into a conversation with one of the people there. This continued this for the next two hours. I couldn't get a word in, but I was quite comfortable because a) she obviously enjoyed talking to me, b) it was not awkward, c) I felt temporarily connected to someone (not in a deep spiritual way, just a friendly natural one), d) most of what she had to say was interesting.
I also enjoy talking with people in groups of three or four. In large groups, I prefer to listen. I don't have this initial anxiety when I go to events where I know people well. In that case, I am more outgoing, more likely to introduce myself to new people, and enjoy being the center of attention (but don't have to be). In this scenario tonight, people would have described me as shy and introverted, but friendly and open to listening and engaging, but not necessarily eager to take the initiative (but not too reluctant either).
Can you relate to this, ENFps?