I just had a conversation with a friend and I thought it deserved a lot more attention than I was able to give it during the last couple blocks of a car ride. The general idea of the conversation (okay, I am going to distort it a bit here, sorry) was that she could not understand why it was that some people had trouble being outgoing, and I decided to try to explain it. The problem was, I realized quickly enough that I have no idea why I would often choose not to talk to people at an event and just sit by myself (actually, it was far more likely that I would either talk to one other person I knew or try to get some work done despite the social nature of the event).
Eventually, after a couple more blocks of driving, I decided it was probably just my way of looking at potential conversations. For me, most conversations are going to end up becoming awkward within a minute. They will start fine with normal greetings, me asking a question, receiving an answer, possibly the other person asking a question (and me giving an answer if so)…but then they will just stop. Either I have no idea what to say or the other person just seems to not have a real interest in continuing the conversation. This will then either lead to me having to wander away or trying to just find a way to end the conversation. I do not like that conversations tend to end up that way more often than not, but they do and I therefore am always expecting a conversation to end that way. When conversations go better than that, I really do love it (assuming I do not get annoyed with the other person).
Anyways, as was pointed out, this can result in me ignoring meeting new people and possibly not meeting someone who could possibly be my new best friend. I know that failing at a conversation really would not matter and that is why lately I have been trying to force myself to just talk to a lot of people knowing that I am going to hate most of the conversations. I do not accept failure well and setting myself up for so many failures is not an easy task, but it is one that really is worth it. If during an entire week you end up meeting one person you end up liking but end up having awkward conversations with a hundred people you would not have talked to otherwise, you came out ahead.
There is no reason not to just go and talk to people: the worst that could happen is that you end up not being friends with a person you would not have met before while the best that could happen is you make a new friend. Unfortunately, life is not always this simple and emotions force us (i.e. me) to miss out on these opportunities. I wish talking to people was easier but for the moment I guess I am just going to have to accept a lot of failure and hope for that tiny bit of success.