I'll be transparent about something: I'm not very comfortable in crowds of people that I don't know. I don't mind being in groups of people that I've known and am comfortable with, but I'm really uncomfortable around people I don't know.
I can't help but wonder why. I really can't name many times when being around a group of strangers resulted in a bad experience. Normally, once somebody breaks the ice, I get along fine with everybody.
I had just such an experience today. This was the first day of our vacation. My wife likes to take the kids to the pools in hotels. I don't like hotel pools. They're usually crowded, and I don't know anybody, so of course I'm uncomfortable and awkward. When we first got to the pool, it was crowded. Two kids were throwing a ball around, which took up a lot of room. I just hid in the corner.
Sooner or later, the ball started going out of bounds, so I hit it back in. Suddenly, I was having fun. The woman who was the mother of the boys throwing the ball started talking to us, and suddenly I was comfortable.
I need to remember, if I want to live a successful life with all of my roles in balance, that I'm going to have to trust strangers more. I'm going to have to be more outgoing in these situations.
What about you? Are you the classic extrovert, who will talk to anybody? Or are you like me, an introvert who wants to be more extroverted, but has to remain true to his (or her) nature?