I spent the last couple hours at another netwoking event. This time it was a group which at least had a common thread: the Chicago chapter of the National Eagle Scout Assoc. After my last attempt at a general networking event I wasn't sure how I'd do (I'm introverted, so struggle rubbing elbows with people I don't know in a social setting). In this case, though, I already had something in common and was much more comfortable after "practicing" my networking skills, and actually had a good time. Even managed to collect a few business cards.
Overall, I'm getting better with the "soft skills" side of the consulting world - something I was very concerned about a year ago when I accepted this position. Practice really does help - so does increased self confidance. Good thing too, since I'm going to be doing a lot more of this in the coming year.
So to my fellow INTJ's out there: you really can do this. Once you break the ice, people open up - which makes it easier to open up yourself. It's amazing how quickly you can find things in common, or at least something interesting about the other person (like the guy who just swam the English channel). Of course, a beer or two can help ;-)