Just now I was thinking about how I am at church, because I have to be aware when leading worship or even when I'm not, as I'm known as a sorta 'key' person, that I'm expected to take a special interest in the welfare of each individual in the congregation. But I'm also aware that each individual is different and what's great for one can be crappy for another, and whether I'm working in the local parish church or the cathedral, the atmosphere tends to be generally quite reverent, it's used all day every day as a sorta pop in prayer centre if you will, people come in and out and they have all different things on their minds.
And you never know who's gonna come in the door. Sometimes they come in and they just want to be left alone to pray or get their heads together, not for any negative reason but it's just their 'space'; sometimes they feel the need to pray because things are going wrong in their lives - sometimes they want to talk about it, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they're even people who aren't religious and have never set foot in a church before. It's hard to judge the right way to approach, or not approach each person so that they don't walk away feeling that their needs weren't met.
What I tend to do is, first off, I'll just sorta look like I'm busy doing something that *could* wait. So I don't come off as desperate to grab them (like the waiter in the empty restaurant that swoops upon the couple that enters lol), but yet don't give the impression that I'm too terribly busy with important things to talk to them. And I'll make eye contact and acknowledge them with a smile and a 'hello' to say y'know, I'm receptive. Then I'll carry on with what I'm doing so I don't come over as sorta staring at them, but occasionally glance surreptitiously to check what vibe I'm getting from them.
Sometimes they start talking to me as soon as they come in and I say hi, and they never shut up lol If a service is going on or about to, or has just finished, then I tend to look for people who are sitting alone and try to find out whether they're okay or want some company, without seeming intrusive or whatever. I might say "mind if I sit with you?" so they don't worry that they were giving off desperate vibes lol and then if after I've sat with them I'm getting that they'd rather be alone, I'll just make an excuse and leave them, but make sure they know they can come get me if they want. But if I get that they're awkward or not at ease somehow, maybe all at sea and not knowing the etiquette then I'll usually talk to them more sorta openly to ease them up and reassure them that they're welcome and not to worry and answer any questions and stuff.
But it really is quite a difficult balancing act and I try so hard to get it right. Once or twice though I have been mortified to find out later that someone I thought I was helping to feel welcome has later said to someone else that they just wanted five minutes alone but this busy body kept yabbering on at them...
What would the introverts here say as advice to me then, supposing you were in my church, how would you want me to behave towards you ideally? Taking the obligatory odd response of "fuck off, like as if I'd ever be in a church you lunatic religious idiot, there is no God!!" has already been made?