It seems that most social gatherings end up with an 'ego circle'. This is a group of people that are eager to tell everyone how smart they are. It isn't conscious, but if you stand back from the group and listen, you will notice that everyone in the group is chomping at the bit to tell everyone some cool story or jump in and call someone out for being wrong. Usually this group is louder, because they want to be heard. They often virtually ignore the other people at the gathering.
Just yesterday I was thanking the host for providing the food and for hosting the event, but he could barely even acknowledge me. He said a quick, 'you're welcome' and jumped back into 'ego circle'.
Sure, being in the 'ego circle' makes you feel like you had fun at the event, but it really is a waste of your time, and makes you feel like you did something when you really didn't.
Instead, I try to get to know everyone outside of ego circle. These are the people that you truly want to become friends with anyways. People in 'ego circle' don't even need to know anything about the subject being talked about to add their two sense, but the people outside the circle most likely just don't care to build their ego. These people will become better friends because their ego doesn't matter so much, you might even actually matter to them.