Eavesdropping on a conversation and only catching the odd word is one of life's great frustrations. Asking people to speak up or moving your chair to join their table is not likely to be met with much enthusiasm. So what's to be done? Amplify!
Much like with video games, my philosophy of learning to play a musical instrument is the rewards make you want to move on. I've developed this view of playing an instrument, in no small part, by watching my son. Just as with a video game, he had to move on in levels. He is now an amazing guitarist and musician.