Common European Framework - how does it handle reading vs audio?

I don’t have a very good understanding of how the A1-C2 ranking system works, and admittedly it’s very loosely defined, but just in general, how much importance does it place on being able to understand when a language is spoken to you?

I have read a few foreign novels, not advanced ones, but maybe middle-school level aimed at early teenagers, and didn’t really struggle with those too much. But if I were to hear the same story being read aloud to me (without the book in hand to follow along with) I would be completely lost. I just can’t understand the language when spoken. But from looking at the Wikipedia page for the CEF, even A2 is described as being able to do routine shopping or basic employment. I couldn’t do that at all, in large part just because I can’t comprehend the things said to me - though if I were to read a transcript of what is being said to me I’d probably be able to handle it. I’m also very bad at speaking, and can only hold limited written conversation, and even then only after a lot of thought is put into choosing the words.

It doesn’t really matter to me which tier I would place myself in (I’m sure it’s early A1, and that’s fine), but I am curious how the system is designed to work and it confuses me since, let’s say someone can read at B1 or higher but can only functionally interact with others at A1 - how does it gauge their level? Right above the tiers the article says: “The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level.” So I guess it is meant to default to the lowest level a person possesses out of all those? If someone could read the most advanced scientific journals at C2 but still struggled to buy groceries would they be considered still A1?

Well like I said, I don’t stress about this sort of thing, but since the CEF is brought up so often I’d like to have a little firmer understanding of how it works so I know what people are talking about when they refer to it.

Join the club! I have a great understanding of written (and often spoken) FLs, but speaking them is sooooooo hard (a pyschological block). I could not easily be made to fit any particular category outside A1 in most of my languages.

As to the fear of speaking, or not comprehending, the only way forward is chipping away at it. If you feel like it, listen to something over and over again or take dictation from first a sentence, then two or three etc, etc.

Perseverance does pay off. Good luck.