For those of you who might not be aware of the fact, I dislike talking to people I don't know. Which doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense, since I'm a chatty person by nature. (True story: on my mission in Germany, I talked on the phone to my family for over 9 hours. Or was it 7? It was a long time, regardless. We were only allowed two phone calls a year, and I got every ounce out of 'em. Plus, I had two phone calls to make, one to my Pennsylvania family, and one to my Utah family. But still, it was a long talk.) The point is, once I get to know someone, I'm perfectly happy to talk their ear off, but before I know them--no way. I don't want to talk at all. I mean, I've cut my own hair now for seven or eight years, just so that I don't have to talk to barbers anymore. Is that sad? Maybe. But I'm a whole lot more comfortable this way, and it saves money. :-)
Another fact: I don't like making phone calls. This is an extension to the not liking to talk to strangers fact. I don't mind emailing random people, and IMing strangers is borderline (more annoying than uncomfortable--I hate it when websites try to initiate a chat window without me asking.)
So the question then becomes how long I have to talk to someone before they stop being a stranger and start being someone I can just chat with. The answer is I have no idea. Probably two or three times of me seeing them, forcing myself to talk to them, and then actually talking. This is likely why I loathe parties with a large group of strangers so much--and why going to conferences and cons is so squirm-inducing for me. It's not to say that I won't talk to strangers--I can force myself to do it, and I think I can even make it look like I'm having a good time. But if I were left to my own devices, who knows what would happen. Probably a lot less social interaction, which would be a bad thing. I can acknowledge that.
But it doesn't make talking to strangers any easier.
How about you? Are you the same way, or do you think I'm nuts? (Or are you the same way, but you still think I'm nuts?)