As a matter of fact, I don’t mind either, but I PREFER strangers. I should also say that this is in those instances where I might be speaking publicly, or performing, as I used to in theater and band.
Despite not having an issue walking into a crowd of people I don’t know with all of their attention on me, I actually hate it. But I do it without thinking about it, and I think that’s the key. Like when I deliver a pizza and the customer invites me in and I see a room full of people and they’re all looking at me. I just smile, ask them what’s up and get on with the business. In reality, I’m terrified, but I don’t let it get to me.
I learned that by being in theater. Speaking in front of large groups turned out to be fun for me, and I think that’s because I know I don’t know them and I can actually be quite entertaining if I have to be. When my buddy and I used to play tunes at bars, every week for two years, I would play my acoustic guitar and he would sing, or sometimes I’d just play and sing (I sing terribly by the way). But I’d just do it. Because you only have one life to live, so live it up, right? I’m not throwing out a YOLO here. With theater it helped that there were other people on stage with me, and with the playing guitar it helped that I was almost always completely trashed.
So yeah, I do have issues with it. I don’t like having all of the attention on me, deep down, but I enjoy it. It’s strange. I hate people but love gatherings.
I’ve found, though, that if family and friends are there, they either tell me how great I was because they’re just being nice and supportive, or they’re used to me performing and they don’t say shit. They’re only there to be another body in the crowd. To start the applause or the laughing. But if it’s people I don’t know, then I feel like I’m performing. I feel like a performer. I feel like I have a crowd of people (or a couple of people) there to see a performance and they’re going to judge me based on it. So I better be good.
Is that sufficient enough to answer this? I feel like I tangented all over the place.