I love to lurk. I hate when I happen upon a private blog or myspace page, even if it belongs to someone I know and could easily contact to request access. Because I love to lurk. I realize that if I really want to be part of the blogging community I will have to stop this. You can't make blog friends if no one knows you are there, but I just love to lurk.
I'm like that in person too. I'm more likely to listen to and observe others than start conversations of my own. I wouldn't call my self a bad conversationalist altogether, but I am a bad conversation starter.
One of the qualities I admire in others is the ability to get me talking. I have a friend who is marvellous at it. She asks questions and lets you answer them and still manages to get her share in. Besides all of that she remembers what you said and brings it up in future encounters. I would be like that is I could.
I am not shy. I was shy as a child so I know what shy feels like and I am not that any more. I love to speak in front of people. (unless I have to say anything that has to do with what I actually feel) Have a meeting that needs conducting? I'll do it. Need someone to stand up and represent your group in class? I'm all over that. Just don't ask me to carry on a conversation with a person without ample conversive fodder unless that person has the gift of conversation as outlined above.
The thing about lurking in cyberspace is, the really good conversationalists don't know you (not you specifically anyway) are there and can't ask you about your dog or your kids or your eating habits and get you talking so you can be friends. In this realm if I want friends I have to go out and get them.
Still, my security blanket of obscurity is very cozy, maybe I'll just snuggle up here in my closet and have a nice nap.