This inquiry extended uncertainty reduction theory to include actors’ uncertainty about acquaintanceship in general (global uncertainty). Study 1 involved examination of the self-reports of 139 female and 85 male participants. Results of the analysis showed that participants high in global uncertainty define initial interaction in comparatively negative ways, more frequently attempt to avoid conversations with unfamiliar targets, perform less effectively when meeting others for the first time, and develop less satisfactory long-term relationships than persons low in global uncertainty. Global uncertainty also combined with participants’ sense of the self-assuredness-awkwardness of first encounters to predict initial interaction performance. Study 2 examined the conversational performance of 48 females and 28 males who had participated in the first investigation. This analysis revealed that, during the first minute of interaction, persons high in global uncertainty engaged in comparatively low levels of question asking but relatively high levels of disclosure. High globally uncertain participants were also rated less competent by their partners than were persons low in global uncertainty. Study 3 explored the relationship between global uncertainty, communication competence, and communication apprehension. Examination of the self-reports of 63 females and 49 males showed that persons high in global uncertainty are apprehensive when meeting strangers and enact acquaintanceship episodes relatively inexpertly, although the magnitude of correlations between the constructs provide strong evidence that global uncertainty is distinguishable from both competence and apprehension. The implications of these findings are discussed.