I wasn't sure how to word my question so let me explain what I mean.
I currently work in a corporate setting where greeting and acknowledging people is important. It's awkward if you don't acknowledge people or don't seem natural doing it.
Here's a specific issue I'm having which I would like advice about. I do OK in one-on-one situations in terms of making eye contact and conversing. What I am apparently terrible at (judging by the reactions I get) is acknowledging people as I walk by them. When I try to acknowledge them with a little smile and a head nod, they often seem offended for some reason as though I'm staring them down (but it seems like I'm not...). On the other hand, if I don't acknowledge them at all, I think it comes across as either rude or excessively shy.
Another possible factor is that sometimes I see the same people over and over again, so it can be a little strange to have to greet them twenty times. But how much is too much and how little is too little? If I don't greet them after the first or second time, is that rude? Should I just pretend not to notice them?
If I attempt to self-criticize, it's possible the problem is this: I am the sort of person who notices absolutely everything and it is virtually certain that I will notice the other person before they notice me. The result of this is that I'm almost always looking at them (or nervously trying not to look at them again) when they notice me. But if this is the problem, I don't really know how to deal with it. Any ideas?
This is all very awkward and confusing for me.