When you are socially anxious, the ONLY WAY to get over it, to grow as a person and stop your anxiety from holding you back, is to face your fear.
I did it, you can too. Seriously. I was socially anxious my entire childhood - my mum had to stay at parties with me because I couldn’t bear to be on my own up to an embarrassingly late age. I had (and still do have) a lot of trouble dealing with change moving from one social group/mindset to another. When plans change I still get really panicked about it even if it’s really of no consequence.
It was terrifying. I would come up with excuse after excuse that I would tell my friends and myself to get out of having to do social things. Even meeting members of my own family made me panic and feel scared.
What was I scared of? I still don’t really know. Being judged lacking in some way? Having to make small talk and being really bad at it? Just being my awkward self.
Anyway, I guess if I was in America I might have been given therapy or pills or something to combat this, but the way I dealt with it (and continue to deal with it) was to power through it.
I think it’s nice that there is the support of similar people online which can make you feel less alone, less like a failure for finding something other people seem to find so simple (being social is meant to be fun!) so horrifyingly difficult. But the fact is, in your life, in your job, you are going to have to: answer the phone, talk to strangers, deal with groups of people. And the only way to get good at that is to practice it.
Make small talk with a cashier in a shop. Ask a stranger the time. MAKE yourself do it. YES it is hard, YES it feels scary. It IS scary! But the only thing that makes it less so is practice. Reinforcing the fact that 99 times out of 100, the person on the street will politely tell you the time and the person in the shop will smile and agree that yes it is nice weather. If a stranger does end up thinking you’re weird, it is of no consequence. It does not matter. It’s fine.
I’m writing this because even now I struggle with having to psyche myself up to being able to meet new people or family or deal with whatever situation that is out of my norm. I still make excuses sometimes. But if someone had tried to tell me the above when I was younger, I think it would really have helped me.
You aren’t alone. There are other people who feel just as socially anxious as you do. But there isn’t anything on your face, you look fine, your hair is cool, you are fun to talk to, you are a good person. You’re fine. It’s ok. As far as you know, the people you’re thinking are silently judging you are thinking the same about you.
I guess I’m just trying to say: don’t let yourself be too comfortable with just the internet for support. Don’t let it be at the expense of pushing yourself to get better at dealing with life offline.