The first step is to try and step outside of your comfort zone. People who feel anxious in social situations tend to do their best to steer clear of them. The difficulty is the more you avoid something the more afraid of it you become so try stepping outside of your comfort zone. The more you confront your fears the easier they are to handle.
Those that are socially anxious always pick up on parts of the conversation that are negative and hostile. Professor of psychology at McGill University, Mark Baldwin Ph.D suggests retraining your brain to home in on positive info, go some place crowded and pick out friendly faces. Eventually it will become second nature.
Lastly don’t sit and wait for other people to make the first move. Learn to approach people using the three second rule says author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less Nichola Boothman. “Pick someone when you’re walking down the street or shopping, and then do it,” he says. “It could be as simple as ‘Excuse me, what time is it?’ It doesn’t really matter what the question is, it is more about the asking of the question. Try and do this two or three times a day.
All of this may seem daunting at first but if you keep practising then interactions with people will begin to feel more natural and comfortable.