So here's a bit of backstory. I've never been a "social butterfly" as the saying goes. But as a child I was actually pretty sociable. In kindergarten I had a few friends, throughout most of my childhood I had friends and the last real life friend I had was when I was about...13. And the odd thing about that last friend was, I actually went up and talked to HER. Not the other way around. But after I moved back to Nevada where I currently reside I became reclusive, no one pushed me to be social offline so I just stuck to being social online. I developed fears of people, I never really understood where these fears came from and I still don't. I've never really had any bad experiences with people in real life outside of people yelling at each other and my stepdad having a drunken freakout and throwing shit around the kitchen because I didn't take the trash out. But that just made me fear drunk people...And I already had social anxiety before that. I've never understood where my fears came from, but even so, I find isolation and hermitage is more damaging than it is healing. Isolation is a temporary fix, a bandage on a wound that needs to be sutured. It only slows the bleeding, doesn't stop it. The advice I've received on here and in real life recently has really shown me the light of how to combat my social anxiety. The advice? Just go out. Simple as that. "Just go out?" One might ask. Yes! Go anywhere! The library, a cafe, the park. Anywhere. Doesn't matter. And you don't have to walk around and talk to people right away. Hell, even I'm not there yet. Just go out, sit there, go to a coffee shop and do stuff on your laptop/tablet. Go to the park and stare at the sky for 3 hours. (I look forward to doing this myself soon.) Just get used to being around people. Hell, you can do what I do, subtly observe people. You might find that they aren't as scary as you thought. Over time you may get used to being around people and might start talking to them. And if you frequent one place a lot, someone might come up to you, curious as to why you're always there alone. But no worries, for now, just go out and just quietly observe. That's what I do. And honestly, just knowing I plan to go out soon made me so much happier. I didn't feel trapped and isolated anymore. I've made more and more plans to go out and I feel great about it. Confident even. Once you make the plans and you know you have the ability to leave the cell you created for yourself, you will find some confidence in yourself you never found before. This is just some advice that was given to me by kind souls on this forum and my mother and I decided to put it here and add my own experience onto it. Hopefully it helps my fellow socially anxious hermits.