I really like this article about Social Anxiety from Mindful.org. Here are some highlights to the article if you don’t have time to read the whole thing.
Often, it’s our irrational thoughts that make us anxious. But sometimes those thoughts are so ingrained in us that they’re practically unconscious. Putting a little distance between you and your catastrophic thinking gives you a chance to reason that, even if the worst came to pass—which is unlikely—you could cope.
Self-compassion consists of being mindful and accepting of your thoughts and feelings; sending yourself kind messages—such as Even though I’m scared, it’s going to be OK; and embracing your common humanity by remembering that everyone is scared sometimes.
Take baby steps
At first one of the difficult things about anxiety of any kind is that the more we avoid doing something that makes us anxious, the greater the fear and anxiety grow.
Stop using your exit strategies
So one way to decrease anxiety is to identify your own exit strategy and experiment with letting it go. Why do this? It allows you to be more yourself with someone, which helps them to feel more comfortable in your presence.