It is great that you have recognised that this is more than just being a little bit shy. Social anxiety, which is probalby better referred to as interpersonal anxiety, can be incredibly disabling if you let it dictate what you do and with whom.
Fortunately it is something that is able to be addressed, usually very well, by seeking professional help.
The two types of therapy I would suggest might be worth considering. Cognitive Beahvioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). You can read more about ACT here http://www.sydneyactcentre.com.au/www.sydneyactcentre.com.au/What_is_ACT.html
In a nutshell ACT (which is the therapy approach that we use at The Sydney ACT Centre) is all about focusing on helping clients work out what is really important to them and helping them find effective ways to deal with the difficult thoughts and feelings that show up when they go out. For example, I'm guessing that it matters to you to be able to connect with others (it matters to most people to some degree). I also imagine that scary thoughts like, “I won't have anything to say” or “they will think i'm boring” or “what if they can tell I'm anxious” will be screaming loudly in your head and making it really hard to engage. Learning ways to not get so caught up by all that noise in your head can make life a hell of a lot easier!
all the best
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