I love social experiments that bring people together and create an opportunity to be friends. On the YouTube Soul Pancake channel there is a video about strangers sitting in a ball pit and learning about each other, Watch “Take a Seat, Make a Friend” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ and see how simple it can be to step out of your comfort zone with new people.
Moving past my shyness and reserved personality has been one of the top 3 actions that have saved my life. Being so insecure around strangers turned me into an emotional hermit. Finally at this age I can strike a conversation with just about anyone. Sometimes I still get intimidated and totally shut people down with a look or by ignoring them, but that is okay. Obviously there are many times when this does protect me, like on the bus or street when some creepy guy or tweaked out stranger tries to get my attention in an inappropriate manner. This isn’t a knock against introverts. Being reserved has a lot of pros, like the ability to listen, to enjoy quiet, to lead without force, and a host of other talents. However life is about balance and interaction with others so….
If I had never taught myself to be more open towards others I wouldn’t be successful at teaching self defense, my books would have even fewer readers, and I wouldn’t make new friends. Unfreezing myself and jumping into situations that scared me is part of what saved my life. I was in such a negative place for so long and it was a downward spiral towards wanting to just die. Maybe your situation is not as severe as mine or maybe it is worse. You won’t ever create positive change without taking chances and pushing yourself to try.
So if you want to be more open,more social, and to step out of your comfort zone go find a “ball pit” and introduce yourself to the other person there. You never know what sort of adventure it will become.