Social anxiety is prevalent in the majority of teenagers and college students today, myself included. I would not say I am completely introverted, but more in the middle of introverted and extroverted. Before the Coronavirus forced the world into a global lockdown, I was slowly becoming more extroverted and making more friends by speaking to people I would see at the grocery store or the gas station, or any time I was out and about.
However, once the lockdown was set in place, I found myself very nervous to interact with other humans again.
A lot of my friends said that they felt the same way. After not interacting with humans for a long period of time, it felt as if I had lost all my social skills. However, now that COVID-19 is beginning to slow down where I live, and precautionary measures are being relaxed, I am beginning to speak to strangers to boost my self-confidence. I find that speaking to strangers curbs my social anxiety and makes me more confident in my social skills. I find that speaking to strangers allows me to feel more relaxed when talking to others.
It's almost as if practicing talking helps you get better at it in the same way that practicing writing makes you a better writer.
While you may not feel comfortable with speaking to someone you do not know at first, it may be better to ease your way into it. When I first started I forced myself out of my comfort zone by forcing myself to talk to people. While you may not feel comfortable doing this, I would recommend trying it at least once. You will really be able to see how all the nerves you built up trying to speak to that person go away instantly.
I also found out that boosting my confidence in speaking also boosted my confidence in everything else. For example, I am more confident in what I post on social media, what I wear out in public, and how I view myself. I find that this confidence boost has also made me happier. If you are able to build up the confidence to speak to strangers or even practice speaking, I highly recommend it!