I'm a new member here (a 20 year old guy) and your post came just in time ScaredGirl! After looking around a bit I'm quite surprised that many of the posts (questions) here describe EXACTLY the problem(s) I have. I've had SP ever since I remember (i.e. since I was a little kid). I find it very hard to communicate with people I don't know. With my close friends it may be better than with other people but I still don't talk much with them and I'm usually a "silent" person (unless they talk/ask, and I reply).
I prefer to spend most of my time "out of sight", or in other words, at home. I do go out with some of my friends but I just hate it when meeting someone new or going to crowded places ...etc. To me, it just feels wrong being in such a situation.
It's much easier for me to communicate online, like I'm doing right now because I feel I have a little bit of privacy, but though, my communication is still limited, like for example, when I chat with a friend (using instant messaging) I rarely talk unless I have to respond to something he/she said.
If someone says "Why are you silent? Say something" my answer is usually, if not always, this: "I don't have anything to say... what do you want me to talk about?".
Besides, just like some other people posted, I find myself having trouble in many other things/situations, like eye contact for example. I can't look at someone in the eyes for more than 4-5 seconds (when I'm talking to them, that is).
I don't know how shyness is related to SP, but when there's "focus" on me, I do get red (blush), and if someone points that out, it gets even worse. Besides, my heart keeps beating faster and faster, and it just feels soooooo uncomfortable in that situation.
I just want to be free, I want to do everything I want, but I just can't. In many times, I have great opportunities to meet new people and have a lot of fun (well, I'm obviously talking the way a "normal" (who has no SP) person thinks), like a school trip or a party or whatever, but I just don't go. I feel a little bit excited at the beginning but the sooner the time comes, the more I feel I want to hide (because of what I mentioned above).
Well, this was a quick introduction to me (and my problems) and I hope to see some tips on what I should do. I've seen other tips on this forum, like trying to talk to two strangers a day (students at school, neighbors, ..etc). And as a matter of fact, this is like a big challenge to me. I know it sounds stupid, but for me this is really something difficult.
(And, sorry for throwing out my problems in "not-so-good" English. My native language isn't English but I tried to use descriptful words and good paragraph formatting/oredering).
Thanks for the time you spent reading my post.