Some people are just built for alone time. When you feel more comfortable on your own, it's hard to find common ground with others.
If you regard yourself as an anti-social person, you're probably making things harder on yourself. So get over that.
1. Branch out online
This may sound "dorky" or whatever, but the first step to being less afraid to be around people is to enhance your social media presence. Get a Vingle, Facebook, Twitter whatever! And USE it. You can meet all kinds of fascinating people on these platforms (especially Vingle ;) and get a better gauge on what like-minded individuals are actually out there.
Just engaging in more conversation, despite the platform, is always a good idea. It's called "social" media for a reason.
2. Make more eye contact
This can seem really scary, but just being conscious of the times you're avoiding eye contact with your friends or even strangers will help you be more social. If you make an effort to really pay attention to people when they're talking to you, it'll be easier to connect.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Do you get invited places and just not go? You've got to stop doing that! Anti-social people always find an excuse to give up on plans. I do this constantly.
At least once a week, take people up on their invitations. You will probably learn new things about people, and you will have more fun than you think. It's all about overcoming the fear of being uncomfortable. And once you do, you'll thank yourself!
4. Make a schedule for yourself to try new things.
This goes hand in hand with getting out of your comfort zone. Do you eat all the same things all the time? Go to the same bars? Hang around the same people? Despite your best efforts to change, if you're anti-social you probably do the same things every day. Part of branching out and getting more involved in your life is trying new things.
Going to new places will enable you to meet new people too.
I eat like three things, and my new friends had me trying food from all over. It made me less anti-social and self-conscious to try new things, and I bet you will feel better too.
Try-It Tuesday is always a good bet, go somewhere new after work on Tuesdays for a month, and see how things change.
5. Hang out in public places, and observe others
This may sound creepy, but it works. Sit in a park or a mall and just observe. This will give you more insight into how people operate. We isolate ourselves because we don't understand.
Anti-social behavior can come from many different places, but the feelings that it yields are the same. Isolation, loneliness, sadness and a total apathy for everything.
Whether we like it or not, interaction with others is a necessary and positive part of life. When we see others having fun and joining together, it will encourage us to do the same.