It is very common to feel some shyness when meeting someone for the first time. It can help to take an active interest in what the other person is saying rather than focusing on our own reactions and what we “should” be saying.
Silences are a normal part of conversation and don’t need to be avoided. If shyness reaches the stage where we are avoiding going out for fear of meeting people it is called social phobia.
To tackle Social Anxiety more directly, Moodjuice have produced a Self-Help Guide which can be viewed and printed here