I'm now 35 and I haven't really communicated with people face to face other than my parents since I was a kid. Over the past few years I've been trying to fix this.
So far, I can say "morning" or something equivalent to strangers if they say morning to me first. And with a bit of preparation, I can manage simple, brief conversations in shops to get what I need, most of the time. I can speak to doctors if I'm prepared. Talk to bus drivers so I can get where I want to go, etc... None of this happened over night, and took small steps, but I'm mostly there.
Unprepared I can handle < 20 second talks before things start getting difficult. Prepared and on a good day, I can handle up to a few minutes. It's more than I could handle two years ago before I started trying to fix my life.
I'm trying to improve this, but I can't really see any way to go further, no obvious small next step to take.
Any suggestions, tips or anything that may help?