I empathize with you Stacey. I used to be painfully shy to the point of walking with my head down, eyes down. The thought of going to a party was tantamount to being condemned to hell. Significant other's family parties were interminable challenges. It wasn't till I read somewhere that being a good conversationalist can be as simple as being a good listener. Most people, in conversations, are looking forward to their moment to speak. I learned a few open ended questions and decided to see how much I could learn about other people. I was so surprised how the flood gates opened and all I had to do was listen and every once in a while, ask another question. I was shocked to hear back from my boyfriend that so and so had said what a great conversationalist I was. The more I listened, the more I realized that everyone was really very similar to me, same worries, same concerns, same joys, same issues. I am happy to report that now, every one would say I am gregarious and outgoing, but to be honest, the shy girl still lurks right under the surface. Good luck dear!