I had coffee with a friend recently and we were talking about a camp we were both at, and the difficulty in walking up to a group of people we don't know.
He offered this little pearl that he tells himself whenever walking up to a new group: The first moment will be the hardest moment, and then every moment after that will be a little bit easier.
While this is probably not always true, it is true often enough to be useful. And the use of it is this: in those seconds where I internally debate whether to walk up to a group of people, where I experience a flinch that would have me walk they other way, I can remind myself of this truth that it will be difficult for a second, and then it will start to get easier.
Here is to meeting more new people.