I can only share one little thing, when you say, you'd love to hear suggestions how not to avoid.. there's one little thought that helps me sometimes:
I can have quite bad critics about myself and how I interact with people.
Due to some lucky situations when I have met honest people, I learned that I am not as bad as I often think.
So I am trying to remember those short sentences of honest feedbacks I received from some nice people in the past, and remind myself on them, telling to myself: hey, go and try it, you might not come through as bad as you are feeling about yourself. Give it a try. What can you lose any more than what you have lost in life already?
Not sure of this is helpful to you, as your reasons for avoiding may be different.. but thought, I share anyway, as this is what I can tell to your question.