Thanks for your response Phoenix. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
It's hard to take the first step to being more involved in the community or having close social relationships.
I've found that it helps to chose one thing that you really will do, and stick with that for a while. I volunteer at a women's shelter twice a month. It's not much, but it is something! We often have to start small and be realistic about what the rest of our life looks like. If I tried to volunteer every week I wouldn't be able to maintain it and would end up quitting, so better to be realistic about your responsibilities.
A another thing that can change your inward focus is to put your phone away when your out in public. If you aren't on your phone while you sit on the bus, wait at the doctors' office, or as you wait for your coffee order you will be more open to conversation with others, even if it's just saying hello. Being open to conversation can be a good way to get to know people you see everyday or on a regular basis.
I might write a whole other article on this topic, now that you've got me started! Thanks for reading. :)