Eli talks a lot when we are at home and he says "the darndest things." When we are in public, he goes mute and slightly feral. Last night, we asked him to give his dinner order to our waitress. He plastered on a manic grin, turned bright red, and tried to shove his head behind my body.
If there are more than three people in a room, he tries to climb my body to get into my arms. It's like walking around with a monkey who's not particularly well-trained.
I totally get it though. I don't like talking to strangers either. And a room full of people, all milling around and chatting, is enough to give me a minor anxiety attack. I guess he's taking after me in that respect. (Best of luck to you, my friend.)
I just hope that he learns to place an order at a restaurant without having a stroke or creeping out the waitress!