Self Promotion? Or, 'can we be friends?'

I hate self-promotion.

Yes, not in my own special group here, I know that many people hate self-promoting. I don't imagine that I am spectacularly special in this way. By our very nature, many of us are loners, outsiders, lurkers; on the bell curve of human interaction we fall somewhere to the left. 

My question is this: how do we self-promote? When I finally ask (after brooding for days, weeks, and yes even MONTHS) for someone to read my work, I have a horrible sick feeling in my heart. I am not afraid of being told 'it's crap', I grew up in two households of artists after all. I am afraid of asking the wrong thing, being caught with my fly down or having my shirt on inside out.

Oh, dammit I just figured out I want to be accepted for who I am. I thought I was past all that.

Back to self-promotion: what has worked for other writers? What groups? Forums? Platforms? How did you get involved? I write alone, is writing with a group helpful? Considering joining a 'writers group' here in the PNW but as it is hard enough for me to ask to join an on-line group, I imagine it will a good long while before I work up the courage to do that. 

I think the worst thing is finally asking, finally getting up the courage only to be ignored, to have the feeling of invisibility validated. Like that Stargate episode where Sam is sucked into some other dimension and has to somehow convince the crew she is still aboard. Except Sam is way smarter than me.

Any thoughts/comments welcomed. How do you go about self-promotion?