My husband has always been the life of the living room. Like Jerry McGuire, send him in there and he gets the job done. Small-talk is his forte: "How's the weather? How have you been? Hey, check out this bit of trivia I pulled out of my bag of tricks!" Our relationship began over the phone, with a 3-hour marathon conversation. I was funny, sarcastic, clever, sweet (all true things, by the way), and he totally fell for it. By the time we met in person, we'd done all the hard get-to-know-you stuff over the phone. I don't think he had a clue just how shy and introverted I was, until he tried to introduce me to his friends. Luckily, he was already in love with me and thought my little "quirk" was cute ("Oh, she's just quiet when you first meet her. She'll warm up!" No, I don't.)
But then we had kids. And those kids want friends (damn them!). They want play dates, and trips to the park, and mom-volunteers for their classrooms. Que the panic attacks and anxiety.
My introvertedness (shut up, spellcheck!) affects my kids, and that sucks. And after 15 years together, my husband is still learning how to handle me and my freak-outs. He doesn't understand me most of the time, but he at least humors me. And, thank God, he still thinks it's cute.