I remember the first time that someone called me a “social butterfly”. I don’t remember exactly when it was, likely middle school or early high school, but I remember thinking how wrong they were. How could I be a social butterfly, if I’m terrified of talking to new people? I was, and still feel like an incredibly shy person, but someone else didn’t see that. I immediately brushed it off and continued on my merry way.
That is, until my college roommate recently commented that I’m such a people person. I thought about it for a while after that, wanting to believe what she said but simultaneously struggling with my 13 year old shy self. I started recalling countless times where I interacted with patients like I had known them for years, met new people without worrying about every word that I say, and participating in an icebreaker without my heart racing and voice shaking. I don’t know when this happened, but I’m starting to believe that I’m not as shy as I think I am, and it’s a very strange feeling.
I’m still pretty awful at speaking in front of larger groups of people, but that’s my next thing to work on. This one comment was eye-opening, and I’m a lot less worried about doing well in PT school.