Fit In And Stand Out At The Same Time
When you, as a human, are different from everyone else, you feel that you won’t be accepted. You are self-conscious and don’t want to be ridiculed. Your initial tendency is to hide what is different about you, hoping that it will go unnoticed. Stuttering remains undetected when you are silent. While you are hiding what you don’t want others to see, you are OK. You don’t look any different; you blend in with others. Perhaps you don’t draw attention to yourself. You’re connected, accepted and part of the group.
So for now, this is OK. Right? The surface is calm. But inside of you, the tension, anxiety and fear about stuttering may be triggered at any moment. Then it will be evident to everyone. You will be obvious, noticed, unique and different. And to add more stress, stuttering often happens at the most unexpected and awkward times.
As much as you want to be included and fit in, you also want to be you, with your unique and individual characteristics.
Your humanness keeps you connected but your stutter makes you different.
Why Hide Your Uniqueness?
Expose Your Stutter To Gain Benefits and Insights
1. Accept and Own Your Stutter
When you are comfortable talking about your stutter, the control of stuttering is significantly diminished. You casually joke about your speech when you stutter and just continue speaking. You openly ask if they have met another person who stutters before. And you freely share what your stutter is like and what it means to you.
2. Say What’s On Your Mind – Without Hesitation or Reservation
When stuttering isn’t hidden and out in the open,
- take every opportunity to do and say what you want,
- speak up to get your needs met,
- capitalize on every chance to talk,
- face fear and don’t hold back,
- easily ask questions, give your opinion and offer different perspectives
3. Discover Your Other Communication Skills Beyond Speech
When your unrestricted speech is readily available, you’ll find other communication skills are unblocked. You’ll say what you want, when and where you want and to whom you want. By incorporating posture, body language, gesturing, facial expression, eye contact and voice inflection, what you say becomes an expression of the whole you. Your confidence, self-esteem and courage increases, when speech is not your only focus.
4. Connecting (Again) With Your Natural Fluent Speech
Focusing on what you want to say, rather than how to say it, begins reconnecting your speech with its natural system already present. Notice how easy speech is as it moves from thoughts to words, with nothing in between. Whether you are fluent or dysfluent, you are rewiring that natural seamless pathway of thought to speech. You override thinking, analyzing, agonizing, fearing, worrying and stopping. These all contribute to and support stuttering.
5. Your Fluent Speech Is Just a ‘Mindset Shift’ Away
Could it be as simple as shifting your mindset to bridge the transition from covert to overt stuttering?
Deciding to positively alter your mindset about your stutter will give you a new perspective.
Deciding to choose fluency over dysfluency is like a 1° adjustment within your speech production system.
A 1° adjustment may be the critical change to easy speaking for you.
Begin Uncovering Your Stutter — Stutter Voluntarily:
Many people that you know may be very aware that you stutter. They may be just too polite to say anything. They don’t want to embarrass you or maybe even themselves.
So to show them that you want to be comfortable with how you speak, let’s make it easier for you.
Using the technique of voluntary stuttering, you can control when stutter happens. So instead of the confusion and overwhelm, that occurs for you in the moment of stuttering, your mind is clear and present. With a calm and focused mind, you deliberately plan your speaking pattern. Most importantly though, you are exposing your stutter to others in an unemotional way, relieving stress for both yourself and your listener.
Try Voluntary Stuttering:
Stuttering With Calmness and Presence
With a relative or close friend, practice stretching or elongating the first sound of some of the words you say. Often it is the first sound of the word that is most difficult.
For example, say “ Wwwwwwould yyyyyyyou like to come oooooover for dddddinner?’
or “I wwwwant to sssssee the movie, Vvvvvictoria and Aaaaabdul. Ppppplease come with mmmmmee.”
When you are shifting away from hidden or covert stuttering, the technique of voluntary stuttering is a great interim step to bring your stuttering out into the open. Only you’re your stuttering in uncovered, will you have a deeper understanding and acceptance of it. At this point, you are ready to release the other parts of your behaviour, emotions and beliefs that are holding your stuttering in place.