“Sure I stutter. What are you good at?” is a quote that puts you, the person, first and the fact that you happen to stutter, last. It’s also my favourite in the collection of five stuttering awareness buttons I’m currently selling in the Stuttering is Cool Online Shop.
My friend, Anita Blom, is the inventor of this quote. “People often have that big question mark on their faces when they hear me stutter or when they see me block. They wonder what’s wrong with me, if I have mental problems, if I’m going to get a fit, etc. So I wanted to find an easy way to show people I just stutter, nothing else.”
The Dutch native who has been living in Sweden for 30 years with her husband is a very active and prominent leader in the worldwide stuttering community. Anita taught herself many other witty phrases to lighten up situations and disarm bullies. She teaches them to kids who stutter when she speaks in schools and at youth camps. “Quotes like these are helpful to both us who stutter and to the listener. And using humour is a great way to deal with people’s reactions and comments to my stutter. It shows my listener that I’m fine and it’s ok to talk about stuttering.”
That’s why it’s my favourite of the collection. It uses humour and shows self-confidence — a direct contrast to the popular misconception that stuttering is caused by fear or being nervous. As I’ve mentioned many times on my Stuttering is Cool podcast, humour and self-confidence are two very important ingredients for living with stuttering in harmony. You will gain respect from others for showing confidence in a misperceived weakness.
Stuttering is a challenge only because the world still needs awareness. Never allow other people’s misperceptions prevent you from living the life that you want. The job that you want. The food order that you want. The phone call you have to make.
Sure Anita stutters, but she’s also awesome at playing the saxophone in her band, makes extraordinary works of art from old books, and speaks several languages, and writes poems about stuttering!
Anita stuttered since childhood, but her life changed when she met the stuttering world at the age of 27. She has been both board member and chair for her local chapter and for the Swedish national stuttering association, vice chair for the European League of Stuttering Associations and member of the Advisory Committee for the International Stuttering Association. Anita also leads national children camps and international youth camps and has also been an advocate for people who stutter on local, national and international political levels. And has been a Stutter Social host and a guest on my podcast.
The “Sure I stutter. What are you good at?” button makes a great conversation piece. It is available in the Stuttering Awareness collection of five buttons starring Franky Banky, a cartoon fox who stutters who appears throughout my stuttering survival book entitled Stuttering is Cool: A Guide to Stuttering in a Fast-Talking World. Both are available for purchase in the Stuttering is Cool Online Shop.