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​Responding to reactions to your stuttering

Episode #196: Canned material which you can use! If you’re having trouble knowing what to say to various reactions to your stuttering, then this episode will surely help! I sometimes still get caught off guard not knowing how to react. But it’s another opportunity to assess, learn, and become more prepared for next time.

This episode is brought to you by the Stuttering is Cool book! Full of comics and survival tips to get you through dating, job interviews, and dumb questions like ‘Did you forget your name?’.

I remember back in the early years about 10 years ago now, with each speaking situation I was learning how to become comfortable with my stuttering and learning how to stutter openly, how to mention and educate about my stuttering, as I encountered one speaking situation after another. For the most part, I’d be thrown off guard by whatever unforeseen thing that would end up happening during a speaking situation.

You can go order coffee 10 times and each one of those times would have a different setting. Be it the barista laughing at you, or the barista smiles and patiently waits for your order, perhaps you’re the only one in line, or there’s a long line of other customers behind you, or you’re having a bad day, or it’s the barista’s first day, anything. And each setting would require its own unique response.

As I began my journey in learning how not to let my stuttering out in these speaking situations, for the most part, I found myself being caught off guard and not knowing what to say. And for the most part, I’d end up either avoiding or switching words or having an embarrassing moment only to beat myself up over it later. But with more exposure and experience, through trial and error, assessing what kind of replies worked or didn’t work, I grew more confident in all speaking situations as I was simply more used to it.

I was more prepared with what kind of replies worked for me. If it wasn’t for the rocky beginning, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Stuttering doesn’t bother me in job interviews.
I use my stuttering to my benefit on dates. I’m perfectly fine with stuttering in front of s large group of people. Don’t get me wrong, stuttering still kicks my butt. It still creates embarrassing moments for me. It’s my attitude towards this that makes all the difference. I can choose to avoid speaking situations or switch words, but then I’m not being my true self. I like meeting new people. I like being social. So letting my stuttering out is really the best thing for me.

Just like picking up a sport, or becoming an expert in something, you gotta practice. You gotta do things over and over, and assess, try again and again until you’ve got the hang of it. Every speaking situation is truly different. I still get caught off guard sometimes and not knowing how to react. But it’s another opportunity to assess and be even more prepared for next time.

And remember, you’re not alone. Thanks to the Internet, there are stuttering forums all over the place With others that stutter and understand exactly what you’re going through. You can share each other’s experiences, tips and even suggest what to say in a variety of speaking situations.

On this episode, my friends and I share our own canned material to give you an idea of what you could say. Don’t memorize and recite them word for word. Be yourself and let your true personality shine. Edit and reword as you see fit. And don’t beat yourself over any rocky encounters. You’re only human and you need these rocky encounters in order to learn.We learn through suffering. We learn through first hand experience. Then let us know how things went.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. There are millions of stutterers on the Internet waiting to get to know you!

Think of all this as a workout. Just as you would build your muscles in the gym, you will build your stuttering resilience, mental toughness, and mindfulness. You will become a confident badass that everyone will see in a positive light. And opportunities will open up for you. But you have to stick with it, and embrace the suck, and learn from the suck,
and grow. We can’t grow without the suck. We can’t learn without failing. And failing isn’t bad. It’s important. And don’t forget to share with other stutterers. You need your support system.

Published in Podcast archive stuttering


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