This is not directly about stuttering, but in a way, it is. This guy showed on a big stage how nerves and anxiety can get the best of any of us. The news shows are describing Mr. Bay’s performance as a “melt down” and “embarrassing stage fright.”
I took this a different way. I think he did us all a favor. He showed us that he’s human and felt anxious and vulnerable, like we all do from time to time.
How many of us, fluent or not, can relate to what happened here?
I had the recent privilege to read my friend Daniele Rossi’s first book, Stuttering is Cool: A Guide to Stuttering in a Fast-Talking World.
Rossi’s book can be purchased at his Etsy shop. If you enjoy reading books about stuttering, I encourage you to pick this one up. It is a light, easy read full of surprises.
A book seems a natural extension of Rossi’s podcast and website. His premise is that stuttering is nothing to be ashamed of and it is possible to stutter with confidence.
So, does he convey the same premise in the written book?
Answer: A resounding YES. The book is a fun, inspiring look at managing stuttering. Daniele infuses humor throughout. He uses his own comics to illustrate the book, and puts comments in the margins so you sometimes have to turn the book upside down and around in order to read it.
He also uses a genius page numbering system that once again conveys the humor that can be found with stuttering.
Daniele recounts his own personal experiences with stuttering and shares how he went from being fearful of stuttering and trying to hide it at all costs to now embracing stuttering in his life.
Daniele shares benefits of stuttering, as well as tools and “secret weapons” that a person can use to stutter with more confidence. He also shares a piece about change and how important it is to include family and friends on your stuttering journey, especially as you make key changes about acceptance.
I really enjoyed this book. I read several sections more than once and found myself nodding and saying “uh huh” as parts resonated with me. And of course I enjoyed being mentioned and having my thoughts about change included in such a positive, inspiring book.
As I previously mentioned, if you enjoy reading books about stuttering, get this one and add it to your library. It’s well worth it and will have you smiling about stuttering.
Kudos to you Daniele for a great first book! Congratulations!
Do you stutter more around the holidays? The Christmas holidays can be very stressful and tiring. People who stutter may find that their stuttering increases or is more noticeable around this time of year.
The holidays are often filled with increased socializing, office parties and gatherings with family members that you might only see once a year. It can be one thing for your family to know you stutter – but it can be another thing to actually stutter openly with family you don’t see regularly.
It can be daunting to initiate small talk at holiday gatherings or figure out when to jump into a conversation. And if you’re meeting people for the first time, like at holiday networking events, introducing yourself may be stressful. As we know, our names can be the toughest thing to say for some people who stutter.
I generally find that my stuttering is more noticeable at this time of year. The days are shorter, I get less sleep and it often feels very fast paced and frenzied. I stutter more when I’m tired and I’m very aware of that.
What about you? Do the winter holidays impact your stuttering one way or another? Is there anything you do to lessen the stress of stuttering around the holidays?
I have spent a lot of valuable time in my life trying to be perfect. About lots of things – I always tried to be perfect in school, never satisfied unless I had a perfect score on a test or essay.
I’ve tried to be perfect on work assignments – spending time doing things over and over to ensure perfection, often doing work tasks at home during my free time in order to achieve the perfection I thought I had to have.
And I spent a lot of time trying to be perfectly fluent with my speech. I would switch words, rehearse over and over and avoid speaking situations where I feared I would stutter and not be able to cover it up.
Finally, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve come to accept my imperfections and actually embrace them. My imperfections are what make me uniquely me. I know longer try so hard to be fluent – I am what I am and if people don’t like it, that’s their loss.
There’s been a lot of talk in some of the Facebook stuttering groups about covert vs. overt stuttering. For me, covert always had to do with me thinking I had to be perfect. I’ve let that go, and openly stutter at work and socially. Nothing horrible has happened and people just accept me for who I am.
I’m glad that I have accepted me for who I am, because nobody’s perfect in this world.
How many of you stutter professionally? That is, stutter on the job, openly without trying to hide it? I do!
It’s not always easy, as sometimes it feels awkward to allow myself to be so vulnerable in the workplace.
There used to be a time when I would switch words when I got into a block or stuttering moment. Or I would cough or clear my throat, anything to deflect attention away from that vulnerable moment.
Now, I just stay with it and allow myself to stutter, even when a tiny bit of embarrassment creeps in. I think that’s what I have the hardest time with – when I feel a flush of color to my necks and cheeks. I don’t actually feel embarrassed, but may LOOK embarrassed when that happens.
Has anybody had that happen? How does it make you feel? Are you OK with stuttering at work?
From the Free Online Dictionary, the meaning of the word interrupt and it’s different forms.
(nt-rpt)v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts
v.tr.1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.2. To hinder or stop the action or discourse of (someone) by breaking in on: The baby interrupted me while I was on the phone.
I think about the times I get interrupted. In the middle of a block, someone interrupts and fills in the word they think I was going to say. I sometimes feel disrespected when that happens.
I also think about how many times I actually interrupt another person who stutters, as it’s not always easy to tell when a person who stutters is done speaking or if they are in the middle of a block. It seems to happen a lot when I am chatting with someone over Skype for the podcast.
I usually wind up just apologizing and acknowledging that sometimes it just hard to gauge if the person is done speaking or indeed in a block.
Sometimes it’s hard to establish a rhythm between two people who stutter who are engaged in good conversation and good blocks.
Has it happened to you, that you accidentally interrupt someone who stutters while they’re in a block? How does it make you feel?
Episode 112 features Rachel Dancy who hails from Saginaw, Michigan. Rachel works as a job coach at Do-All, Inc. which is an agency that supports people with developmental disabilities.
Listen in as we discuss how Rachel chose her field of work and the importance of having a supportive work environment. We talk a bit about negative reactions to stuttering and the best ways to handle them.
We also hear from Rachel’s boyfriend, Rick, who shared his point of view on being the partner of someone who stutters. We discuss interrupting and why that happens from time to time.
This was a very honest and insightful conversation and it was great getting to know both Rachel and Rick.
The podcast safe music clip used in this episode is credited to DanoSongs.