Make Room For The Stuttering

Care and Feeding Of Stuttering

Posted on: September 15, 2012

I was asked this week during a meeting to introduce myself and tell my “story” to a new team I will be working with. The Director wanted to know our work and personal backgrounds, and essentially what makes us tick and our values.

I chose to include some discussion about my stuttering journey, as how I handle stuttering impacts just about everything I do.

Reflecting back on what I said in that discussion and some questions asked, here is my list of how you should care for and feed your stuttering.

1. If you stutter, stutter. Don’t just say you stutter and then not stutter – you don’t look credible then.

2. When talking about it, relax, maintain eye contact and smile. It really does engage listeners.

3. If someone asks a question, answer it honestly. I was asked, “I don’t know much about stuttering, can you tell me a little more about it?” Do that!

4. Voluntary stutter periodically, especially if you are having a really fluent day. Sounds counter-intuitive, but that’s part of caring for your stutter.

5. Be sure to feed your stuttering – don’t be afraid of blocks or signs of tension. If you have disclosed, it will be expected. Your stuttering will eat that up and relax.

6. Acknowledge feelings you have about stuttering. Know that shame and fear of judgement still creep in from time to time. That’s why it’s so important to care for your stuttering by being good to it and not hiding it.

7. Don’t spend precious time and energy trying not to stutter – it rarely works. It’s more efficient to just stutter and move forward.

8. Thank others who take an interest and ask questions.

9. Thank your stuttering when it has a particularly good day. Say, “Thank you stuttering!”

10. Share these care and feeding tips with others – people who stutter or not.  It gives your stuttering more confidence.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.