March Meeting Recap
Thanks to all who came out prior to the March “blizzard” of 2017. Our intimate group of about 10 stutterers/friends shared on a wide array of topics. We began with talking about stuttering in the workplace, and the challenges therein, including the difficulty of having the “tough conversations” with our bosses and co-workers. As a stutterer, one can feel that it’s difficult to maintain any sort of momentum when our speech is so, at times, halting. This can make salary negotiations and other critical conversations especially challenging.
This fed into a discussion about the vulnerability inherent in the stuttering experience for many of us. One individual noted the “unfair” nature of stuttering, in that we – unlike “fluent” people – sometimes feel that we do not have control over when and with whom we share our vulnerability. Another person offered that stuttering, especially when efforts are taken to avoid or remain covert about it, can be very difficult to pinpoint or identify for the average listener. Instead, it’s common for an uninformed listener to assume that the stutterer is shy, nervous, rude, disinterested, etc.
The group shared a laugh over the comparison of one person’s former covert stuttering strategies to a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” It was suggested that this should be our new official slogan. This suggestion was not adopted. Sometimes you just have to laugh.
Lastly, we discussed the risks and the benefits of letting our significant others into our weird world of stuttering. We agreed that while, in a sense, our “fluent” significant others may never fully understand the total experience of stuttering, there are still benefits to openly discussing stuttering with our partners, including improved intimacy and overall communication.
Lots of great discussion to keep our brains cooking – and hopefully our hearts warm – for the remainder of the chilly winter season.