Great turn out for our last meeting of 2014!
We started by talking about how phone interviews are tricky because silent blocks can confuse the listener if they think there’s a bad phone connection. One member mentioned that he randomly changes his name when ordering food over the phone to avoid stuttering, which can be comical when picking up the order if friends are around. He also noticed that one of his friends listed him in his phone contact list with the first letter of his name repeated A-A-A-A (to stand for the one who stutters among other friends with the same name).
We also discussed how eye contact is important to hold the talking space and show the listener you’re not finished. One member described that making even brief eye contact can lead to an emotional connection moment which allows the person to show they are listening (one listener told him “it’s ok, take your time”). We talked about “riding the high” after group and trying to use more strategies and put yourself out there knowing the group has your back.
One member brought up an interesting theory that being hungry, or any change in his ability to focus fully on his speech, which makes him more susceptible to “bounces.” Another member said he has the same issue in the mornings when he’s “groggy,” and a different member’s stuttering changes when angry or when being yelled at by someone.
One member mentioned that his stuttering was “forced out of him” in the army after being punished with 25 pushups every time he stuttered. He also mentioned a coworker started to mock his stuttering at his current job, and HR jumped in right away to kibosh that behavior. That was a case in which the workplace wouldn’t stand for any mocking of his speech.
We also started a conversation that we’ll continue next year about the preference for being called “people who stutter” using person-first language as opposed to “stutterers.” Some might argue it focuses too much on the stuttering and that people should just be referred to by name.
Wonderful end to 2014, and looking forward to many more meetings in 2015!!
Happy Holidays to all! : )