Once again we had a great turnout. There were 20 of us in attendance and five first timers to our group – welcome Jacob, Julia, Jennifer, Kodjo and Karansha. We introduced ourselves, split into two groups to keep the discussion inclusive for everyone and got right into it. Several issues were discussed, and here is a quick summary of some of the main points.
We discussed the importance of advertising for some, which can be very helpful, but to also be aware of not placing too much pressure on this. For instance, when we’re stuttering openly, that can be a form of advertising. How and when people choose to advertise is up to each individual. It may also help to remember that we advertise to help ourselves, more so than for our listener.
One member talked about his experience of people appearing rude during some of his interactions while he stutters. But it’s also useful to remind ourselves, particularly here in NYC, people can often be impatient, and what comes off as being rude probably should not always be taken personally. Reality is that the city stress probably often overshadows people’s kindness.
Another topic that came up was the idea of clean and open stuttering, and being able to stay in the moment. Many times while we stutter it can be instinctive to look away, look down, or just generally not staying present. We may be thinking about when our stuttering is going to end, how people may perceive us at that moment, and a lot of other useless crap. But the idea of not going away could help us, perhaps by strengthening our confidence.
We then shifted gears a bit and did a little role-playing, an activity inspired from our friends at the NSA Brooklyn chapter. The idea was to take some of our positive visualization a step further, challenge ourselves to jump out of our comfort zone, and re-enact any real life situation that we have found to be challenging. This turned out to be really fun and helpful. We’ll be doing more of this going forward.