We met on our regular 3rd Monday of the month on December 17th. Around 25 people who stutter showed up and as per usual, we split up into 3 groups for more intimate discussions.
In one of the groups, the topic of confidence and how it pertains to our stuttering came up. We discussed how many of us who stutter are generally sensitive people. For some of us, this sensitivity includes how we are perceived while speaking. A few members expressed that when speaking on a topic they are passionate about, they feel more reassured and confident than usual and as a result, seemingly care less about disfluencies. But on the other hand, one member shared that as people who stutter, we may face extra scrutiny because in a fluent world, someone who has disfluencies may mistakenly appear nervous, incompetent, or even untrustworthy to listeners.
Another group started the night by talking about avoidances and advertising. Members shared that often they are tempted to avoid their stuttering at work or during social situations, and this pull towards avoidance can many times feel overwhelming and all-encompassing. One member shared his recent experience of self-advertising at work. After many years of being covert about his stuttering, self-advertising and “coming out’ as a person who stutters at work felt liberating. Collectively, we explored how taking small steps to be more open about stuttering-whether 1:1, in a small or large-group setting-can enable us to get a little closer to stuttering acceptance.
In the last group, we began with a particularly vulnerable discussion of mental health and stuttering. Often times, these groups can be a beacon of positivity and light around stuttering, but it is always a meaningful reminder that this is our space and we can fill it with whatever we need to release for the hour or so we share together. We then went on to talk about the internalization of stuttering and growing up with this looming belief of body failure and misrepresentation. Different members shared different manifestations of this internalization. It can be the hesitation or regret when sharing ideas in a group, or it can be the over-analyzation of a simple interaction or feeing.
As 9 o’clock neared, we re-grouped as whole, read our closing words, and ended the night on a high. As per tradition, a few of us headed to the local bar after and had a drink or two and continued socializing on a lighter note.
We want to thank everyone for all the energy they have contributed to growing and deepening our abundant stuttering community this year. It is this energy that we are all so grateful for and brings us back together every month. So, thank you for acknowledging each and every single one of our stuttering journeys and your own. We are wishing you the happiest of all holidays and can’t wait to reconnect in 2019.
Upcoming Events in the New Year – 2019!
- Improv Seminar with our very own Marc Winski – Sunday, January 20th
- This event will be at our regular meeting space at 520 Eighth Avenue from 2-4pm.
- More details to come!
- SMBC Mock Interview Event hosted by our very own Kunal Muhajan – Thursday, January 31
- This is an incredible networking opportunity for people who stutter to give and receive interviewing feedback.
- Here is the link with more information, as well as online registration for the upcoming event!
- For more information regarding this event, contact: Kunal Mahajan at email@example.com.
- NSA Meetings in January:
- Brooklyn chapter meets the 2nd Monday of every month. Check out their site here for all info.
- Our next Manhattan meeting is still TBD, but we will send out another another email to let everyone know once finalized. Thank you for being so flexible!
- Bronx chapter meets the 4th Tuesday of every month. Check out their site here for all info.