Hope to see you all at the Manhattan meeting this evening – same place and same time. And in case you weren’t there, here is our recap from our October meeting.
One group discussed that insecure feeling when starting a new job and attempting to be social. We discussed feelings of being an impostor in a new field, trying to maintain social standing while “putting yourself out there,” and trying to tackle job responsibilities while trying to show you are capable. Throughout this conversation, the stuttering experience crept in. The feeling of needing to be more, the feeling of not being able or capable to interest others in a conversation, the feeling of being disfluent when meeting new people. In quite a natural way, the conversation shifted to what fluency meant to each of us. Some of us shared our experiences with trying to shape our speaking towards some ideal of fluency, and we ended on how chasing that dragon prevented us from being comfortable in our own skin.
In another group, we also talked about work, specifically about the internationalization of stuttering and how it affects our confidence in the workplace. For too many of us, we are still finding ways to heal our emotional trauma from our youth. Coupled with the strive for perfection and exhaustion in the workplace, it is hard to balance and stay mindful of covert behavior and toxic self-talk. We are constantly interacting with the fluent world, so we spent some time validating our feelings and reactions to stuttering. In the end, we agreed that we can change the way we react to stuttering. We focus on what we gain as people who stutter – honesty, empathy, grit, and so much more. And through some self-compassion, resilience, and time, we let go a little more each time.
And in the last group, we spent most of the evening doing some role playing. During our meetings we often talk about all the benefits of advertising (self-disclosing) but we don’t usually do this during the meetings. So we did just that. We took turns being the person who stutters and being the fluent strangers in the scene. We had patient and not so patient characters, and even an obnoxious ones during the skits. This group was a safe environment where we were able to plan the skit, put ourselves in the position of how it looks and feels like to stutter and advocate, or not advocate, for yourself, and then debrief thereafter. We’ll be doing these role-playing sessions more regularly moving forward.
We’re very excited to announce that on Saturday, December 14th we’ll be having our Holiday Party! It will be held at the same place we had our New Year Get Together last January – at the Resident Lounge of an apartment building called Ivy Tower, at 350 West 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan. Many thanks to our good friend David Friedman for securing this lovely, large space for us! Tell the doorman or concierge you are going to the Ivy Club Room or to the NSA party or that you’re a guest of David Friedman. We’ll send out more details about this event as the date nears.