This post contains some of the best stuttering quotes.
1. ““My stutter stopped when I went blind,” remembers the novelist and nature writer Ted Hoagland. Sitting in the fading light of his Vermont cabin, he explains, “I couldn’t see people’s faces so I either had to stop stuttering or shut down and die in a social sense.” Ted’s voice may have been loosened out of necessity, but I wonder how much of his voice was freed because he no longer saw the reactions of others.” – Katherine Preston
2. “…stuttering is most definitely punishment-based learning. You were punished (in some way) every time you stuttered. And the punishment strengthened the stuttering by strengthening the avoidance reaction.” – Dave McGuire
3. “…the real problem was that no one acknowledged stammering. By not talking about it, it made stammerers seem like people from another planet with some strange condition that made them a victim. So it was important to bring a stammer into a mainstream character in a movie and make him a real, rounded, three-dimensional person rather than just a talking joke.” – Katherine Preston
4. “A frozen, chaotic Diaphragm means no airflow or chaotic airflow. No airflow means no speech. Chaotic airflow means … well chaotic speech. Both can be symptom of that phenomenon called stuttering.” – Dave McGuire
5. “Because we cannot stop speaking, we people who stutter develop various mechanisms and struggles to avoid the act of stuttering by substituting words, slapping legs, biting tongues, cutting off sounds, etc.” – Dave McGuire
6. “But there are always those who can’t control their expressions or who choose not to. Those whose faces crease into a frown, who draw back their eyelids in shock.” – Katherine Preston
7. “Fear is indeed the fuel that feeds stuttering. Where we run into trouble is when we try to pretend we are totally normal speakers. This makes it very difficult to use any kind of good speaking technique, because, after all, ‘normal’ speakers don’t have to use any techniques.” – Dave McGuire
8. “Flawed as we are, it is those reactions that tend to stick with us. The teacher who determinedly looks away from us and stares at her chalkboard whenever we speak, the waiter who awkwardly stares down at the floorboards, or the receptionist who taps her fingers impatiently and looks around the room for someone to rescue her. They are the ones who make us feel too monstrous to behold.” – Katherine Preston
9. “For us who stutter, it is the fear of stuttering – of blowing getting out that word. More accurately, the fear of being seen as someone who stutters.” – Dave McGuire
10. “I always wondered if those same people would have asked a blind person to “focus in” or recommend that a deaf person “listen a little harder.” Unfortunately, stuttering is not always seen as a “valid” condition, whatever that may mean.” – Katherine Preston
11. “I didn’t much like the idea of someone walking away from me, but I was terrified of mockery. I was always afraid that stuttering was funny, that this thing I had been born with had turned me into a comedian.” – Katherine Preston
12. “I often wondered why the fear of stuttering is so overwhelming. Why is it so important to speak clearly? What’s so bad about stuttering?” – Dave McGuire
13. “I was well aware that stuttering was a very public problem. It exposed itself every time I opened my mouth; it laid me bare to be judged.” – Katherine Preston
14. “I wonder what people think of when they picture a “stutterer.” Do they picture someone a little shy and nervous? Do they feel sorry for someone afflicted with a stutter? Do they worry that it is contagious? Do they not want to be associated with someone who stutters?” – Katherine Preston
15. “In essence, stuttering is a motor control glitch, but our reaction to it is far from simple. The glitch sets off a major fear response because our breathing system, our body’s mechanism to keep us alive, is being attacked.” – Katherine Preston
16. “It might appear angry and unstable. When someone stomps their foot or spasms to push out a word, it can look violent and desperate and, in some cases, their personal frustration can be sadly misconstrued.” – Katherine Preston
17. “It might appear unintelligent, indicative in some way of stupidity or mental weakness.” – Katherine Preston
18. “Just be aware that your taste of freedom from stuttering will increase the fear of losing it. Of these four fears, the most correctable is the one about having blown it by letting those around you think you are ‘cured’.” – Dave McGuire
19. “Like deafness, stuttering has sometimes been thought of as a kind of alienation from the human – a condition in which one wrestles with what has become a foreign tongue.” – Steven Connor
20. “On the rare occasion that I heard giggles or the sound of my stumbled words mimicked back to me, I was devastated. I felt criticized and demeaned.” – Katherine Preston
21. “One problem with stuttering is that it takes more time to speak.” – Dave McGuire
22. “People understand stuttering. They don’t understand jaw chomping, leg slapping, tongue thrusts, and head jerking. Some folks will see it as crazy.” – Dave McGuire
23. “Perhaps the label “stutterer” is unhelpful in itself. Are we all the same? Probably not. Maybe stuttering encompasses a slew of differing conditions.” – Katherine Preston
24. “Some gave in to their frustrations and snapped, telling their children to stop stuttering, as if they had a choice in the matter.” – Katherine Preston
25. “Stutterers may be seen as unintelligent, as limited, as inadequate in some way. Stuttering is not generally linked up with the most attractive of attributes. It is unusual but not quite unusual enough.” – Katherine Preston
26. “Stuttering can look like an internal struggle. It can look forgetful or like some kind of perpetual spasm. It can happen on every word, or it can be hidden in certain situations and raise its head only forcefully and sporadically.” – Katherine Preston
27. “Stuttering forces you to be self-conscious and to think about how other people are perceiving you. That can be a really uncomfortable thing to be confronted with, but it can also be helpful. Stutterers can be very sensitive to people’s unspoken perceptions. You get used to reading body language. When someone looks a certain way, even if it is fleeting and subtle, we tend to lock on to that kind of thing quickly.” – Jeff Blitz
28. “Stuttering is a condition with far more questions than answers. We still do not know exactly why stuttering occurs, and thus every attempt at speech therapy is an exercise in trial and error.” – Katherine Preston
29. “Stuttering is a messy and complicated condition. Sometimes it is even difficult to diagnose. Much of the time it does not sound like the simple syllable repetition that we have come to expect. The cartoonish sounds that we are taught to associate with stuttering are relatively rare in real life.” – Katherine Preston
30. “Stuttering is not a nervous impulse—experts no longer believe that emotional trauma causes stuttering—but it is certainly understood that it doesn’t help matters along. Fear or passion act like lighter fuel on a smoldering fire.” – Katherine Preston
31. “Stuttering is not fixed – it appears and disappears, it may occur in one situation and yet is absent in another. It can occur while one is talking to some people but it does not occur when talking to others. It either becomes fixed or abates gradually.” – Zbigniew Tarkowski
32. “Stuttering is strange and uncomfortable, so people laugh to ease their own discomfort. If we are honest, many disabilities can be seen in that light, and yet stuttering is one of the few that is openly mocked. Why?” – Katherine Preston
33. “Stuttering throws off the whole respiratory system. In the words of speech therapist Phil Schneider, it messes with the “ballet of breathing.” Stuttering occurs at the moment when there is a lock, a break in the continuity between speech and breathing.” – Katherine Preston
34. “The idea of stuttering as a habit bothers me, but I can’t find an adequate reason why. It just seems wrong to equate something as pervasive as stuttering to fingernail biting.” – Katherine Preston
35. “The return of your stuttering is not the result of some mysterious, incomprehensible demonic force. It follows the same laws as rusty cars, fat bodies, messy houses. You can maintain your fluency. Or you can go back to being a verbal cripple.” – Dave McGuire
36. “Very few people stutter when they are standing alone in a room speaking to themselves.” – Katherine Preston
37. “We all know pity when we see it. We know attraction and repulsion and anger. Our sensitivity to others is instinctual, woven deep into our survival psyche.” – Katherine Preston
38. “With stuttering it can best be described as a Cycle of Panic. Not just fear. Not just anxiety. Panic.” – Dave McGuire
39. “With stuttering we quickly learn that no reaction is best. We gravitate towards those who can see beyond the mask of stuttering. Those who wait patiently, who tell us jokes, who show no trace of discomfort, those who listen to us the way they listen to everyone else.” – Katherine Preston
40. “Worst of all, it might seem like nothing at all. A well-meaning listener might brush it off as nothing, or tell you that they stutter, too, that they mess up their words when they’re nervous or overexcited. It is kind, in a way; it is their way of lumping us all together, of bringing us into the group. And yet it belittles the problem, it assumes that we are senselessly making a big deal out of something minor.” – Katherine Preston
How to Cope With Stuttering?
Overcoming stuttering can be a journey that requires patience and persistent effort. Here are some strategies that can help you cope:
1. Seek professional help: Consider working with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in stuttering therapy. They can provide you with specific techniques and exercises tailored to your individual needs.
2. Relaxation techniques: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to reduce tension and anxiety that may contribute to stuttering.
3. Slow down: Speak at a comfortable pace and try to slow down your speech. Take your time, pausing when needed, and focus on the rhythm and flow of your speech.
4. Use techniques to improve fluency: Techniques such as controlled fluency, gentle onset, and easy onset can be helpful in improving the smoothness of your speech. Your SLP can guide you through these techniques.
5. Practice speech exercises: Work on specific speech exercises recommended by your SLP to strengthen and coordinate the muscles involved in speech production.
6. Build confidence: Engage in activities that boost your self-esteem and confidence. Joining speech clubs or groups where you feel supported can provide a safe space to practice speaking without fear of judgment.
7. Minimize stressors: Identify and minimize situations that trigger stress and anxiety, as these could exacerbate your stutter. It might be helpful to practice stress management techniques such as exercise, proper sleep, and addressing any underlying emotional issues.
8. Educate others: Help educate friends, family members, and colleagues about stuttering. Encourage them to be patient listeners and avoid interrupting or finishing your sentences.
Overcoming stuttering takes time and practice.
Be kind to yourself, celebrate your progress, and seek support from people who understand and accept you for who you are.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book Beyond Stuttering, © 2014 by Dave McGuire. All rights reserved.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book Out With It, © 2013 by Katherine Preston. All rights reserved.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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