3 Ways To Confront Your Stuttering Fears

Taking control of your stutter is the only way you are going to stop it from dominating your life. The only way to progress and manage your speech efficiently is to confront your fears directly. For most of you reading this, that’s going to sound terrifying, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be.
Especially when you heed the advice in the first of three to follow…

1) Customer service reps are your secret weapon to better speech

One thing no customer service rep can do is be unprofessional. Use that to your advantage and open up communication with them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re picking up groceries from Asda, or looking for a new laptop at Currys.

Every store will have either store assistants, customer service reps, or sales assistants. They are employed to respond to customer inquiries. You’re a customer so they are obliged to help you and some are great at it. They will always listen to what you have to say. It’s what they’re paid by their employer to do. Listen to you.

Before you buy anything, think of a question related to it. It could be that you’re in the supermarket that you ask where to find such and such a product. Or it might be that you need to ask for assistance at the self-service checkout. You know how those machines can be; unexpected item in the bagging area.

In fact, if you want to create a situation that forces you to speak to someone, put your wallet or purse on the bagging area. It will register the added weight, as though you’re sticking something in the bag that hasn’t been scanned. Someone won’t be long in coming over to you. By which point, you have to explain what happened and it’s usually laughed off. It happens all the time.

Any store you go into, think of a question related to the product you’re buying and ask a rep of the company for advice. Put your question to them. A day in the town could give you a catalogue of insights into your speaking behaviour.

2) Call for your own take-away

Stop asking your partner or parents to call pizza for you. Take the plunge, pick up the mobile or your phone’s handset, dial the number, and ask for what you want. If you’re truly embarrassed about how you sound on the telephone, get a friend to answer the door when your food arrives.

Take action using the phone

You are best not to do that though, because when the delivery arrives, you have another opportunity to challenge your fears head on, by speaking to the person delivering the take-away.

You get a double opportunity; the first on the telephone to place your order and the second in person with the delivery driver.

3) Ask a taxi driver for directions

Whenever you go into town, think of the name of a shop near to the taxi rank. Ask the taxi driver for directions to get to it. It may be in the shopping centre, or it could be further up/down the high street. Despite you knowing where it is, it’s only about opening your mouth to speak something.

The only reason we say taxi drivers are good for this is because they’re accustomed to speaking to people with a variety of dialogues. Some speak professional (call them posh if you like), some speak casual, and some like you will stutter. Taxi drivers are well accustomed to speaking with people with a range of accents, and even speech problems. They won’t be taken aback if you suddenly stutter.

By thinking about what you want to ask first, you’ll be able to rehearse things in your mind, approach with confidence and tell someone what you need to know. It’s much better to do this when you don’t really need to know the directions, because the time will come when you do really have to ask for them. When that time comes, you will be thankful for the experience. The only thing you cannot do if you’re using this approach is go into town everyday and ask for the same directions every time.

The drivers will get wise and may even wonder what is wrong with you. If you find yourself feeling that you’re over exhausting this method, just ask complete strangers on the high street.

To put any of those three ideas to use, you need to know how to set up your own stutter friendly environment…

This one’s simple because it only involves introducing yourself and your problem.

Hi there, my name’s ___ I’m a stutterer and I’m trying to improve my speech. Could you tell me where to find, or bear with me I’m a stutterer, trying to improve my speech… I’d like to order, or whatever question you have.

Give yourself the opportunity to speak with people. Any person will do because every interaction is an opportunity to address your fear of stuttering in public and that will bring you closer to managing your stutter.

Confront your fears head on by opening your mouth and speaking to people. Society is far more understanding than you might imagine.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net