If you stutter, you are not alone: more than 70 million people worldwide are stutterers. That’s one in every 100. In the US alone, more than 3 million people stutter.
When you stutter, you may avoid social situations because you feel insecure about your speech skills. This insecurity can lead to isolation, is harmful to relationships, and can cause performance issues at school or work.
Are you insecure because you stutter?
Read on to learn how to overcome insecurities about stuttering through facing your fears, seeking support, and getting treatment.
What Causes Stuttering?
Stuttering is a biological and neurological condition. There is no clear cause of stuttering, but most agree that it is caused by one or more of these possible triggers: genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics.
Stuttering can run in families, as certain genes are known to cause stuttering.
It is more likely in children with existing language or speech problems or other developmental delays.
People who process language and speech differently seem to stutter more than people who don’t. This can include people who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury.
How to Overcome Insecurities Related to Your Stutter
There are ways to eliminate the embarrassment you feel towards your stuttering disorder. Most intervention is behavioral.
Consider the following techniques when you decide to put your insecurities behind you.
Conquer Your Fear
The first step is to let go of fear. There are several different ways to combat your fear of stuttering.
Don’t Avoid Words
Stop avoiding specific words. If you notice that you stutter on a certain word, you may try to avoid that word in a conversation. This is called blocking. The anxiety that is caused by attempting to think of a different word actually causes you to stutter anyway.
Instead of avoiding the word, embrace it. Practice saying it in private. Getting that sound or word out more often may help you feel more comfortable using it.
Some people who stutter find it helpful to keep a list of words they find difficult. They then refer to this list to practice.
Public speaking is a stutterer’s worst nightmare. The anxiety alone can stop you in your tracks. What you might not realize is that by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will boost your confidence.
This is the first step to overcoming a fear of public speaking, especially with a stutter. If you’re afraid to take the first step, sign up for a public speaking class. There, you can learn tips to make you feel more comfortable.
Showcase Your Skills
Try focusing on things you are good at and thinking less about your stutter. The more confident you are in yourself, the less you will be affected by your stutter. Boosting your self-esteem will reduce your anxiety.
Get the awkwardness out of the way and just tell the person you’re speaking with that you have a stutter. There is no point in hiding it if the person is going to experience it firsthand. Sometimes humor is the best way to address it, so don’t be afraid to say something silly and add some comic relief.
As we mentioned earlier, the more confident you are, the less your stutter will bother you. Say a few positive mantras every day to put yourself in the right mindset.
Your mantras don’t have to be complicated. A few words or a short sentence is fine. What is important is that it helps you feel more confident. Slowly, you will improve your self-esteem.
The next step in easing your insecurity over stuttering is to seek support. You can find support through the following methods.
Talk to your loved ones about your insecurities. It can be helpful to reach out to your friends and family and let them know how you’re feeling. This will make the situation easier for you, but it will also help them understand you.
Your friends and family know you well, so they are likely to offer advice you wouldn’t receive elsewhere. Be open and honest with them about what you are experiencing.
Find a Support Group
Surrounding yourself with people who have the same fears can be comforting. After all, no one knows your struggle better than someone who experiences it themselves.
Realizing you are not alone can help you feel less insecure. Look online to find a stuttering support group in your area, or join an online community instead.
Find friends who stutter. Having friends who stutter can help you feel less alone. This is especially heartening to children. There are camps and social groups dedicated to connecting those who stutter.
Finally, the best way to ease insecurity about stuttering is to seek treatment.
There are a variety of ways to begin addressing your stutter through treatment.
Find a Speech Pathologist
Speech therapy can greatly improve your stutter. They may help you identify reasons why you stutter and recommend techniques to overcome it. This could ultimately reduce the amount of stuttering you suffer from.
Practice at Home
Many people are more comfortable practicing speech in the privacy of their home. There are online resources to teach you how to tackle stuttering at home. These providers use web-based video conferencing technology to connect you to speech therapists all over the world.
Try Behavioral Therapy
While they don’t specialize in speech problems, therapists can still help people who stutter. Often, anxiety and depression can be triggers for stuttering. A behavioral therapist can help you overcome anxieties that contribute to your disorder.
Create an Action Plan
Now that you have a few techniques to try, it’s time to create an action plan to combat your stuttering disorder.
The use of telespeech has been very effective in treating a stutter in both children and adults. We can tailor a program to your needs.
We will provide you with convenient, effective, and secure speech therapy services. Schedule your free consultation online today to discover a new side of speech therapy.