The Season is Here
Alas! Holiday season is upon us. As we know, holidays are a really tricky time for most people. For some, it brings pure joy. For others, their seasonal depression is activated. Then there are some people who feel mixed emotions during the holiday season, and there are some who feel absolutely nothing at all.
However, if you are a person who stutters, you more than likely have some increased anxiety surrounding the holidays due to the large gatherings of people. And what does that typically mean? People asking questions about your life, starting small talk, or asking you to bless the food. All scary situations for those of us who stutter to be faced with!
To Speak or Not to Speak
I know that avoidance seems like the best option here (trust me, I know all too well), but unfortunately, we cannot avoid speaking forever. Furthermore, our speech impediment does not make our voices any less worthy of being heard.
My fellow pals who stutter, remember that your voice is valuable. Say it with me:
My voice is valuable!
Today, I am going to give you all three ways to manage your stutter during holiday gatherings.
1.) Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
Sometimes, we beat ourselves up about our speech before we even start speaking and even more after we speak and stutter. If you stutter, own it. While it may feel like the worst thing to ever happen (I get it. I get it), I guarantee you, it is not.
2.) Disclosure. Disclaimer.
I used to be petrified to tell people that I stuttered. Now, I can say it without fear of judgment. Will people judge? Eh, maybe and maybe not. If they do, it says a lot more about them then it does you! If you are feeling super tense about speaking, it’s okay to tell whomever you’re speaking to that you stutter (if they don’t already know).
3.) Laugh a Little.
You’d be surprised at how much a smile and a little laughter can positively impact you! Learning how to not take yourself so seriously is freeing. I know that many of us have trauma and pain tied into our speech, which causes difficulty in letting go and learning to laugh at ourselves sometimes. I encourage you to rewrite your own story by learning how to lean into your stutter by smiling and laughing. You’ll be happy you did!
There’s no doubt that stuttering can make holiday gatherings difficult but implementing these tips will help you feel a little less anxious about the encounters you’ll have throughout the holiday season.
Let’s chat below! Which holiday are you most excited about and why? I am most excited about Thanksgiving because I love all of the delicious food options. Yum!