Stuttering Help – Stuttering Tips On How To Deal With Authority FiguresBy
I have been receiving questions from Stuttering Dissolution Readers and will be answering them as much as I can with sweet, short videos. You can call this Stuttering Help Q&A sessions.
Today’s question is from Jai. Here is Jai’s question:
“…what is your best advice for dealing with authority figures if this is a trigger for stuttering?”
…and here is the video which I shared 3 tips on how to deal with authority figures when it comes to our challenge of communicating with authority figures.
You can read the similar text version of the video below:
Hi, welcome to the first Stuttering Dissolution Q&A video session on stuttering.
Today’s reader question is about dealing with authority figures as a stutterer.
In this short video I am going to address the question, give you 3 tips on how to deal with authority figures and lastly I’ll finalize the video with an exercise.
OK, today’s question is from Jai. Sorry if I pronounced your name wrong Jai. Here is Jai’s question:
“…what is your best advice for dealing with authority figures if this is a trigger for stuttering?”.
First of all thanks for this great question Jai, this applies to many of us, so answering it here will also help a lot of people out there too. I used to feel the same way and had huge problems with speaking to authority figures. Authority figures such as cops, teachers, tough people, security guards, anybody who has a high status position, etc. I simply felt less and not enough while interacting with them. I always focused
on meeting their expectations. Instead of focusing on what I wanted out of that speaking situation I always tried to save the moment. All I cared was handling the situation without stuttering heavliy.
Let me give you 3 tips which you can use to be able to deal with these kinds of situations in a better way.
Tip1: Bring them down in your mind even before you start speaking. You need to remember that it’s just their role and even those authority figures are human beings just like all of us. They have limiting beliefs, their own insecurities, weaknesses, things which they lack, worry, ashamed and scared of. So, first of all you need to stop making a huge deal out of them and realize that they are just human beings like the rest of us. Bring them down in your mind so at least you both be on the same level. How can you do that? This may sound a bit on the weird side but visualize them in situations which will destroy that unrealistic scary image of them in you.
Tip 2: Try to keep a deep and powerful voice tone from the begging of the interaction. I am not saying start yelling or act as an angry person. I am just saying deep, confident voice tone with some good power in it. That will psychologically put you in a state which may very well work in your favor.
Tip3: Don’t try to match your speaking rhythm to theirs. In most interactions, whoever is dominant is followed and modeled by the other person. So, in this type of situations we stutterers usually try to match our speaking rhythms to them. We try to answer their questions right away, we try to speak with a speed which we think they expect us to speak. Just don’t do this, keep your own speaking personality, speed and tone. In fact, speak slower by taking your time on purpose. If you get asked a question, don’t respond immediately, resist time pressure, take your time and then answer the question with a deep, powerful, confident voice tone in a slow and easy manner.
…and please know that no matter what could happen in the situation, your speech does NOT DEFINE who you really are and how worth you are.
OK, those were your 3 tips…
Now, here is an exercise to work on those tips when it comes to dealing with authority figures if this is a trigger for your stuttering.
You can go to the nearest mall and fire up conversations with police officers. They are working all they long cheking around and probably are very bored anyways. So, do them a favor and save them from that monotone day even if it’ll be for a couple of minutes. If you don’t know how to start a conversation just approach and ask directions. Just make sure you don’t end up in jail:)
OK this is it for today’s video, I hope this was helpful…and if it was, please like, share and subscribe. Also, just comment below this video and let me know what you think. You may also ask any other question you might have and I’ll try to address those in the future videos.
Take care and I’ll see you in the next video.