How You React To How Others React

To my daughter: My dear, I wish to talk about your reactions to the way other people treat you when you stutter to them, and around them. They will treat you a little different. Most times it's just because they just don't know how to react to you. They don't know if they should "help" you out, finishing your word or sentence, or start talking about something else.

We, as PWS (people who stutter), tend to be very sensitive when it comes to another person's attention while we speak. Our senses become very acute (concentrated) to their reactions to us, as they listen to us. Even the slightest "negative" response to anything we say seems to be indicate disapproval of us.

But, sweetheart, I've found out something. People listen to you because they get some benefit from you. They may really like you as a friend, and will listen to you regardless of how much time you need to finish. They may wait on you at a restaurant, to earn a living. They will listen to you at work, because you're their boss. When you go door-to-door (a religious activity) with Mommy, they listen to you because you've taken out time to come and speak to them. Others will listen to you, because they get to know the things I already know about you. And that is, how much fun you are, how affectionate and caring you are, how you like to take care of other people, how smart you are, how warm your smile is, how interesting you are, how good you are at sports, and many other things that you so special!

Never apologize to someone for stuttering to them. What you have to say is important. You have a message to convey, even if it takes you a few minutes longer. You are just as important as anyone else. You have much to offer someone else as far as friendship goes. Your daddy knows how intelligent and bright you are. You are a very special person, my dear!


added May 4, 1998