Sunday, March 27, 2011

On The Lighter Side ( Part 3)

This is a continuation of the series where we try and see the lighter side of our stutter and chill out !!!!!

The first incident was posted by a reader of the blog and a good friend of mine.His name is Windstorm.

a)This is my experience regarding stammering.

I was having an evening walk once and my wallet fallen and I did not even notice it. But a girl saw it and stopped me and handed my wallet to me and told to take good care of my wallet.
I was happy and relaxed that it was not lost.
While she handed me my wallet , I wanted to say her "Thank you".
But I don't know why but I just stuck on word "Th.........."
And she was waiting for me to speak. And for me it was "th-th-th-th-th-th" instead of "thank you". And after waiting for few seconds, she just left smiling. I am sure her smile was not as a part of "fun-making" of my stammer.
And may be she may be knowing I wanted to say "thank you" but just could not get it out from my mouth. :D

She must have been aware that I do have manners of greeting. If I did not try to say "thank you" then she might have thought the opposite.

I said "thank you" in my own way !!!!!!

From Russ Hicks
Several years ago I became convinced that one of the best "advertising" techniques to help me to begin to talk openly about my stuttering would be for me to post the famous NSP "If You Stutter, You're In Good Company" poster prominently on the wall in my office at Texas Instruments where I work. The poster has pictures of some famous stutterers, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Marilyn Monroe, and six others of notable history. It certainly is an admirable work of art.
Lots of people come in my office and it would help to break that thick ice of denial I had so carefully built up over the years. So with a great deal of anxiety, I put the poster up.
The next day I was talking on the phone when one of my crazier coworkers walked into my office. As I talked on the phone I saw him look at the poster. My phone call customer droned on and on while Wayne kept reading the poster with great interest. I thought the phone call would never end and good ole Wayne read every single word on that great poster. (And there are a LOT of words on it! I'm not sure if I'VE even read them all!) In any event, as the call dragged on and on, Wayne devoured every last detail of that poster, probably more carefully than any person on the face of this earth ever has. I've never seen such concentration.
Finally after an eternity, my caller finished and hung up. My heart was pounding in anticipation of the coming conversation. What was I going to say? How would he react? My heart was literally in my throat. Finally I spoke...
"W-W-Wayne," I stuttered. "What do all those p-p-p-people have in c-c-common?"
He looked at me, then back at the poster, then back at me. "They're all dead."
I nearly doubled up in laughter and Wayne, always loving a good punch line - especially his own - did too. When sanity finally returned to the office, we wiped the tears from our eyes and agreed that stuttering was EVENTUALLY fatal. But we did really talk about stuttering. He said, hell, he and everyone else in the office knew I stuttered, and it wasn't a big deal. But that, yes indeed, he really had read that poster very carefully and had learned a lot. And he thought it was cool. To this day, it hangs in the place of honor staring people in the face whenever they first walk into my office.

I hope you could learn something from these real life experiences and feel free to keep on posting your experiences on the lighter side . I promise I will post them !!!!
See u later !!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The more you progress the more will be your expectations !!!!!!

I am writing this post for three reasons.First a friend of mine and a follower of this blog (Rajesh) asked me two days ago-How much have you improved on the speech front ???? Then a few days back I had someone write in comments that he was improving but he is pretty depressed as sometimes things go pretty much out of hand.Then the last reason(major one as well)-I was going through a blog of a pws today which I can say was pretty de-moralizing.Actually I became uncertain about my future for a moment or two :-).I really wish he can change his mentality a bit.

Its human nature to expect more out of oneself as one keeps progressing.Its a human tendency to never be satisfied.If you speak well to a friend,you expect yourself to speak fluently to a stranger,if you are able to do that then you expect yourself to speak effortlessly with your boss,and whenever you fail in this hierarchy,you dont look at your past achievements but just see your failure to perform to your so called expectations. I too do that a lot but now I come out of that self loathing quicker than before because I know from experience that not only does this depression harm my speech,it also ruins the mood of me as well as others around me.So how can you really know "How much have you improved"???? Its simple.Compare yourself now to what you were lets say one month ago.Write down the habits you have improved, the new habits you have formed,the steps you have undertaken and the difference in your attitude in this one month.And if you have sincerely tried then you will be amazed at how much progress you have made and you will actually be proud of yourself. So go ahead, write it down and get the true picture !!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Speak a bit slowly-Its music to the ears(Daily Assignment)

I am not saying this from a stammering point of view but in general.I will give you a real life example-I have a friend(not a pws),he speaks as if his aim is to finish 5 sentences in one breath.Most of the time we ask him to repeat what he is saying,as sometimes it becomes a mammoth task to understand him.Nobody likes talking to him,he is fluent,but its like listening to cacophony.On the other hand I have a school friend who speaks so calmly and without rush,I personally love talking to him.He is an ass in behavior for sure,but still it is a pleasure conversing with him.From a stammering point of view,it is the best technique if used in everyday life as it gives your vocal chords the time to relax.So why not speak slow ???? You will probably be saying"Yeah right !!!You dont think I know that already."I agree it is stammering technique101,but it is very difficult,trust me I have been trying it for so many years,but now I realize one can only speak slow if he first practices in non feared situation.So from today,you have to start speaking slowly for a minimum duration and we will increase this duration slowly.( but do not speak robotically beware).Today you will speak slowly for 1 hour during the day spanning the whole day in 15 minute intervals.I am starting it from today,I hope you will join me and support me.

PS-I will advise you to put alarms or reminders on your phone so as to ensure you dont forget and successfully complete the task.Adios !!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why we are not able to use a particular technique when its most needed !!!!

It really is frustrating,isnt it ???? You a know a particular technique is very helpful,you want to use it in stressful situations but you just cant !!! It happens with me a lot !! When in high stress situations I just lose control over self and it feels as if something has taken over and I am very helpless !!!! I cant do nothing else but stammer,no relaxation no prolongation,nothing !!! Due to this all of us feel that the technique is useless as we cant use it when it is most required !!! And we shun the technique thinking that it is not for us and start searching the net for some other miracle cure !!!! On the other hand we also know that the same technique has benefited a lot of guys and we think why its not helping us ???? 

I have some explanation based on my experience !!!! Anyone with a different one is welcome to write in comments.Okay, how many of you use the particular technique when you really dont need it,like when talking to a pet,when alone,with your parents,etc.In my case,I never use it when I dont have to !!!! So the technique  doesn't become second nature !!! As you dont use it in your daily life,it has not become a part of your system,so you cant expect it to help you when in distress as your body has not become familiar with it !!!! Your body is familiar with stammering,it knows that when in stressful situations,its stammering alone that can help you(I know you might find it weird but our sub-conscious mind thinks that stammering is actually helping us in stressful situations).So unless you use the technique all the time(I really mean all the time) you cant expect it too get you out of trouble.Look at it this way-You cant expect to swim in rapid waters until and unless you have practiced well in a calm pond !!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Heard a lot about meditation-So why not try it out

I have read a lot about the benefits of meditation on hundreds of sites but never really gave it a serious thought but now I believe its time I started it !!!! I wont to do it for the purpose to cure my stammer but just to calm self and be healthier more mentally and physically !!!! Right now all I know is to breathe deeply and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling to be more aware in the present moment and exhibit more control on self !!!! So anyone who intends to start it ,now is the right time !!!! Anyone out there with any useful information about meditation is welcome to share with the group !!!

PS-To reap the benifits of meditation you need to do it atleast for 20 minutes ,its scientifically proven !!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monitoring your most used crutch-Substitution(Daily Assignment)

For the next two days you will monitor yourself that how often you substitute one word for the other or stay silent when you want to speak just because of a feared word !!!!!
Dont forget to maintain eye contact and use pausing as much as you can !!!! And keep in mind to avoid using your first crutch !!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If you really want something,no-one can deny that thing to you !!!!

I had this thought yesterday as I was thinking about my school life and other such stuff.When I was in 4th standard,my mother wnted me to learn to play piano,I hated it but still had to attend lessons( as a kid,your parents can make you do whatever they want to :-)) I could never really play it inspite of attending lessons for two months and finally my parents called it quits !!!!

In standard 8th I developed love for soccer !!!! I remember my legs used to ache like hell ,I used to be exhausted at the end of the day !!!! I twisted my ankle twice !!!! But nothing could stop me because of my love for the game!!!!

Since childhood my handwriting was one of the worst in the class !!! It used to bother my parents as well as teachers but I never cared about it !!! They made desperate attempts to make me improve my handwriting but to no avail !!!! Then when I was in 11th standard,I closely saw one of my friends writing and liked it very much !!! Without anyones help I started to try and write like that !!!! I remember I used to write pretty slow and my knuckles used to hurt as if they had been hit by a ruler !!!! But I was happy to see myself writing like that !!! Slowly my speed improved and the pain started to lessen and today its all gone !!!!! I cant even write in my old style now !!!!

So to sum up,to learn a new habit you need to develop a deep desire to excel in it !!!! The desire should not be superficial but every cell in your body should want you to achieve it !!!!! There should be no retaliation from your mind !!!!! And  your body  will struggle as you make changes dont give in to these struggles keeping your goal in focus !!!!!Also if you want to become a better communicator just because of some reasons like getting a job,be more accepted,etc. then stop trying ,your efforts will be futile !!!! Only when your inner conscious really wants you to change,only then you will be able to move forward !!!! Take my word for that !!!!

As always I would love your comments and if you want to send any contributions or just contact me my e-mail id is kathuria.dhruva

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monitoring Your Behaviours(Daily Assignment)

Observing your first crutch

For the next two days we will take one of the crutches that we use while speaking and just observe how many times we use the particular crutch in the entire day !!!!! Note separately how many times you use it while on the phone !!!!!!

Your task is to just observe the crutch !!!! This will make you more aware of your stuttering behaviour !!!!!

PS- Dont forget to maintain eye contact and try to pause as much as you can . My crutch for the day is preformation !!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some things are just too special to allow fear to ruin them !!!!!

Hi all,the reason there was no blogging on my part for the past three days was that I was in IIT Roorkee where me and a friend of mine were to present a paper(We came third by the way).After that we went to Rishikesh where we had planned to do water rafting on The Ganga !!!!(Its an awesome place,do visit it when you have the time) !! I dont know how to swim but the life jackets make sure that you stay afloat !!!Only one more friend of mine was a non-swimmer,the rest knew very well how to swim !!! During a water rapid(this is a place where you experience the thrill of rafting),our instructor told us that we could jump in the rapid while holding on to the rope!!! Now the swimmers had no problem,but me and my friend looked at each other,he had no intention of going,I on the other hand was not able to make a decision as my fear was holding me back.When about half the rapid was over,I just said "Screw it,I am going !!!! "and I jumped while holding on the rope and that experience was the best one in the entire excursion !!!! Then came a point where we had to jump in the water from a very high cliff !!!! As I looked down from the cliff,my whole body froze and I wasnt in control anymore,I just couldnt move,I had lost control on my body !!!! I was just going to give up (like 2 other friends of mine) when I heard  a person who had just jumped, screaming with excitement and I thought "Am I going to ruin the awesome experience just because my fear is holding me back ???? Hell no !!!!" And I jumped !!! Those 3 seconds were one of the best 3 seconds of my life !!!!!I climbed again and looked down,same fear tried to overcome me but now I was much more stronger and was in control and I jumped again !!!!! Again the adrenaline rush was amazing !!!! As I came to the shore I saw the faces of the 2 friends who didnt jump,I could see guilt written all over their face just because they failed to do what all of us had done and missed the exciting opportunity !!!!!

Now why I am telling you this !!!!! Just take a moment and think that how many wonderful experiences in  your life you have failed to enjoy just because you were too afraid you will be exposed !!!!!! How many times you stayed silent when you really wanted to speak ????? How many times you let people take advantage of you just because of your fear ????? How many times you kept silent even when you knew that you were right ???? How many times you were nervous when all others around you were having a lot of fun ???? And finally how many times have you allowed your fear to ruin what could be the most memorable moments of your life ????Some things in life are just too special to allow fear to ruin them !!!! You can either take control and enjoy or you can let fear control you and be guilty later !!! Its your choice  !!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daily Assignment-4

Note down the instances where you failed to maintain eye contact and note down whether your stammering increased because of this or not
write down 7 instances where you paused for 2 seconds before answering someone

ME !!! ME !!!! ME !!!!!

The inspiration to write this post came as I was going through some of the comments on various posts of a particular website.Many pws(by many I mean almost every) feel that God has wronged them.We believe that we have an excessive amount of problems because of our stammer and are either submerged in self pity or take to distancing ourselves from others.Whether it is giving an interview for a job,asking out a girl or just talking with someone,we feel that all our problems our due to our stammer.We keep on thinking"Life would be so great if I didnt stammer"!!! Its all about me and my hypothetical big problems !!!But just take a moment and think !!!! How many people in this world if given a chance would want to be you ????? The answer is billions and billions of people !! More than half of the populations daily goal is to have enough food for themselves and their family to survive for the day.And you say you are the cursed ones.I have seen rickshaw-wallahs sweating out from morning till night just to earn Rs 100 !!!! And you complain you have problems in getting a job !!!!There are people who are born deaf and dumb,people who have no legs-they cant even move without help and you are the one complaining that somebody made fun of you(And face it,it happens like once in a month)!!!!What will happen if you tell them that they could get everything you have,but they will just block while speaking sometimes !!!! Will they say no ???? No my friend,they will dance around in joy and thank God for his kindness !!!! I myself have been like this until a few weeks back,just thinking Why God did this to me ??? God has given us everything,come to think of it,even more than we deserve !!! But still instead of being thankful,we curse him and we start to develop a sense of hatred towards ourselves as well as others around us !!!!  So open your eyes and see the reality and start counting your blessings !!!And if you have trouble doing that-Just go out and see a 3 year old begging for a one rupee coin and then try telling yourself that you have been wronged !!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Toastmaster Experience (2nd meet)

Well as I told you earlier,I had volunteered to tell a joke this time.So,I went up to the stage,and yet again stuck on good afternoon(its really irritating but  I will keep on trying).But I told the rest of the joke really well.And I didnt just tell the joke,I also enacted it.The joke was-
Two guys are standing in front of an atm.The first one is entering his atm code.The second guy says-Hey dude,I saw your atm code,I know it is ****.The first guy says-No fool,it is not ****,it is 5421.
I really delivered it well.Then came the table topic contest.I didnt really speak well there.First of all the topic was very hard.I really started out confidently but then got lost up in the middle.But still I spoke for 2 minutes(the max time was 2 min 30 sec),much more than others.
So,what did I learn from the meet.First of all maintaining eye contact really helps.Second the louder I speak,the more confidence I get.The moment I get stuck on a word,if I dont close my eyes then the block is of very less duration but the moment I close my eyes and start forcing out,the block is very long.So,I will really aim to avoid blinking my eyes and speak as loudly as possible.I also want to release the block easily instead of forcing out.I really find that hard to do.So anyone out there with a suggestion is most welcome to comment.
But stammer or no stammer I feel really good after every meet,I really do !!!!!

Daily Assignment-3

Introducing some pausing

Today write down the names of 5  people you made eye contact with before speaking
Write down 10 instances when you maintained eye contact even when stammering
Write down 4 instances when you waited for 2 seconds before answering anyone

Monday, March 7, 2011

Daily Assignment-2

Maintaining Eye contact

We will be continuing the eye contact assignment
1)write down the names of 5 people whom you successfully made eye contact with
2)Write down 5 words on which you stuttered even while maintaining eye contact
3)Dont forget the weekly task given yesterday
4)Write down 5 instances where you made eye contact before you started talking

Counting your success and failures !!!!!

In doing your daily assignments I also want you to count your successes and failures as you go.But fluency doesn’t mean success and stammer doesn’t mean failure.Sheehan has described this as follows-

Establish eye contact before beginning to speak.
Monitor well(observe exactly how you stutter)
Stutter,but bring the sound in immediately
Stutter Forward
Stutter with good eye contact
Go out of the way to enter a situation especially for your speech
Put the hardest word first in the sentence
Complete any feared word you started
Choose feared words instead of easy words
Mention your stuttering casually without shame
Stutter without one or more of your tricks
Cancel any failure

Substitute(I do that a lot)
Look away,up or down during a block
Use a starter
Stop halfway through a block
Do not have sound in the block(I do that a lot)
Back up and start over
Ruin an open stuttering assignment with fluency immediately afterward
Cover up your stuttering successfully
Stall a long time before entering a situation
Try to talk fluently at any cost
Show embarrassment which puts your audience  ill at ease
Perform an assignment half-heartedly
Respond quickly and automatically to every little pressure in the situation(i.e.without pausing and taking your time)(I do that a lot)
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt
Use a crutch to get the word out.

Well,I know it is a long list but I want you take some time and memorize both the success list and the failure list.Because you can improve only if you know every point.Although you need to note the failures in passing but your main focus should be on expanding the success list.For today I am aiming for a minimum of 30 successes.You can choose your own target.So best of luck,I will be posting the goals for today soon !!!! 

Its High Time We Start Taking Some Action(Daily Assignment-1)

Its almost a month since I have started blogging. I have written about 25 posts telling you about the various do’s and don’ts about stammering.I have shared stories with you,told you my past experiences and some basic facts.But there is one thing which I feel is still missing in my blog.And it is kind of the most important thing.Without this you can read every single word on stammering but still make no progress.That thing is action.All my blogging is futile if we don’t start doing some activities to improve ourselves.So from today we will all be performing some goals together which will help us a lot in our struggle to become better communicators.I will be posting goals almost everyday and we all will perform those goals.There will be no ifs and buts.Because if we don’t put to use what we learn then all this is just a waste of time.

Disclaimer-A lot of the goals will be from a book called Easy Stuttering by Sheehan which I read on scribd.So I am not taking credit for the design of the goals.I am just helping myself and others with the contents of the wonderful book.

Maintaining Eye contact
Points to keep in mind
Before starting to speak you have to make sure that you look in the eyes of the speaker and then start talking.You have to look in the eye of the listener even when you stutter and not look away.Try hard not to blink the eyes.Even if you stutter,it is okay.Just look in the eyes of the listener
Today write down the names and eye-colors of 3 people with whom you stutter
For 5 minutes,read in front of the mirror and maintain eye-sight and notice yourself
Write down 5 words you stuttered on while maintaining eye-contact
(To be done in the course of 5 days-Use your name with good eye-contact with 5 different people)

So if you are interested in joining me in my daily practice,just e-mail me and we will tread on the path of success together.And even if you are not still ready to do these daily goals,it is okay and natural.But whenever you feel you are ready just let me know.
I will also be posting the results of my daily assignments here and I encourage you to make a record for yourself as well
As always,I would love your comments and if you want to contact me,my e-mail id is

Friday, March 4, 2011

On The Lighter Side ( Part 2)

Well this is the second post of the series where we see the humorous side of stammering to de-sensitize ourselves and not take stammering very seriously.

a)This is an incident which was posted by one of the followers of the blog(Abhishek):
One day when i was in 11th standard, i was wishing my teacher "good morning sir". But end up with "gooooooooooooooooooo" and from that day my friends use to call me googuuugaga. Earlier i took it seriously but now i have found out the funnier part behind it.

b)This happened to me when during my 5th semester exams.I have the habit of drinking Red Bull during exams as it boosts up my concentration.But I red is one of my hardest words(or so do I think).So when I went to the shopkeeper to say red bull I stuck on red so bad that my whole body started shaking.The shopkeeper said to me"Dude ,atleast dont drink alcohol during exams,you are so wasted" !!!!!

c)From Silvano Colombano
This is a real story. I was the last of a long series of speakers at a briefing. I started my talk as follows:
I have some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that I am the last speaker, the bad news is that I am a stutterer ... so who knows how long it's gonna take..!
I really want to congratulate Abhishek for taking a step towards de-sensitizing himself.I request others to follow him.I know it is difficult but once you get past this small hurdle of seriousness you will see a change in yourself -a change which will  lead you to a better life.So,waiting eagerly to hear your funny incidents.

As always I would love your comments and if you want to contact me -my e-mail id

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are You the Peon or the Servant ???????

I have a pet German Shepherd Dog.He is a typical German Shepherd ,big strong and fearless(sometimes he looks like a lion to me :-) ) .Now, he is very loyal to me and my family and hasn't once been even slightly angry with us(as is the case with most pet dogs)The one thing that I have observed about him is that he can sense a person's feelings .Whenever a person comes to our house his reaction is very different based on person to person.Well,he never allows a person to come inside if nobody else from my family is present.But even if we are present with him he still doesnt let some people inside while with some he has absolutely no problem.He just sniffs them and goes away.
Let me give an example-The peon working at my dad's office has never once entered our house thanx to my dog.He just doesnt let him enter.The reason-The peon is just too afraid of him.No matter how much we tell him that the dog wont do anything to him,his fear doesnt go.My dog senses this fear and becomes more ferocious at him.Now we also have this new servant at home who has just joined work.When the first day he came,we said the same thing and he trusted us and just went in straight to the dog with no fear and let the dog sniff him.Today,the dog wags his tail like crazy whenever the servant comes home.They even play a lot together.The peon even now just hands the stuff from the gate itself,never coming inside.

I think you already have got the point I am trying to make.My dog is similar to your stammer and the person at the gate is you .Some of you have shunned your fear and got past the gate and now enjoying and playing with the dog while the majority of you are still gripped in fear which is making your stammer more ferocious day by day.And what is this gate-this gate is Acceptance !!! And despite several people making assurances (including me)that it is okay to accept your stutter,your fear still prevents you from opening the gate and come into a brand new world.
So,which person are you right now ???? Are you the peon at the gate being barked at by the dog or are you the one inside playing and having fun !!!!!

As always I would love your comments and if you want to send any contribution or contact me just e-mail me at

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Anything You Want To Ask,I Am At Your Service

As a I keep on learning and exploring,a lot of questions arise in my mind about my stammer and the behaviours associated with it !!!So,as a recovering pws I know you might have some questions too !! You may have them regarding certain speech techniques or you just may be confused about some of your behaviours.I am not saying I know everything but I will answer to the best of my ability and will even ask some of my pws friends(who know so much more than me) to give you the best answer possible.
The importance of asking questions is that the more you know about your stutter the better it is for your progress.And by asking questions you can even help other pws who have the same problems as you but are just too afraid to ask.If you are too shy to ask on the blog,you can e-mail me,I will post the answer on the blog for the benifit of all but will not disclose your identity if you don't want to !!!!

So,help yourself as well as others by clearing all your doubts about your stutter.I promise I will try to answer to the best of my ability !!!!

You can contact me at

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If you don't take any action,you have no right to complain !!!!!

Until 2 months ago,all I did(about my stutter) was to complain and feel sorry for myself. I sometimes even used to cry thinking how God had wronged me.The rest of the time was spent on the internet searching for a miracle cure or just going through stuttering blogs and sites.I used to try to read every single thing about stuttering(probably trying to find a miracle cure or technique which will cure me in a day) but still didn't do anything with that knowledge.Needless to say,I kept going downhill.

The point I am try to make here is that for making a change in your life,you need to get your act together.This is the only way.There is no miracle cure or a 8 minute video that you can see(yeah,you guessed right,I am talking about the "Kill your Stutter" scam) and get cured.You need to go out and do things which will help you become a better communicator.And by this,I dont mean that I want you to climb on the stage and talk in front of 500 people.By action I mean anything no matter how little it is, which will take you one step forward to success.It can be anything like rading a book aloud,talking to a stranger on the road,meditation or any other thing which you feel will benefit you.
A champion marathon runner doesnt wake up every morning and starts day dreaming to become a champ nor does he attempt to break the record time on the first day.He gets hiss ass on the track every morning and starts running.He runs till his muscles are sore and then he runs some more.And he continues his efforts till he reaches his goal improving little by little each day.
And in case you dont have courage to do anything about your stutter,you are too ashamed to practice or are just too lazy then I am sorry you dont have the right to blame anyone or feel sorry for yourself.

So you can start taking action or you can wait for the miracle day.Its your call !!!!!

PS-Because of my stutter,I have made a new friend Bobby who like me has just started blogging about his stammer.Do visit his blog- guy writes from the heart and has a good sense of humor.I also want to thank him for posting a link of "My Stammer" on his blog.So,do check his blog out.