Through having lived with my own social anxiety for, I reckon, more than fifteen-years now, I’ve more recently developed symptoms of speech impediment, where I have difficulty pronouncing certain words and sentences in certain situations. As far as I can remember, this started back when I got my first job, working face-to-face in a customer service role.
This one man would come in (usually on a Saturday). He was friendly enough and always seemed to recognise me and make note of the fact in a kind way. But, he had this stutter and, when he talked, my reaction was to feel very uncomfortable (being very timid at the time) and unsure of how to act. Of course, I’ve never said anything about it (to anyone) and I helped him on his way.
That feeling and the memory, of each time I’d interacted with this name-less man, it has always stayed strong in my mind. After a while, I even found myself beginning to stammer and stutter and, well, it’s never gone away since then.
It isn’t something that plagues me too often. Sometimes, I can go days without doing it (then again, the same can be said of talking to others…) but, there are certain words that I have great difficulty with. I have a quiet voice. I do not mumble but, people don’t hear me very well (even though it’s loud, inside my head) and I’m often asked to ‘speak up’ (sometimes using a prehistoric grunt, rather than a word you might find in a dictionary!).
I can only think of one clear example. Aside from this, I think it’s mostly words where you have two identical consonants within close proximity to one another… I could be mistaken. It’s quite ironic but, this one word is definitely a…
Try it for yourself though, out loud. Does your ‘R’ sounds like a ‘W’? Are you also trying to add a vowel in between the ‘B’ and ‘L’? What happens to the ‘M’ at the end?
Those are three of the variations I ‘create’. 🙂
Are speech impediments contagious?!