One Word

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…

PROBLEM

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?!

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3 comments on “One Word

  1. Hm. I think I had too many elocution lessons for all my theatre and acting classes my parents pushed me into as a child. I’m very specific in my speech and often get made fun of for over-enunciating.
    Two extremes though. We both just need to find middle ground… 🙂

  2. meandanxiety says:

    At University I studied Linguistics so I find this kind of thing very interesting. 🙂 I don’t think that speech impediments are contagious, but we can pick up different hints of speech over the years. 🙂 I pronounce it ‘Proh-blum’

  3. I enunciate things like a dictionary! It makes me sound a bit like a snooty academic I’m sure but I don’t consciously try to be like that. If I am trying to pronounce things differently it’s to sound like a regular person. I AM a regular person but I just end up sounding funny I guess because I enunciate things very clearly. I, too, have trouble speaking loudly though. That is an issue for me with certain people if hard of hearing.

    Don’t focus on your stuttering and you likely will find it goes away. Anxiety tends to make things worse so worrying about it will likely make the issue more frequent. Try some breathing exercises used for relaxing as they might be of some help.

    🙂

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