What is a stuttering gremlin?

May 7, 2018
Carl Herder, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
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This toxic creature is the voice inside your head that tells you a whole slew of ideas that when obeyed, will lead you down a path of “safe” but isolated self-defeating life choices. He is the mental collective of all the negative things others have said or implied about you as well as the more detrimental negative inner-speech you have ever had about yourself. Your gremlin wants you to accept him without question and seeks desperately to squelch your vibrancy and joy for living. His voice will pretend to be looking out for your best interests- in a sense “protecting” you, keeping you from making a “fool of yourself” or putting yourself in positions that may be uncomfortable. You are tempted to listen to his voice; he seems to be trying to help keep you safe and away from exposing yourself to vulnerability. But in reality, he just wants you to feel lousy. You must learn to hear what your gremlin has to say without following his terrible advice.Your gremlin will coax you to worry incessantly about things you cannot control, to relive your past mistakes over and over again, and to feel anxious about the future. The first and most powerful step toward finding the true happiness your gremlin is intent on demolishing is simply noticing- being fully aware of what your gremlin is really saying. Which of these reflect your gremlin’s voice?

Top 10 Stuttering Gremlin Myths:

  1. Stuttering is an abnormality. Stuttering is BAD. It is something that no dignified adult would do.
  2. People do not like talking to people who stutter. It requires too much patience and most people don’t have that. People think stutterers are stupid and nervous.
  3. When you speak, you should not take up too much time. It is wrong to make people wait for you to talk. Fast is good and slow is bad.
  4. Stuttering too much will keep you from having a good education, getting a good job, and having meaningful relationships with others.
  5. You should focus on speaking fluently and use whatever tactics available to you in order TO NOT STUTTER and to be fluent.
  6. It is better not to speak, or to enter situations that may expose you as a person who stutters.
  7. Stuttering is a shameful topic and it is better to keep it to yourself.
  8. Even if you have something good to say, it will be diminished by stuttering.
  9. Life would be so much better if you could control your stuttering.
  10. It is more important to say something fluently than risk saying what you really want to say and stuttering.

The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.

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