Advertising, optimism and stuttering

There are going to be posts on this blog that are inspired from pretty solid places (articles, research, other blogs, tweets) and then stuff that’s a little more … out there.

This is going to be one of those posts.

As you can probably guess by now, I think about my stutter a lot. So sometimes I might think of an angle and wonder what’s really going on with it, or if it’s remotely related.

I think in general most people would agree that Americans are optimistic. There’s this ideal of the American Dream. The idea of working hard and getting ahead. That things will get better, the economy will grow, people will find jobs.

I was thinking more and more about advertising my stutter. And why I don’t do it. Why a lot of people who might be covert stutterers don’t do it.


Why not? I’m about to engage in a conversation. I’m thinking that I won’t stutter. I can dance around it. I can use some tricks, I can use other words, I can just stay silent and pay attention. I can follow up with an e-mail or a text later.

It’s also tied to the (sometimes) positive feedback loop of being covert. I mean, if it’s been working 90% of the time, why not this time?

If I advertise before I talk (my flawed thinking goes) I’m already admitting defeat. That’s such a pessimistic view! Give it a go! You need to try first, and then crash and burn. Not say that the crashing and burning is inevitable.

Like I said, this is flawed. Why not advertise? Why not inform and educate the other person? It’s not your fault anyway. You have a message that needs to get across.

I’m curious if people in other countries/cultures might feel the same way. Are you from a family of generally pessimistic people? Is it a cultural norm to assume or expect the worse?


  1. I agree. I have always thought that if you are riding a bike and you focus on a hole in the road, you will fall into it. Instead, look ahead to a good section of road and steer toward it. Be optimistic and tell yourself you can do it, if you get stuck, I sometimes then advertise, this breaks the situation down, gives everyone a chance to breathe and reload, and then you can start again.

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