Acceptance – Reactions

Next installment on Acceptance – here’s what I talked about with regards to reactions.

I have accepted that some people will not react to my stuttering in a positive way. This is because I know some people have their own problems. I can’t control that. When you cut someone else down, you’re saying more about yourself than you are to them. I have accepted myself, and if they cannot accept me, that’s not my problem.

Through tv and film, those of us who stutter have been made out to be the laughingstock. We struggle to say words, we wave our arms frantically, we make faces … all for a laugh. So when someone hears us stutter, they may be inclined to laugh at us. They don’t know, and I shouldn’t expect them to know. They probably don’t hear someone who stutters regularly. They may not have a friend who does. Their friend who stutters may sound completely different than us.

I know it seems that I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, the allowance to be a jerk, to be disrespectful. And I guess I am. I’ve accepted that I can’t change years and years of tv and movies. I can only do it one interaction at a time. And I have done this. I’ve been laughed at, and then I rather firmly explain where I’m coming from and why what they’re saying is hurtful. I’m not in this to make myself feel better, but I want at least to educate them so that the next person isn’t humiliated. I know when I was younger being laughed at was devastating. I’d never wish that on anybody else.

I think where I’m coming from is that I don’t know anybody else’s background, and I shouldn’t expect them to know mine. But do I laugh at others when I first hear them talk or see what they look like? Well, no, I don’t do that. But that comes with maturity. To know that you’re supposed to listen for the content and not how the message is delivered. I think that’s the biggest problem today – people are just so quick to judge and give their opinion – on how something or someone stacks up against their expectation.

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