My Stutter Is Not 'Stubborn Speech'

Although I am proud and satisfied with the way I speak, I do not appreciate people misrepresenting me. Someone recently introduced me to another individual (whom I do not know) by saying, “This is Dariel, and she has stubborn speech.”

I strongly felt that person’s introduction of me was an insult. I am so much more than my stutter; it does not define who I am. The fact that the person felt the need to warn someone about my stutter before I could even open my mouth was totally disrespectful. I felt like she was telling the lady, in so many words, how she should communicate with me according to how I speak.

No matter what condition someone has, I would never introduce them as someone who has a disability or disorder, for it has nothing to do with who they are as a person. I do not want to be defined as someone who has a speech impediment, just seen as Dariel. I’m not mad at the woman who wrongly introduced me, because I do not think she meant any harm. However, I do believe that people should be careful and mindful of how they interact with us stutterers. Saying the wrong things can hurt our feelings; not everyone is not as strong as I am when hearing comments that could easily be taken as offensive.

My advice is not to point out a person’s stutter. It takes confidence and courage for us stutterers to speak.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Stuttering

Woman talking.

5 Things I Wish My Younger Self Knew About Stuttering

When I was growing up as a kid who stuttered, I felt so isolated. I didn’t know anybody else who talked like me, and no one ever talked about my stuttering. My father would yell at me when I stuttered, which made me feel scared and ashamed. When I started school, I remember my kindergarten [...]
Illustration of three women walking

The Difference Between Pity and Empathy for My Stutter

Empathy and pity… are these words synonymous, or are they worlds apart? The first definition for pity is “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortune of others.” However, empathy is differentiated from pity by a single, beautiful phrase: to understand and share. Should we feel sorry for others, or should we strive to understand and share in [...]
hand drawn chalk illustration of woman with dots anad lines coming out of her mouth

'So... What Does Stuttering Feel Like?'

Although it’s impossible to describe exactly what stuttering feels like, there are a few comparisons that closely resemble the struggle that takes place: First, try thinking of the mouth as a “gate.” Only once the tension grows strong enough to force open the gate do the words finally tumble out, much to the stutterer’s relief. As [...]
Dariel in her car

I Did It! My First Commerical as a Stutterer

As someone who was afraid for people to hear me stutter, I’m still shocked I put myself in front of a camera for the world to hear my speech disorder. When I was approached by the YMCA to be a part of their commercial on the behalf of announcing a recently opened gym, I was [...]