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Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

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Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby Maxi99 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:13 am

I don't have a stutter but as a child I did have a speech impediment, I couldn't say certain words very clearly - such as 'ch', 'sh', 'r' words, etc. Unfortunately like many others have experienced, school days are horrific if you have a flaw, imperfection or something that stands out as 'not normal'.
I used to get ridiculed and laughed at on a daily basis for years, people repeating words I said (they would do it in a retard voice) and laugh and ridicule me.
As a result I became so self conscious of my speaking, I hated attention on my talking/speaking as I felt people would laugh and ridicule me or think I talked like a retard. In my opinion it is only natural that one becomes self conscious and anxious of a part of themselves if they believe they will be judged negatively for it.
I have pretty much overcome my speech impediment now (I am in my 30s now), but I still automatically feel so self conscious and hate attention on my speaking. I still to this day believe that when people hear me talk that they will be judging me negatively, because that is what I experienced for years and years.
The problem with this is that being self conscious and very anxious makes it so hard to speak and get one's words out. I mean can you imagine someone with a huge fear of heights or spiders having to talk normally and calmly if they are 100ft up a ladder or there is a huge spider next to them?
I don't seem to be able to overcome how self conscious and anxious I am of speaking after the years of ridicule and put downs I received for my speaking.
Can anyone relate to this problem?
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby loise » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:18 pm

Hi MAxi99,
i am extremely over concious over my speaking. I have a very monotone voice, and people get put off easily, this brings me to tension because i think several times what i want to think and how and when...social contexts exhaust me because of this.
a couple of days ago, there were only three people, one i did not know. when i tried to say something they would look at me, like if they could not hear me, and then they would continue talking, in the middle of my words....it was like a nightmare. when i got home i was so exhausted
that i slept four hours in the middle of the day.
i want to avoid those circunstances, but i guess it is not realistic.

i saw the king's speech and i loved it.....he was also over conscious ove himself,
the problem was not physical but mental in a way....i think it is also for me,
and i do not have the answer to overcome it...but i am much older than you and maybe it is not such a priority in my case anymore..... keep posting!
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby mbkarateka » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:39 am

From my own experience, stammering can be a fairly accurate gauge of my 'state of mind'. That is, if I'm anxious, or, in particular, suppressing feelings of aggression and anger then my stammer is exacerbated.

I have a co-morbid personality disorder that certainly has it's roots in a fraught and unhappy childhood and adolescence. Being ridiculed for my stammer and concomitant social anxiety certainly didn't help matters, but I reckon I'd have displayed some other 'symptom' if I hadn't stammered.

By the way, I've known many well adjusted people who stammer. I'm talking about my own case.

As an aside, during my university days as a supposed 'mature student', I took a module in sign language. What was interesting was that I suffered the same panic and discomfort when having to sign in the seminar group as I would have done if I'd had been asked to speak. Similarly, I completely lost control of my speech during an oral presentation in another seminar. In fact, I had to abandon it.

That disturbed me a lot because I had undergone long and intensive speech therapy with a very committed and able therapist. I'd done the voluntary stammering in shops etc to lessen the 'stigma', and had performed several trial oral presentations in the lecture room of the therapy clinic, in front of strangers. Successfully.

Why did I 'fail' then? Because I didn't want to be there. Passive-aggression.

I wrote a blog about an episode of bullying, by a supposed 'teacher', on a young girl when I was being 'educated'. I strongly identified with the girl, in hindsight, I believe I was deeply traumatised by it...

http://drowninginbeing.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... words.html
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby Infinitesea » Mon May 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Hello Maxi99,
I am also very self conscious about my voice. and as a result I opt out of talking whenever I can. I was never ridiculed for my voice as severely as you have for your voice, mainly because I am home-schooled and I don't spend much time around my peers. My family and parents bully me for it though, they tell me that my voice is very monotonous and I stutter and stammer too often. My mom always harasses me for speaking in a deep voice like a man when I'm just a thirteen year old girl. I get so nervous as I'm about to say something, and as a result I usually stutter something that doesn't make sense and it is very hard for me to communicate verbally. As you have experienced, it is so frustrating to not be able to express your thoughts to other people. It affects my self-esteem a lot of the time, and I feel so small and stupid compared to other people who can easily communicate. A big problem is, I'm not a stupid person, but whenever I am put in social situations I get so nervous and I say something that doesn't make sense and I appear stupid; which is similar to what you experienced. I feel very socially inadequate compared to my sister who has good speaking skills.. My mom compares me to my sister a lot, and she doesn't understand why I have so many issues and can't make friends as easily as her.

-Dharma
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby ZJLee2000 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:34 am

I can't remember when I started stammering, but I became conscious of my debilitating disease when I was 16 years old. I started to become really conscious of my speech, and how it would affect my image in the eyes of my friends. At first I thought it was only temporary, considering the fact that I was used to be thought to be an outspoken 'good' English speaker by my peers. When I realized that I couldn't even pronounce my friends' names, I decided it was time to make some changes.

I decided it was, maybe, it's due to the way I pronounce words. I'm from Malaysia, and how we pronounce words and the intonation are really different than Westerners. So I decided to adopt a slight 'British accent'. And it worked out wonderfully, as I began to immerse myself in a lot of British movies and news. I was also a language lover at that time. I taught myself French, and made lots of my friends reallyy impressed. But when I reached 17, it finally occured to me that my change in pronounciation did help a little, and made me sound a little more eloquent, but my fear to use it in daily conversations as it would make me sound pretentious and a snob, did not help much.

I found it hard, sometimes, to start a sentence, especially with words that start with sounds like 'ah' 's' 't' 'er' and 'oor'. Everytime I reach a word with those sounds, I would pause myself, and swallow really hard, and pronounce it really quickly to avoid any obvious signs in my defective speech. On top of that, during english lessons in school, especially the ones involving presentation, while waiting in my chair, I would shiver uncontrollably and my heart would beat really quickly as I await my turn.

Today, I like to think that I've improved a little, but the thought of needing to go through college and university is daunting and scary. I would like nothing more than an effective cure of my stammer and social anxiety.
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby serpand » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:20 am

My stutter definitely contributes to my social inadequacy. Very hard to make a good impression of myself. Sometimes I really sound like I am this different person that I am inside. It's like I have this distorted image of myself and start acting like people have that same image. I get nervous, and that creates tension. Most times I get quiet and listen, but being an observer doesn't get you far. I can only sustain a pleasent conversation for a while, then I get tired. I need to somehow get close to people, but it's like I have to force it. I am tired of being a thought, I want to feel alive and be spontaneous. Your thought alone can't guide you effectively in a social environment, you need emotion too. I guess somewhere along the way I detached the two. I need to bring them back together.
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby quietgirl2538 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:46 pm

I hope you are able to bring the two back together, serpand.
“There’s an Asian expression that ‘a burden shared is halved.’"

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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby realityhere » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:16 pm

i totally relate to the posters' experiences about the self-consciousness of how one talks.

I trip up a lot with certain words that begin with "wr" versus "r", "ch" versus "sh", and particularly "s". I've had loads of speech therapy and there are times my self-consciousness goes into overdrive in social situations. Never a problem with ppl I know, but that damn "s" lisp occurs when in tense social situations amongst strangers. OTH ppl like to hear my Southern drawl-- so there's that. :?

I try to find words that don't begin with my trigger consonants but have an equivalent meaning (look up your thesaurus) as part of my verbal vocabulary-- it works some of the time to eliminate those pesky consonants so that I can concentrate on the conversation and not have ppl look at me quizzically.
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Re: Is anyone else here self conscious of how they talk?

Postby DistortedOne » Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:03 am

I have difficulties speaking all the time and it makes me super self-conscious. It's a little bit of stuttering and may be kind of stammering if what I assume is the definition of those words is correct. I trip over my words a lot and end up stuttering as I'm trying to find the word I want to say. Then I get self-conscious and want to just stop talking altogether mid sentence. Usually what happens is whomever I'm talking to jumps in and takes over the conversation which is a huge relief for me, albeit embarrasing at the same time.

I'm bipolar 1 and I take a lot of strong meds that are certainly slowing down my brain processing so that's a part of this I'm sure. I definitely have that "word loss" side effect from my Oxcarbazepine but that one works so well for me otherwise. I think I'm searching for the right words that won't make me sound dumb as well. Though I've always been a little scatter-brained, the attention deficit I've always had also plays a role in my speech issues.

After reading all the previous posts, I really feel for you all and you've helped me to really understand what it's like to live with your challenging speech issues. You've opened this guy's eyes for sure and you've really helped me understand my own speech problems. I actually feel a little better about it now in a weird way probably because I know I'm not alone now.

Be strong everyone. Be proud of who you are no matter what conditions or issues you may have. When you can accept that you are actually perfect in your own way and that your stuttering is just part of who you are, I think you'll find you aren't as affected by the childish reactions of others. And by the way, those idiots that make fun of you are actually over compensating for their own faults whether they know it or not. They have to deflect attention to you so others don't notice their own differences. If you could look into their lives you'd quickly find what they are trying to hide by making you feel bad. I guaranty it.

Personally, I like to have a "###$ you" attitude for people that want to be negative to me in my life. As soon as I recognize what they're doing and how it's affecting negatively, I just say (to myself mostly of course) "###$ you" you can just "###$ off" because I'm not going to let you get to me anymore. It's so empowering that once you do that the first time, you'll immediately feel it's power to lift your self esteem. And we could all use all the help we can get with self esteem, right?
Last edited by Snaga on Wed Jul 21, 2021 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited to kick in the swear filter
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