DIY Rule Number 02

When you start to talk, do it easily, gently and smoothly without forcing and prolong the first sounds of words you fear.

This most essential second rule suggests that you make a practice of stuttering easily and smoothly without forcing. It doesn’t call for you to stop stuttering, but to do it calmly, smoothly, sliding into the sounds of words with light, loose movements of your tongue, lips and jaw.

Also, this rule recommends that while talking easily, you prolong the first sound of any word you fear. And furthermore, that you make a point of prolonging the transition to the next sound or sounds of that word. This only refers to words you fear. It is not suggested here that you prolong all sounds of all words.

Some try to cope with their problem by trying to force words out at the same time as they close off the airway by squeezing the lips together, or pressing the tongue tightly against the lips together, or pressing the tongue tightly against the roof of the mouth. This makes no sense. You can’t pour water out of a corked bottle. Explore how easily you can stutter. Substitute easier ways of stuttering for your abnormal and frustrating habits. Stutter easily and calmly. You will feel the difference.

Don’t try to force trouble-free speech.

Don’t struggle when you talk. One of the ways you can tell if you are struggling is to monitor the amount of air pressure in your mouth. Try not to let it build up behind your lips or tongue. Try stuttering with the lips loose and the tongue not pressing tightly against your gums or palate. Why erect a blockade in your mouth behind which the air pressure increases greatly?

So, if you can comply with this rule and let yourself stutter easily, your severity will be lessened and so will the frequency of your stuttering. Although this may be difficult to carry out, we also recommend that when you are alone, you practice relaxation of your speech muscles. This calls for you to purposely tense yourself, particularly in the mouth area. And then release or reduce the tension so the difference can be felt.

It is suggested here that just on feared words, you prolong the first sound of such words and then prolong the transition to the next sound or sounds of the same feared words. This could mean taking as long as a second or more in making the gradual transition to the next sound.

By deliberately permitting yourself to prolong the initial sounds of many of the words you will be taking the psychological offensive.                                                                                                      –Murray

Action Points:

  1. Practice talking smoothly and easily by reading aloud when alone for five to ten minutes a day. Read in a firm voice but keep your speech movements loose and relaxed. The idea is to get accustomed to using gentle, light control of your muscles of speech whether or not you stutter.

How to remember to remember the goals?

Put up a sign on your clock or mirror reading “remember to easystutter today,” /put a rubber band on your wrist so you will be continually reminded to direct your efforts toward talking easily while prolonging certain sounds of feared words. Make a list at night of the times during the day when you did or did not remember to talk as suggested.

When you are working on these rules, it is well to make a record of your progress in your workbook. First, try for one successful performance, then two in a row, three in a row, etc. until you have been able to collect five consecutive listeners to whom you have spoken slowly in an easy, smooth manner, whether or not you stutter.

Thomas Carlyle, the historian, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, said “a stammering man is never a worthless one…It is an excess of delicacy, excess of sensibility to the presence of his fellow-creature, that makes his stammer.

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