Am I Taking Too Long?
It’s easy to remember others waiting for me to speak, often rather impatiently. This is because it’s been happening for as long as I’ve stuttered.
Although it’s rude and unfortunate, I understand the impatience; I’m often less than fluent and have a difficult time verbalizing my thoughts.
Understanding the impatience doesn’t fully remove the effect it has. When someone is impatient enough that it shows…either by looking away, texting, reading, or finishing my sentence or offering a word…it’s a bit of a blow. What they’re unknowingly saying (or knowingly…if they’re that much of a jerk), is that what I have to say isn’t worthy of their full attention or time.
Here’s an interesting article from the NY Times discussing a similar thought…
RANDOLPH, N.J. — As his history class at the County College of Morris discussed exploration of the New World, Philip Garber Jr. raised his hand, hoping to ask why China’s 15th-century explorers, who traveled as far as Africa, had not also reached North America. He kept his hand aloft for much of the 75-minute session, but the professor did not call on him. She had already told him not to speak in class
Philip, a precocious and confident 16-year-old who is taking two college classes this semester, has a lot to say but also a profound stutter that makes talking difficult, and talking quickly impossible. After the first couple of class sessions, in which he participated actively, the professor, an adjunct named Elizabeth Snyder, sent him an e-mail asking that he pose questions before or after class, “so we do not infringe on other students’ time.”
As for questions she asks in class, Ms. Snyder suggested, “I believe it would be better for everyone if you kept a sheet of paper on your desk and wrote down the answers.”
Later, he said, she told him, “Your speaking is disruptive.”