The Avoider: Overcoming Speech Anxiety through Crutches and Practice

Speech anxiety, or stuttering, is a challenge faced by many individuals around the world. Some people who experience this condition do not stutter or block frequently, but instead, they resort to avoidance as their coping mechanism. This avoidance strategy may provide temporary relief, but it doesn’t address the root of the problem. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of “The Avoider” and discuss how individuals can overcome speech anxiety through the use of crutches and dedicated practice.

Understanding the Avoider

The term “The Avoider” refers to individuals who choose to remain silent or speak as little as possible to avoid stuttering or experiencing blocks while speaking. Instead of actively engaging in conversations, they often prefer to take a back seat and let others do the talking. While this strategy might seem like a safe choice to avoid embarrassing moments, it is not a viable long-term solution to overcome speech anxiety.

In the early phases of the healing process, it can be beneficial to talk less and become more of a questioner than a lecturer. The less you talk, the fewer battles with words you’ll encounter. This temporary reduction in speech can offer some respite, but it’s essential to understand that you cannot simply avoid speaking altogether. To truly overcome speech anxiety, you must find a balance between talking and utilizing effective techniques to reduce stuttering and blocks.

The Fine Line Between Avoidance and Progress

Walking a fine line between speaking and avoiding is crucial for individuals dealing with speech anxiety. When you do speak, it’s important to keep your sentences short, use crutches to divert your focus from words, and ask plenty of questions. This approach not only helps in maintaining conversations but also keeps the focus on others, allowing you to listen actively.

The less your mind hears new stutters, the more you will be able to speak without stutters. Over time, your confidence will grow, and you’ll find yourself able to engage in conversations without the constant fear of stuttering. It’s important to remember that while avoidance provides temporary relief, it will not lead to lasting progress.

Overcoming Avoidance with Crutches

To eliminate the need for avoidance and any residual stutters or blocks, individuals who fall into the “Avoider” category can benefit from using crutches, especially Crutch 11. Crutches are speech techniques and strategies that can help individuals improve their fluency and overcome speech anxiety. To learn more about Crutch 11 and others, please read “Stop Stuttering Short Course: How to Break the Stuttering Code.”

Mastering the Crutches

The successful use of crutches requires a level of mastery that is as automatic as the fears and blocks individuals with speech anxiety have developed over time. Just as you don’t need to consciously think about how to use each finger on your hand, you should aim for the same level of familiarity and ease with the crutches.

This mastery can only be achieved through consistent practice. Use the crutches when you read, when you’re alone, and even when you’re talking to others, even if you don’t feel like you need them in that moment. Make these techniques a part of your everyday speech and communication. They do work, but only if you invest the time and effort to master them.


Avoidance may provide short-term relief for those facing speech anxiety, but it is not a viable long-term solution. To truly overcome speech anxiety, individuals must find a balance between speaking and utilizing effective crutches and strategies to improve their fluency. Crutches, especially Crutch 11, can be valuable tools in this journey, but they require practice and dedication to master.

Remember, you have the potential to speak confidently and fluently without the burden of stuttering or blocking. By actively working towards this goal and using the right techniques, you can overcome speech anxiety and embrace the joy of effective communication. The key is to find that balance between talking, practicing, and using the crutches to build your fluency and confidence over time.

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