Let’s say we have a ferocious tiger that represents our stuttering. Your tiger and your stuttering are one and the same.
We can try to lock the tiger in a closet…
…but he’s too powerful for the door so he bursts through it. He will pounce on you and ruthlessly kick your butt.
It won’t work if you try to deal with this ferocious tiger by turning your back on him. He will continue to kick your butt.
You think to yourself, “Tiger’s not there— OW! Tiger’s not there— OW!”
Covering up your stutter doesn’t seem to work.
So you turn to face the tiger…
It may be scary but you confront him. You may get beat down at first, but you don’t let that tiger make your decisions. Slowly, your tiger begins to lose its power over you, and you begin to experience more peace and control over your life.
Stuttering used to make you afraid of talking. But as your tiger gets weaker, you will be more in control of yourself and your speech.
You now have the tiger on a leash and you walk around town. Your fear of stuttering is now minimal.
You may even go up to people and stutter on purpose! “Hey! Do you want to see my tiger?” and you reach a point where you’re actually ok with it.
And you start showing him off.
You take the tiger back off the leash and you’re petting him.
When you face the animal, the animal can back down.
When you face stuttering, it is so much easier to manage than when you try to turn your back on it.
My friend, Greg Snyder, was at the zoo with his family one day where he had the opportunity to play with baby tigers! He noticed that every time he would turn his back on one of the baby tigers, they’d try to pounce on him. But they couldn’t. After all, they are babies! Greg also noticed that every time he faced a baby tiger, it would back down.
Greg also stutters and thought how this applies to stuttering. Thus, the Tiger Analogy of Stuttering was born! Greg produced a podcast about stuttering at the time where he shared this new idea. I liked it so much that I created a tiger cartoon and shared it with our friends on Twitter. I asked for a name and they suggested “Ti-Ger”. Get it? It’s a block!
I love the idea of a tiger sidekick for Franky Banky. A sidekick that unintentionally causes mischief, a little mayhem, and sometimes mirth for our protagonist. A perfect metaphor for stuttering! Check out the parody of A King’s Speech I drew where Ti-Ger literally plays a big role!