The Sound of Your Voice
This weekend, someone told me that they hated the sound of their voice. I replied with a much too flippant “everyone hates the sound of their voice.”
Flippant or not, I think my response was kind of true. Our voices sound different to us than they do to everyone else. When we hear a recording of our voice, we are likely to have an Yzma moment. Yes, I’m sad to say. That is your voice. Nothing you can do about it except get used to it. Because you want to know who doesn’t think your voice sounds weird? Everyone else. Many of them have been listening to you for years and do you know why none of them have complained about how horrible you sound when you speak? Possibly because they aren’t assholes but, more likely, they think you sound just fine.
Being in a band that produces CDs, I’ve heard recordings of my voice so often, you would think I’d be used to how it sounds.
Every time I listen to a recording of a song, I ask myself how I could change my voice so it wouldn’t suck so damn much. I wonder why anyone ever asks me to sing out loud. Does James Earl Jones hate his voice?
I want to believe that Jones listens to recordings of his voice and hates it just as much as the rest of us hate ours. He probably wonders why nobody asked Martin Short to be Darth Vader because Short could have totally killed as a Lord of the Sith.
I’ve actually re-educated myself about my voice over the years. I don’t hate it quite as much as I used to. Maybe I’ve heard my voice so often I’ve become inoculated against it.
If so, did listening to my voice cause autism?
We have a lot of control over our voices and that might be why so many people hate the way they sound. There is an unconscious feeling that our voice should be completely adjustable.
It is adjustable. The problem is, we don’t really know what adjustments we’ve made until we hear a recording of what we said. And then we think “Well fuck. I don’t sound anything like Sean Connery.”
Good news. To Sean Connery, he doesn’t sound anything like Sean Connery!
So back to my flippant statement, which is (mostly) true. Everyone hates the sound of their voice. But nobody hates the sound of your voice. Nobody cares.
You know why? Because they are too busy worrying about their voice to think about yours.