Too often I hear people saying they don’t like their own voice, and you might be among these, but good news: there’s a scientific reason for this!
Also, there are ways to change your perception and to start loving your sounds. Read below to know how!
If you have ever heard your voice and thought things like “I don’t like my voice”, “When I hear my recorded voice I cringe”, “My voice sounds different when I hear it recorded”, “I don’t like hearing my own voice” – you’re not alone (yes, me too). The good news is that there is a very good explanation for it!
Science says that we hear our voice differently from within because of the resonance of our own body. The sound that travels from your vocal folds to your ears through your skin and bones typically sounds lower in pitch compared to the sound conducted by air. This means that when you listen to your own recorded voice, it tends to sound less ‘rich’ or ‘full’ and more ‘thin’ because you’re no longer hearing the lower frequencies conducted by the bones that you could hear in your head.
It took me years to accept that my recorded voice was in fact the voice everyone heard from outside. But it only sounds weird to you! People have always heard your voice as it is and appreciated it nonetheless.
Working with the voice may imply passing through a phase of acceptance which will let you be able to love your voice again and work with it without prejudice and without being too harsh with yourself.
Here are some tips to start working towards the acceptance of your own sound:
- record yourself regularly to get used to this new perceived sound.
- When you listen back to it write down what you don’t like (you can work on this with your vocal coach) but also what you DO like. This will give you a new perspective on what you hear.
- If listening to a recording right away is too hard, wait for a couple of days before listening. This will give take away some of the bias.
- Write the comments about your voice as if you were speaking to a friend or a child and use words of encouragement
Remember that saying you don’t like your voice doesn’t really mean anything and it’s only self destructive. What it is that you don’t like specifically? Start giving a name to what you don’t like and what you like. That way you can work on it if you want to and improve. But remember that your perception may be biased because of the difference between what you hear through your skull and what actually comes out.
Here’s a little list of things to notice about your voice that could help you identify your strengths and/or weaknesses:
- Use of Pauses
- Articulation and diction
- Presence/absence of twang
- Presence/absence of breathiness
- Depth of tone
- Brightness and/or Warmth
These are only some examples, and you can describe what you hear with whatever word or feeling you want. Just be specific without saying things like “I don’t like anything about my voice”, or just a general “I don’t like my voice”. Remember that it may take sometime to readjust to this new perception. It took me a few years, after many audiences had complimented me on my voice, I still wasn’t convinced. Then one day, listening to my second album I was like, “wait a minute, I am actually not that bad!”.
So here you go, remember that you’re not alone and it’s all in your head (literally!) – and also that there is a way out.
Use the list up here or try finding your way to describe the characteristics of your voice and feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email to email@example.com to tell me what you notice. What do you like? What would you like to improve?