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I don't know what my real voice is

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Mikey2829

New member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Manchester
Hi,

I'm a 26 year old guy. My voice always changes. It depends on who I speak to, or if I'm nervous. If I'm speaking to a family member or close friend, it's usually fairly deep and consistent. But with any other interaction, with a stranger, or in the office, it changes. It changes in pitch, tone and even accent it seems. A colleague once remarked that my voice changes. It's so frustrating and I don't know what to do about it. I've always been quiet and introverted, and have never really been a fan of talking a lot. I didn't speak until I was 3 or 4. Sometimes it feels physically demanding when speaking, even just for a short while. I live on my own, and with all the Corona, I have gone maybe a few days at a time without talking to anyone. I wonder if lack of use of the voice could be a factor?

This is really getting me down and affecting my confidence. I'm too afraid to speak in groups or meetings at work because it feels like I have to really force it for anything to come out. I'm afraid it would go high, which it has before. I think people are aware that my voice changes, and that makes me afraid to speak. It's embarassing. I've read advice on how to project your voice from the diaphraghm, opening mouth more rounded etc, but it just feels so forced. It's exasperating how something as simple as speaking is such an ordeal for me.

There are times where I have been more relaxed and have spoken more naturally and consistently, on the phone to a customer agent, or in a shop. But sometimes in a shop, my voice is so tense and croaky, and the words hardly come out. Even if my voice is consistent, it feels like I have different consistent voices, in terms of tone and accent. I was born in the north to a northern family,but grew up down south, so I've always had a neutral nothing accent. It also gets to me that I don't identify with a place and have a proper English accent.

My voice is also deeper and more consistent when I'm drunk or tipsy, lower inhibitions, so I'm thinking it must be the stress and anxiety. But I also do have mild asthma and I'm thinking it could be a physical issue. I read that steroid inhalers can damage vocal cords. It always is such a strain if I have to project my voice or speak to someone who is a bit further away. My diet isn't great, maybe it could be down to that.

This has only been an issue the last year or so. I always used to think my voice sounded too high when it reality it isn't really. I think worrying about that has made me alter it. I can also do impressions and other accents for a laugh, and I speak a few other European languages. I wonder if this could also be a factor as to not knowing what my real voice is.

I'm just so exasperated, I don't know what to do. I will try the doctor, maybe I need something for stress. I hate speaking in groups of more than three people. I can't even speak to someone in the office because I'm so self-conscious of other people hearing me. It's not really people that make me anxious, but more just the anxiety about my voice.

Any advice would be really appreciated thanks, sorry it was a long post!
 
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Daringdan

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
147
Location
Louisville, Ky
Mikey,
As you wrote, you can do impressions. I think you are just a unique person who has learned to modulate his voice for a variety of different circumstances. I think you could reinforce the fact that you are unique by doing more impressions. People love it when you can nail a good impression and I think they would be understanding that an impressionists has alot of vocal range.
 
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BornGone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
96
Location
Germany
I do the same thing around strangers. My voice gets higher somewhat 'lighter' when I am with new people. I started to notice it when I worked in retail for a while as a part time job.
But I think that it is acutally normal to do that when you are anxious. I feel like my normal voice is to cold and defensive which is why with strangers I change it unwillingly to a nicer more welcoming voice.
That apparently can also happen when you talk to someone you have a crush one. The darker voice is usually used with people you trust or people you know because they won't feel attacked or brushed of by it.
So I think you perfectly normal in that aspect.
 
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Mikey2829

New member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Manchester
Thanks for your replies guys! Maybe I should embrace the impressions haha. Yes there's definitely something going on with the unfamiliarity and tone.
 
Rex Smith

Rex Smith

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
340
Location
San Diego
I'm sure it's normal to change your voice and style of communication for different environments and people. I've been observing and mimicking people for as long as I can remember.

People will slow/speed up and lower/increase volume of their speech when talking to children, elderly, indoor, and outdoor.

They also change their accent and eliminate slang words when speaking to people from different regions of the world.

When excited, angry, nervous, serious, happy, etc emotions changes you've voice. No one has the same sound all the time.

What changed over a year or so ago that made you be so self critical? Understanding that could help overcome this issue you're having. Your not alone.
 
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