The Reason You Hate The Sound Of Your Own Voice

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Ever had the misfortune to hear a recording of your own voice and been shocked at how awful your voice sounds? Well you’re not alone. 

It’s actually extremely common to hate the sound of your own voice when you hear a recording because it’s not the voice you hear when you talk.

The reason why you sound so different, according to TIME magazine, is because when you hear people, or recordings of people talking, sound waves cause your eardrums to vibrate and your brain interprets this as sound.

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When you talk though your vocal cords and airways also vibrate, so you receive two sources of sound; the sound waves you make when you speak and your vocal cord vibrations.

This stereo effect distorts the way you hear your own voice and leads to people not recognising their own it when they hear a recording.

According to experts when we hear a recording of our voice we hear it the way everyone else does which can be quite disturbing if you build your identity around the way you sound.

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Martin Birchall, a professor of laryngology at University College London explained:

We get used to the sound we hear in our heads, even though it’s a distorted sound. We build our self-image and vocal self image around what we hear, rather than the reality.

For people with gender issues, hearing that their voice sounds like someone of the opposite sex’s can be a really big issue.

We like to think that the way we are talking fits with our own gender identity and when we feel we are in the wrong body or our voice isn’t representative of who we are then that can be a major deal.

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Thankfully you don’t have to keep the voice you were born with, Birchall explains that speech therapy allows people to improve their cadence or alter the rhythms of their pitch.

Patients undergoing gender reassignment surgery also often under go an operation to alter their pitch.


Tom Percival

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.