Why Do You Hate The Sound of Your Voice?


(Photo Source: Pexels)

Yvette Estevez, Copy Editor

I was just recently listening to a voice memo of mine and I began to cringe at hearing the sound of my voice. For some reason, I thought my voice sounded more….elegant? I do not know what I was really expecting, but I just did not think my voice sounded so high pitch.  


When I spoke to some of my friends about listening to their own voice, they agreed. So why do we hate the sound of our voices?


It is just part of your body


It comes down to a science. 


Insider said that “In the way our body is laid out, our mouth is pretty close to our ears, but we hear our own voice through our bones. Other people hear it through the air. Bones and air have very different densities, so the sound is filtered differently — it’s simple physics.”


Time further explains that when others are listening to people talk, the sound waves from that person go through the air into the ears where they vibrate in the eardrums and the brain turns the vibrations into sounds. “However, when you’re the one talking, your vocal cords and airways also vibrate. That means that you receive two sources of sound: the sound waves that travel into your ears from your own voice, as well as vocal cord vibrations.”

We hear our voices differently because the sound goes through the sinuses where there are empty spaces and into the middle of the ears, which makes our voice sound different to use than to others. 

So, a person interprets their voice to be a mix of both sounds, yet everyone else hearing them hears solely the external stimulus. That is why people are shocked to hear what they sound like on a recording because it is not what they hear when they talk, but rather the person is hearing their real voice- the external stimulus.




Another reason why we cringe when hearing our own voices is that people are not very good at recognizing their own voices. We do not spend time listening to recordings of us talking, so it seems as though we are actually strangers to the real sound of our voices. 


The voice in our head is a lot more different than the voice that comes out of our mouths. Time notes that we use the voice we hear subconsciously to create “our self-image and vocal self-image” rather than what our real voice sounds like.  


When we hear ourselves talk, it is often a shock. A study done in 2013 by the National Library of Medicine asked their participants to record their voices. Afterward, the participants listened to other people’s voice recordings and chose which sounded the most attractive, but they did not know that their own voice recordings were in the mix. Participants then ended up rating their own voice as more attractive than others.


It is not uncommon to think that your voice sounds odd or not too like it, but everyone’s voice is beautiful and is worth hearing.