Modulating your voice

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  • 1 Post By DaniGirl88
  • 1 Post By Trick
  • 1 Post By Dedachan

Not sure if I'm the only person who does this, but I'll hold a different cadence and tone to my voice by default, when I'm getting to know a guy I'm attracted to.

I can be self-conscious about my voice/how I speak because my older brothers used to give me a hard time about having a bad, monotone voice and being hard to listen to. That insecurity translates into this knee-jerk change of voice. When I actually think about it during or after I'm speaking and it's not my natural way of speaking, it definitely bothers me. I've been dating a guy for two and a half weeks and I'm realizing now that I need to start being myself in that regard, and it's a shame to have not been from the beginning.

Just curious if anyone else can relate!
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Last edited by sew and sew; 01-01-2014 at 03:30 PM. Reason: bad punctuation ;)
I hear my voice rise in pitch (not volume) when I speak with women I like, but I tend toward a sarcastic tone with men. So, yes, I know what you mean.

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When at work I keep my voice at a calm, even, level. I may put a little more emphasis on a word, or slow down my annunciation to let the responders know that something is up, but that is it. It's my normal, calm, speaking voice but I am a little more crazy when you talk to me in person. Whenever my friends introduced me to someone new they would say, "If you hear any squeals, beeps, buzzes, funny voices, impersonations or WeeeeeoooohAh's during the night... It's her". I can't do that on work time, but I am me otherwise.

Sorry your brothers made you feel bad about your voice. My oldest worked with me until I lost most of my accent. He did it so I would not have a hard time getting a job, which is ridiculous but sadly true. Part if me still wishes he would not have done that, but I can turn my roots back on when needed


I had a friend who changed her speech and her whole attitude when she drank and spoke to men. It's not because anyone made her self aware, she just became very strange when drunk. She turned into a valley girl, and did some rather dangerous stuff. I was always looking at her saying, "who are you?"
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I tend to so this when speaking (the very little bit that I know) Spanish
No, I don't do this but I have met several men who do. They sounded like Tone Loc the first few times but more and more like PeeWee Hermanish as our interactions continued.

And I knew a woman who did this, too. All breathless and phone-sex like while on the phone (talking to ME! for a professional reason) and just round the way when we spoke in person.

Stop!
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In the US and related cultures (like Canada and the UK), people modulate the pitch of their voice depending on their gender and their relationship to the listener. The more distant the relationship, the more women pitch their voices up and men pitch their voices down. As you get to know someone better (or become closer to them in rank), you alter your voice less and less around them. It may stand out more in certain people, but everyone does it.

Some gay men don't change their pitch by much, as an expression of identity. It's a notable feature of the "gay voice."

Last edited by Eilonwy; 01-02-2014 at 06:44 PM.
I can relate. I always talk in a stupid high pitched little girl voice. I hate it. It's embarrassing to talk to people sometimes.
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It's the funniest thing when my father encounters a work colleague or answers the phone. He uses such a low pitched "manly" voice, not at all relaxed.

I have a gay friend who uses his "gay voice" around his other gay friends, while sounding very "straight" at work. With close female friends who know about his sexuality, such as myself, I think it's half and half.

I don't know if I change my pitch. I have noticed that I sometimes dumb down my English if the person I'm speaking to isn't a native or fluent speaker, for fear that they won't catch up. And if I am ever around a gaścho (someone from the south of Brazil), there's something about their accent that is contagious and I get self-conscious because it might seem like I am making fun of them.
I know my boss and coworkers tease me, saying they can tell when I'm talking to a man on the phone, that my tone changes. I'm not aware of it (mostly) there are times when I hear myself and think wtf? Why am I speaking like this?

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I noticed my voice/dialect changes when I talk to women who talk like valley/sorority girls and kids. I hear myself doing it and while I hate it, it just happens.
I have noticed that I sometimes dumb down my English if the person I'm speaking to isn't a native or fluent speaker, for fear that they won't catch up. And if I am ever around a gaścho (someone from the south of Brazil), there's something about their accent that is contagious and I get self-conscious because it might seem like I am making fun of them.
Originally Posted by Dedachan
I noticed my voice/dialect changes when I talk to women who talk like valley/sorority girls and kids. I hear myself doing it and while I hate it, it just happens.
Originally Posted by Josephine
This is called accommodation. It's a pretty interesting topic, as it includes both making your speech more similar to that of your listener and making your speech more different.
I have noticed that I sometimes dumb down my English if the person I'm speaking to isn't a native or fluent speaker, for fear that they won't catch up. And if I am ever around a gaścho (someone from the south of Brazil), there's something about their accent that is contagious and I get self-conscious because it might seem like I am making fun of them.
Originally Posted by Dedachan
I noticed my voice/dialect changes when I talk to women who talk like valley/sorority girls and kids. I hear myself doing it and while I hate it, it just happens.
Originally Posted by Josephine
This is called accommodation. It's a pretty interesting topic, as it includes both making your speech more similar to that of your listener and making your speech more different.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
I agree. This method of accommodating your voice and language is very interesting to study. We also accommodate our body language as well (although many times we don't realize it).

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I raise the pitch of my voice a bit when I'm speaking to someone in a crowded bar because higher tones are easier to hear than lower tones (just like in band class, you can have like 10 flutes but you still only need 1 piccolo!), but I do that regardless of the person's gender and I am doing it on purpose because it works.
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I have noticed that I sometimes dumb down my English if the person I'm speaking to isn't a native or fluent speaker, for fear that they won't catch up. And if I am ever around a gaścho (someone from the south of Brazil), there's something about their accent that is contagious and I get self-conscious because it might seem like I am making fun of them.
Originally Posted by Dedachan
I noticed my voice/dialect changes when I talk to women who talk like valley/sorority girls and kids. I hear myself doing it and while I hate it, it just happens.
Originally Posted by Josephine
This is called accommodation. It's a pretty interesting topic, as it includes both making your speech more similar to that of your listener and making your speech more different.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
How interesting! Thanks
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