Why Do We Hate the Sound of Our Own Voice?

14 June 2018

By Bronwen

Only complete narcissists can stand the sound of their own voice on recordings. Most people absolutely cringe when they watch videos of themselves talking and there’s a reason why.

Hating your own voice is a curious phenomenon really, especially when you consider that you’ve heard yourself talk more than anyone else. So why is it so horrendous to listen to? The main reason you hate recordings of your voice so much is mainly just because you’re not used to hearing how it actually sounds. When you talk, the sound waves travel through your skull into your ear rather than through the air like other external sounds. This makes you believe that your voice is deeper than it really is. Therefore when you listen to your voice in videos, you’ll notice that you sound much more high pitched than you believed. The hatred of your voice really comes from the shock factor of actually hearing it.

Dr Yale Cohen, director of the Hearing Sciences Center at the University of Pennsylvania explains why:

“Imagine you didn’t have a mirror for six months and you had a perception of what you looked like. Meanwhile, you start eating lots of food and you gain lots of weight. If you [suddenly looked in a mirror], you’d be shocked.”

It may be reassuring to know that the way you perceive your voice when you talk isn’t how other people perceive it. How you hear yourself on recordings is actually how your voice sounds but rest assured that your voice isn’t weird or squeaky, your brain is just confused.


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