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Do I sound like that? Saturday June 17, 2017

It seemed like a simple task. I was asked to record some stories for a woman who is losing her sight. I like reading, I like talking, what could be easier. I thought I would find a cassette recorder (now those who are technologically advanced will see my first problem.) How did I know that the digital recorders were so tiny that my chubby fingers could not operate the delicate dials?

So, I finally got the recorder working and then tried to play it back. All I heard was this screeching voice nagging at my partner - who could that be? Not me? I had no idea of how awful I sounded - in my defence I was trying to explain to him what to do.

I have never liked hearing my recorded voice as I sound like a cross between a patronising kindergarten teacher and a bossy prison guard.

There is that saying about seeing us as others see us but I heard myself as others hear me and it was not pretty!!

I know I can nag a bit well maybe a lot at times but I never knew how horrible I sounded.

It really was a wake up call. I would like to say that I have never nagged my partner again but that would be less than truth.

I try to catch myself and remember how awful I sound. I still hate the sound of my voice but before I start complaining/nagging I try to remember how really awful I sound.

Do you ever see/hear how others see or hear you? Are you ever surprised?

Has it changed your behaviour?

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 1:32am

Hi Leah, I think we can be too quick to criticise ourselves but this reminded me of a time when I was away with my husband years ago (before we married) on a city break and it was when mobile phones started to become more advanced and there was a recording facility on my phone which I had no idea was on there and somehow I must have pressed some button as it recorded the end of our evening, to which we had got into an argument and I sounded like the most evil person ever - I thought surely that cannot be me !! Has it changed my behaviour ? Nope !! I think I am worse now !! He still married me though !! Perhaps I need to record myself again and I might learn to be able to give him some temporary peace. Molly xx

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 6:17am

Molly you make me smile and nod. To be honest I usually only remember how horrible I sound when I nag afterwards. let me know if listening to yourself helps in changing your behaviour. Leah xx

Molly Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm

Leah, I'm not really going to record myself ! It was a joke ! Xx

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:41pm

I knew it was a joke!

Molly Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 11:38pm

Ah ok - you are drier than me lol xx

Leah Tue, Jun 20th 2017 @ 10:24am

Not sure it was my dry humour or yours that I recognised. Xx

David Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 6:55am

Hello Molly,
I can relate to your blog, do you know there are talking books I know a person who records these.

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 6:57am

Hi David . actually I wrote the blog, and Molly commented. Yes I know there are audio books but the woman I was reading books for wanted books read they are not available on audio books. Thanks for your comment. Leah

Jane SG Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 7:35am

Hi Leah, I've seen a few videos of myself recently, reading leaving poems to departing colleagues. I sound really posh -yuk! I can change the tone of my voice though if I want to. Funnily enough my nickname at work is 'Lady Jane' but not because I sometimes sound posh. It's because I won the 'splat game' once. That's another story....!!! Xx

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 8:20am

lady Jane It is funny how we sound to ourselves, The splat game sounds very posh.

Hopeful One Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 7:44am

Hi Leah - you do write some interesting , thought provoking insightful blogs so thanks for that. Today's blog got me thinking and I wondered whether we were confusing our voice with its individual characteristics such as pitch , timbre, its rise and fall with the words that the voice is conveying. We know it's not what we say but how we say it that affects the listener. People will long forget WHAT we said but they will always remember the feeling it created in them like good , bad, happy or sad. So I reckon your voice is probably OK but not what you put in it in the form of words. I found out when I started to learn how to sing with a voice coach. She brought out the difference between my singing voice and my talking voice and I can tell you it was revealing. She also showed me microphone techniques and I realised that the reproduction of our voice by a mechanical device is affected by many factors and can be manipulated. So what you heard played back to you may not be accurate.

Onwards and upwards with our laugh

While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist's boat capsized. Although he could swim, his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the capsized craft. Finally spotting a man at the shore, he shouted out to him, "Hey, are there any 'gators around here?" "Nope," the man yelled back. "Ain't been any 'gators 'round these parts for years!" Feeling more at ease, the tourist commenced swimming leisurely towards shore. When he was about halfway there, he shouted out to the at the shore again, "How'd you get rid of the 'gators?" "Oh, we didn't do nothin'," the guy yelled back. "The sharks got every last one of 'em!"

LP Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 7:57am

:)) Thanks HO! :))

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 8:22am

Hopeful One Thanks for your useful tips. I think the words Iuse and my tone are both annoying. Your joke is an old but a goody.

the room above the garage Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 7:46am

Hello Leah :-) I agree, do we ever sound and look like we think we sound and look? Never! But tell me more about your project? This is my idea of heaven, reading books aloud for someone to use. Will you sit with a pile or is it just a few? Do you have a local hospital radio? They might be able to help you...offering the use of their equipment and booth will improve the quality hugely and you might even like what you hear. Over here it's all volunteer run so I don't imagine there'd be any charge. Love ratg x.

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 8:26am

Ratg we have lots of audio books available but she wants certain romance books and crime fiction that. Are not on audio. My partner does the editing on the computer. Thanks for your advice.

LP Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 7:55am

Hi Leah,
I like the plain honesty of your blog :) Simple and uncomplicated. I have much to learn from that! :)

I know exactly what you mean. I agree too with Molly, about these behaviours sometimes increasing as we get older. Sometimes I care less about what people think and just tell it like it is. I can be very blunt at times like that. As in your description, it's often in frustration. A kind of "Why won't you listen?"! :)

I also agree with Molly that we can be far too hard on ourselves.
We must be careful not to go too far with putting ourselves down.
Many people have feelings of self loathing, perhaps from the past and so it is so helpful for exploring these feelings.

I like the message about noticing something that we would like to improve and moving forward with it, as long as it is with self compassion, gentleness and care.

I would love to be "comfortable in my own skin". We are human beings and no one is perfect. There is always room for small steps of self improvement, so I guess it's about balance.

Sometimes an event can lead to that "wake up call" that you've described, leading to a turning point for the better. To turning our lives around.

I like the positivity in the idea that there is "something that I would like to do" .
Rather than focussing on something that I don't like.
Easier said than done for sure!

Thanks as always for a very thought provoking blog Leah, I'm so grateful for people who regularly write blogs for us. Take care of yourself, and wishing the same to all. Love LP xx

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 8:30am

LP Thanks for your kind words. You make many valid points. Being comfortable with ourselves just the way we are is worth aiming for, Leahxx

Orangeblossom Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 9:25am

Thanks for your blog Leah. Self-acceptance is a good starting point for growth & transformation. I think I have reached that self-acceptance and then something happens & I I expose my inner less likeable self. I no longer accept myself & have to rebegin the process. I don't like my voice but my husband says he does, so have to graciously accept this and move on.

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 9:40am

Orangeblossom Thanks for your comment.Self acceptance can be difficult if others are being critical of you.

The Gardener Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 9:30am

Hi Leah, fascinating as all your blogs. As if English news not bad enough our friends in Adelaide tell us their 55 year old son in law has early onset dementia. Dealing with my tyrannical husband this morning how I feel for them all, particularly his wife - she tried a holiday in the Flinders Rangers, pretty disastrous - last holiday I tried with Mr G was equally disastrous. If there had not been loss of life one could have had another good laugh at the yanks, who managed to hit a tanker with a state of the art destroyer in Tokyo harbour! Enough, voices. Mine is an amalgam of Mrs Thatcher, the Queen and a bossy head-mistress. I was taking 'A' level Italian, private study, but thought I ought to talk to an Italian for the Oral. She was florentine, said to be perfect Italian. She got me to read two sentences, then cried 'Stop'. 'You speak my language like your Queen making a speech!'. My few radio broadcasts have seemed OK - French and English - no annoying mannerisms. I'm always trying to improve my French accent - regarded as 'Scolaire' dry and precise. I often read in church. People come up to me in the street and congratulate me - they say I speak clearly, slowly, notice the punctuation, and use the mike correctly - never mind the lessening English accent. This morning I have been screeching, no other word. Mr G has started the schoolchild 'yeh yeh yeh yeh' would you believe it?

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 9:44am

Queen Gardiner Thanks for yout thoughtful comment. Early onset dementia i fear will become more prevalent and I worry about it as My mum had dementia. I sometimes turn of the news and just watch the kookaburra who flies around my backyard. French people I meet in my shop can't understand my Australian accent but like the American accent as they hear it on TV.

The Gardener Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:29am

Dear Leah - accents! In UK, people who have never left Oxfordshire, suffolk, Cornwall, Wales, Manchester and in particular might as well be speaking a foreign language for visitors. In the Far East many people have learned their 'English' from TV - usually from gangsters movies - going to a temple ceremony in Bali we passed villagers glued to the only TV watching 'MIami Vice' or some such.

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:31am

I don't have a typical Australian accent that isn't typical but that you hear in movies or on to shows. Most people feel they don't have an accent but everyone else does.

The Gardener Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:30am

The 'in particular' should be Glasgow!

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:42pm

Was that auto cue, or you being distracted?? Quite odd!

Dolphin Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 12:05pm

Thanks for your blog Leah - lots to ponder. In my response to the blog on boundaries, I noted how I don't have a realistic view of how others perceive me and can't work out if I am a harridan or a doormat! Like LP, my current view is that I should just be myself since I know I have held my tongue a lot of my life so probably the harridan needs some space. I also know that I remember criticism rather than praise, as so many of you seem to do. Recording sounds a good idea, though it would be difficult not to be aware of it if you do it on purpose....

The first time I saw myself on video was in a training course on communication. I was shocked at how much I looked and sounded like my mother. Did it change my behaviour? No, I couldn't even concentrate on the presentation, all I could see was the likeness!!

There have been such useful responses, so thank you to everyone else too. xx

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:45pm

Dolphin Thanks for your comment. That is interesting noticing a likeness to your mother and then only focusing on that. I notice that a cousin's voice sounds like mine when I hear her on a FB video. Harridan is not a word one hears much these days! It is true we recall criticism and not praise. Thanks again for your thoughts. Leah xx

The Gardener Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 2:39pm

On the subject of audio books - they are an art in themselves. My mother in law, blind in one eye for most of her life, read avidly until old age and cataract made it impossible (cataract ops were more complicated then - I'm talking the 80's). She had a great range of casettes sent from the RNIB. She found that unless the voices of the readers of characters were very distinctive she lost the thread. I started reading aloud to Mr G since 2009 (macular degeneration) and found it an art. Books with great chunks of description were a no-no. Learning to speak dialogue, making one's voice question and answer - real acting (I'm no actress) to show emotions. I've stopped now, his concentration very low, and I keep going to sleep. I used to read things like the 'Oldie' to keep him 'in the picture', but, although we listen to Radio 4 a lot on line he loses interest very quickly. Dolphin, training is also an art. Lecturers! One we called the 'caged lion'. In a 19th century steeply raked lecture theatre he'd pace back and forth, so you only heard him on the way back! Then we had 'linked' lectures between Uni of London colleges - the filmed lectures would weave back and forth like charmed snakes, half the time not even on screen! Obviously no training or monitoring.

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:50pm

Gardener, Thanks for your thoughts on audio books. The books I have been reading as I said before are romances and crime fiction. I suppose I was thinking I might be reading classics. Is that snobby? I find even in the romances there are surnames and places that are hard to pronounce. The caged lion would be hard to listen to.

Melanie Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 3:15pm

Moral of the blog- take care not to record yourself when you are having an argument. Second moral - if you accidentally do - don't listen to it! OR if you are hoping to put yourself off ever having and argument do the opposite. Normal speech probably sounds lovely. I hear a lot in someone's voice - a friend sounded depressed - I realise now her voice is brighter. Sometimes I hear the depression at the time. Thank you Leah for a brave, honest, thought provoking blog. lol xoxo

Leah Sat, Jun 17th 2017 @ 10:52pm

Melanie, I was told that how my voice sounds on tape is how everyone else hears it. I like the way You can hear a difference in epople's voices. Thanks for your comments and I like your first and second moral. Made me smile. Leah xx

Estefania Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 9:29am

I read the comment from The Gardener and it made me chuckle. As a Spaniard living in Scotland my accent horrifies me (ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration) I learned English from the locals, but it is impossible not to sound Spanish. Some of my English friends laugh at the contrast, and when I've heard myself in some videos I cringe at the weird accent and the excessive faces that I put while taking. The funny thing is, from family and some friends point of view, I have always been a bit inexpressive, but hey, I guess it depends who you compare yourself with. I like your blog :-)

Leah Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 10:12am

Estefania I think a Spaniard with a Scottish accent sounds great or a Spaniard speaking English with a Spanish accent. Don't worry about accents you can speak 2 languages or more. Thanks for your reply.

Poppy Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 1:18pm

I wish I knew more about how others perceive me! Hearing my recorded voice doesn't seem to be enough. I know my voice sounds slow and nasal when recorded. But that only gives me an idea of the sound. I need feedback on how I make people feel.

Rarely, if ever, do people share. I've been told they are afraid to honestly share with me, afraid of my emotional response. So I've been trained by this behavior to stuff things inside—I guess I don't have to spell out what consequences that brings.

Which brings me to another point. I'm a truth-teller, this according to my dear therapist. She's how I got the nickname "Tall Poppy." Not many here in the US know the expression, but it has meaning for me. I find myself speaking the raw truth when no one else wants to point out the pink elephant in the room.

So I'm at one extreme or another—saying too much, which seems to drive people away, or bottling up my thoughts and feelings often resulting in fantastical self explosions. Either way, it's led to extreme loneliness.

Have others struggled with this dichotomy?

Molly Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 2:26pm

Hi Poppy, I can so relate to this. I had to look up the word dichotomy, but yes this is definitely me! Speaking the raw truth, then feeling guilty, or bottling things up and then exploding. I have BPD which could explain it. It's a no win situation and very hard to live with. You have explained it so well and it's a comfort to know others experience the same struggle. Molly xx

Leah Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 11:05pm

POppy Thanks for your grea reply that brings up many interesting points. I too struggle with the dichotomy of saying too much or bolting up. I used to put it down to my bipolar as when I was manic I would talk way too much and inappropriately and when depressed stay silent. Now on medication I sometimes experience the same struggle as I want to be honest but I dont want to hurt people. I can never seem to find the balance. In Australia we have Tally Poppy Sydnerome which means we like to 'cut down ' or criticise those people who are successful-the tall poppies. Thanks again for your honesty and insights.

Leah Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 11:07pm

Molly, I am guessing there would be other moodscopers reading this who feel the same. I agree Poppy explained it so well.

Leah Sun, Jun 18th 2017 @ 11:08pm

Should be Syndrome

Molly Thu, Jun 22nd 2017 @ 4:32pm

Interesting therefore, Leah, about today's post, being careful about what you say, it is all about personality I think. I would love to be one of those people that speaks their mind and then doesn't care what people think, rather than speak my mind and then worry myself silly about what I have said. I hate to hurt people, but my honesty and need to get things off my chest, does just that xx

Jul Tue, Jun 20th 2017 @ 9:00am

Hello Leah. Apologies for the late response. I read your blog while away and now back I can comment. I found Hopeful One's comment interesting when he said, it's not the words , but how they make us feel. I wish that were not true. If I am rattled about something someone has said or done, I will try to explain until I'm blue in the face but I can tell from the expression on that person's face that the way they feel is not allowing them to understand where I am coming from and exactly what I am saying. I hadn't really thought about this before but I think H O is correct for most people, maybe dare I say it for men more than women? I don't like the sound of my own voice if I hear it recorded but others say I've got a nice voice. I don't like the look on my face when I'm sounding off. i.e. angry, though. But that's different. Interesting blog thank you Leah. Julxx

Leah Tue, Jun 20th 2017 @ 10:23am

Jul Thanks for the effort to post . I appreciate that. I think it i true that if someone gets upset by what you say and that was not your intention , they will not change thei minds no matter what you say. I did not think anyone has ever said I have a nice voice but that's another story.

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