This Genius Trick Will Let You Hear How Your Voice Sounds to Others

If you hate the sound of your own voice, try this.

If hearing the sound of your own voice over a recording makes you cringe, join the club. As it turns out, hating your own voice is so common there's even a name for it: "voice confrontation." And though scientists first noticed the phenomenon back in the '60s, knowing that it's a common problem doesn't exactly make your own voice any more palatable.

But according to Bob Feeser, a 28-year-old voice actor on Tik Tok, there's something you can do about it. In a video demonstration, he showed his followers how you can use a simple trick to hear how your voice sounds to others, and adjust accordingly—or at least get used to the sound of it.

Luckily, there's good news if you side with the latter camp: just because you cringe at the sound of your voice doesn't mean it's irritating to others and there's likely no need to change. Your dislike is a natural reaction to the sound being unfamiliar, Feeser explains. "The voice you're familiar with is your voice through the reverberation in your skull. You're hearing a distorted version of your own voice all the time," he says in the video. "What you sound like to other people doesn't have that extra bit of reverb."

To try out Feeser's trick, simply straighten your hands in front of your ears, just behind your jaw bone. Now speak! See how it seems to throw your voice, but in a slightly higher pitch? That's what you sound like to other people.

But why are our voices so much higher than we think? As BBC explains, when you hear your voice, you're hearing it two ways at once. "The first is through vibrating sound waves hitting your eardrum, the way other people hear your voice. The second way is through vibrations inside your skull set off by your vocal cords," the news outlet said. "Those vibrations travel up through your bony skull and again set the eardrum vibrating. However as they travel through the bone they spread out and lower in pitch, giving you a false sense of bass."

So, if you want to learn to love your voice, it may just take some getting used to (a few hundred more Zoom meetings should do the trick). Trust us—chances are, no one else is cringing while you talk, so there's no reason to pipe down. And for more useful hacks, here's The Single Best Trick for Wearing a Face Mask When It's Hot Out.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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