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Why You Hate Your Own Voice

Written by: Katarina Hornakova, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever listened to a recording of your own voice and thought to yourself: Do I really sound like that? Here is a little secret: you are not the only one wondering about the sound of your voice. We all feel that way.

The reason behind this phenomenon is simple physiology and a whole lot of psychology.

When you listen to a recording, sound waves travel from the device through the air until they reach your middle ear and your inner ear. There, the sound energy is transferred into neural signals and that's how you hear.

But when you speak, there is one additional method of sound energy transfer. Vibrations from your voice box travel through the structures of your head, including the bones. Therefore, this process is called bone conduction. This additional sound energy is picked up by our inner ear. Your voice sounds deeper and warmer than it normally is because bone conduction transfers mostly low frequencies. This means that your voice on a recording sounds higher-pitched, weak, thin or even squeaky.

This is something that happens to everyone. You cannot change this. What you can change is how you feel about your voice. And that’s where psychology comes in. Your voice makes up a big part of your self-identity and when you hear your voice on a recording, the sound you hear and your self-identity image may not align. This can be very disturbing to some people. Nobody wants to hear that they are not who they think they are.

The good news is that other people don’t make the same judgments about your voice. You are (most likely) the worst critic of your own voice. Stop judging and start loving your voice!

Here are three tips to start loving your voice:

  1. Know that this is normal and it happens to everyone. Your body’s physiology and psychology are playing with you.

  2. Don't compare yourself to the voices of other people. Your voice is unique and you will never sound like them! Also, the quality of a home recording is inferior to a recording in a professional recording studio. Stop comparing yourself to other people. It’s not a fair comparison!

  3. When you listen to a recording of your own voice, just listen. Don’t judge. Quiet the inner critic and listen to your voice with an open mind. Do not have expectations. Do not analyze, do not try to figure out why it sounds the way it sounds. Just listen. Even better! Find one aspect of your voice that you actually enjoy. Do you like the tone of some words? Do you like the rate of your speech? Do you sound friendly or authoritative?

Record yourself on a regular basis and you will get used to listening to your own voice. After you listen to the recording, always find a few aspects that you like about your voice. Say them out loud or write them down on a piece of paper and compliment yourself! It feels good and it builds confidence. Start developing this skill today.

Follow Katarina on her Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and visit her website for more info.


Katarina Hornakova, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Katarina Hornakova is a licensed speech-language pathologist, vocal health coach and educator with 20+ years of experience working with diverse groups of people from all corners of the world, including speakers, singers, musicians, teachers, presenters, voice over actors, entrepreneurs, yoga instructors, health educators, and others. She has published several books and articles on speech, language and voice disorders. Katarina is most passionate about helping people who experience vocal tension, strain or even pain when speaking, find more vocal ease and confidence to share their message with the people around them. Her mission is to give voice to those who have lost it. She continues to develop her deep fascination with the human voice through the Estill Voice System model, which formed her belief that “every voice is beautiful”. Katarina has helped hundreds of people discover their true vocal potential. She is a curious life-long learner herself who loves to meet new people, cook, and travel.



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