Why You Subconsciously Change Your Voice in Different Situations

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Sometimes we realize that our voice sounds different from what we’re used to. It can be higher when you’re talking to strangers and want to avoid possible confrontations or low and deep when you’re at work, surrounded by important people. The truth is, this is a subconscious mechanism that our body has, and every voice change has meaning behind it.

To help you understand why this happens, we selected the most common scenarios where we can hear our voice changing.

1. When talking to strangers

When we talk to strangers our voices may sound higher and even baby-ish. This happens because when we speak this way, we’re perceived as having a non-threatening attitude, and when we make our first contact, we want it to be as friendly as possible.

2. When doing business

Normally, when we’re in a work environment, we want to be taken seriously and to be respected, and dropping our voice tone is one of the assets we use to achieve that. A study found that people with a deeper vocal pitch are perceived as more dominant than others.

3. When talking to your friends

If you spend too much time with someone, like your best friend, the tendency is for both of you to start sounding alike. This phenomenon is called phonetic convergence and can be also observed between family members.

4. When we record our voice

The sound of your recorded voice can be totally different from what you hear on a daily basis. This happens because when we hear ourselves normally, our voice is also conducted by bones, while when others hear us, they only hear our voice vibrating in air.

5. When we get caught by surprise

Surprise can be associated with anxiety and stress, and this feeling can modify our voice. More jittery, poor pronunciation, and higher tones are some of the alterations that happen to our voices in this situation.

In which situations do you notice your voice changing?