I have lots of voices in my head and most all of them are self-deprecating. But, this post isn't about those voices, it's about how your own voice sounds in your own head. And realizing you don't sound anything like what you think you do to other people. In fact, you don't sound anything like you at all. And you definitely don't sound anything like Aretha Franklin or Frank Sinatra. Especially when you crank up the music in your car and sing along. The lady next to you at the stop light can verify this. You don't. But, you do sound ridiculous. Especially when you're singing an Eddie Vedder song and you can't decipher the words so you're mumble singing/making up your own lyrics. I may have firsthand knowledge of this.
And it seems that most people's voices sound better to them in their own head, than they do in person. But, then what do people who do sing well sound like in their own head? This question has plagued me for a really long time. If I ever nabbed an interview with Adele, I'd love to ask her how disappointed she is when she hears her own voice on the radio. Like is she just a little disappointed or is she massively depressed? If her music is any indication, I'm going to say it's the latter. And what about those people who can't sing, but go on nationally televised singing competition only to embarrass themselves because no one told them they're awful? Plus it's not the 18th century anymore; no one has to "break it to you" that you're an awful singer. All you have to do is record a video of yourself to know instantaneously and definitively if you can or can't sing. And who in the 21st century hasn't done that?
Then there's the more everydayness of your voice. Do you have an annoying accent? Are you a loud talker? I was recently out in public with a loud talker. We were in a quiet place, having a conversation. Ok, it was more of a monologue really, because a conversation implies there are two people conversing. To counteract this, my replies became more hushed (and I'm already soft spoken to begin with), hoping she'd get the hint. My social cue fell on the deaf ears of my loud talker. I was at her mercy (as was everyone else in the vicinity). All while the voices in my head were screaming, "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" But, a loud talker is better than a close talker though. And they don't seem to be able to read social cues either. Like if I step back away from you, it's because you're way too close to me. "DO NOT STEP CLOSER TO ME!", the voices say. A good rule of thumb is, if you can see my uvula, BACK THE HELL UP! Even worse than both of those, is an adult with a child's voice. Think Jennifer Tilly. And unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to fix that.
As I've said many times before, I don't have an accent. I know it's amazing, but it's totally 100% true. None. None at all. What I do have is a gentle alto voice. Unless I'm yelling at my kids. In which case, I have a loud shrill voice that carries about half way down the street and I take on whatever accent is most condescending in the context of what I'm yelling about. I'm not proud of this. But if you're a parent, you know exactly what I'm talking about because you do it too! No one makes it out of this parenting gig without sounding like Maleficent losing her wings. NO ONE, I SAID!
But, when I've got a cold my voice takes on an entirely different tone. In my head it sounds like I take on a whole husky, sexy Demi Moore kinda vibe. Which I really kinda like. I wish I sounded like that all the time. Except, I know I don't actually sound like that. Unfortunately, I know I sound like Sylvester Stallone when I'm congested. Accent, mumble and yes, even the droopy eyes...ALL OF IT! Which is what I actually sound like right now. Because apparently, colds don't take a summer vacation.
What do the voices in your head sound like?