Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Have you ever listened to a recording of yourself singing? Did you like what you heard? When I’ve listened to recordings of myself, I cringe and wonder if that’s really what I sound like. Even people who like the sound of their own voice tend to dislike the way their recorded voice sounds.

Believe it or not, your voice does not sound different when recorded. We only perceive it that way. Timothy E. Hullar explains it this way:

Air-conducted sound is transmitted from the surrounding environment through the external auditory canal, eardrum and middle ear to the cochlea, the fluid-filled spiral in the inner ear. Bone-conducted sound reaches the cochlea directly through the tissues of the head.

…The voice you hear when you speak is the combination of sound carried along both paths. When you listen to a recording of yourself speaking, the bone-conducted pathway that you consider part of your “normal” voice is eliminated, and you hear only the air-conducted component in unfamiliar isolation.

Why does my voice sound so different when it is recorded and played back? – Timothy E. Hullar

Perceptions of Interactions

Our interactions with people have a similar discontinuity between our own perception and what others see. For example, I tend to appear prideful to others when I think I’m just sharing experiential knowledge. I can also come across as intimidating at times, and I don’t even realize it.

So how do we adjust our self-perception to better relate to others? This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. I want to portray humility in my interactions with others. How can I be inviting and show love to everyone I encounter?

"We need to learn to listen to each other well." Tweet This

Open and honest conversation with others helps. If we are unaware of how we present ourselves to others, it is pretty hard to make any needed adjustments. If you don’t have someone who will let you know (in a loving way) when you are not handling your interactions well, I want to encourage you to find someone like that.

Those conversations might be hard, but I think there is another step we need to take that can be even harder. We need to learn to listen to each other well. At least that is something that I need to work on. If I truly listen, and value what someone else says, I will be more likely to interact with them from a place of humility rather than pride. To show that we value what others say, we need to treat their words like they are more important than the words we want to speak.

"To show that we value what others say, we need to treat their words like they are more important than the words we want to speak." Tweet This

Adjusting Isn’t Easy

I’ve thought back to some of my recent interactions with others and realized that I didn’t like what I heard. Looking back and understanding my words and actions outside of my in-the-moment perception is helping me to make needed adjustments. It’s similar to listening to recordings of my singing. As painful as it is to listen to those recordings, they help me to recognize intonation issues that I cannot hear when I am singing.

It’s hard to look back at our actions and interactions in an objective way. We’re still connected to our emotions and self-perception. But, even if we notice one small thing to adjust, we can begin to improve our relations with others.

Comments are welcome and encouraged.

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