Hate The Sound Of Your Own Voice? Let Science Tell You Why In This Fascinating Video

Jonathan Vankin

Your own voice. You rely on it for, well, just about everything. Whether it's sales pitch in a business meeting, a conversation over the dinner table or telling your sweetheart how much you love her or him, your voice is perhaps the most important and powerful tool that nature gave you.

So why do you hate it so much?

Admit it — we've all had the experience. We hear ourselves speak all the time and we usually think, "Hey, I sound pretty cool." But then we hear ourselves speak on a recording, whether it's a cell phone video, a voicemail or whatever, and we think, "Blecch! Who is that person with the stupid-sounding voice?"

Why is there such a sharp difference between the way we hear ourselves and the way others hear us? And why do we generally enjoy one and despise the other?

Turns out there is a scientific explanation, and this video that originally appeared on Business Insider (but was picked up by the web magazine Slate) explains it all for you in just a couple of minutes. The video explains this odd phenomenon better than we ever could, but to give you a hint, it has to do with how sound travels through the bones in your head.

There may be a psychological aspect, as well, to the strong negative reactions most of us feel when we hear our voice that way other people hear it. A recent study found that when subjects heard a variety of voices, including their own — but did not recognize their own voice — they rated their voices as more appealing than others did.

But when people know they're listening to their own voice, they almost never like the sound of it.

That psychological phenomenon may be due to the way our expectations of ourselves often don't match up with the reality — not much different than the way many people who think they look pretty good in the mirror hate most photographs of themselves.

We see ourselves in the mirror almost every day of our lives, and our brain filters out the little details that might otherwise bother us as we watch ourselves in real time. But in a photograph — a split second frozen in time — those little things, like a nose that's a bit crooked or hair that isn't quite right, tend to slap us in the face.

So if you hate the sound of your own voice, don't worry. It's not you. It's science.

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