I am about to be politically incorrect. When you reach a certain point in life, however, you discover from experience that some generalizing is correct. From my many years teaching voice improvement, I have found that women tend to be more expressive in speaking. I have also discovered that women carry their stress differently than men. And, it is always interesting to see women’s reactions when I make the statement that men are not good listeners. The fact that the male’s strong suit is not listening can be explained in 3 ways.
1. Simply put, he may be focusing on something else when you speak.
Men are not as good at multi-tasking as women. Yes, you may have taken the latest college course on how the sexes are the same – disregarding the obvious physical differences – but, they are not. Marriage will teach you that even if your professor won’t.
2. You may be speaking too softly and he truly doesn’t hear you.
We (men and women alike) often do not speak with enough volume after we have settled comfortably into our lives together: we often get lazy with our volume. If you are known for being soft-spoken, there are only so many times he will be ask you to repeat yourself: over time, he may stop listening. In addition, we often don’t take into account that the other person may be upstairs, downstairs or in another room when we try to hold a conversation. If you do not increase your volume, your words will not be heard. It is as simple as that.
3. He may find the sound of your speaking voice annoying.
If you have a voice that is nasal, high-pitched, whiny, shrill, strident, harsh, or childlike, can you blame him for not listening? Recently, I was showing a client the difference between my ‘real’ voice and how I would sound today had I not had training. He was stunned. I knew from his reaction to my strident sound that it was more than unpleasant.
How can you tell if your voice is less than pleasing? Record yourself – use your iPhone if necessary. Then listen to your voice. Remember the voice you hear in your head is not the same sound by which everyone else recognizes you. Unfortunately, the sound you hear on the recording is the truth. If you are embarrassed by what you hear, imagine how he feels listening to you day in and day out.
The answer lies in voice training. When you discover your ‘real’ or ‘true’ voice, it will be a richer, warmer, more mature sound that he will find extremely pleasing to listen to. And, you will also learn how to increase your volume correctly.