When You Have a Phobia of Others Hearing Your Voice
Speaking aloud is a strong fear of mine. The thought of using my voice makes me uneasy; in part because I am afraid that I will stumble over my words while I simultaneously try to process my anxious thoughts. But an even greater part of this uneasiness stems from my self-consciousness over the sound of my voice.
I have a high-pitched and delicate tone to my voice that often causes people to make a remark about it. Usually the response is positive, and I am grateful for the kindness that those strangers show me through their words. For instance, I have been told that I could do voice-overs for Disney, or that my voice is a gift because it is so soothing to listen to. I want to start seeing my voice in this way — as a gift — yet I often struggle to. I think that the few moments when people have either imitated my voice in a mocking way or started laughing as soon as I begin speaking, carry a lot of weight in my memory and make me very apprehensive to use my voice at all.
I acknowledge that my voice is unique. I remember during my childhood how I used to wish for a deeper voice, so people would not question me about mine. I just wanted my voice to blend in with everyone else’s. Since I was not as comfortable with speaking, I found and developed my voice in a different way — through my writing. To this day, writing continues to be a haven for me — a means of expressing myself on the page.
I have also come to realize how your voice is such a personal part of you. If I had a different voice, I would no longer be true to the person who I am meant to be. I recognize that it will still take time for me to accept my voice, but I am making small strides. My voice may be soft-spoken, yet my greatest hope is that the encouraging messages I enjoy sharing with others speak volumes.
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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz