Did you know that people who never sing are the most judgmental of voices in reality singing competitions?
We are unlikely to risk using our voices in space when we tend to judge other voices harshly. So let’s dig into that a bit. Why are we so hard on the vocal soundwave?
I have a few theories that could fill many different posts but here is what I think is at the heart of the matter. Opinions about voice use, and the voice use of those we call talented, is a way we can protect ourselves from our perceived flaws. It is also a tool to separate ourselves from a full connection in the world.
If only the talented can have exceptional voices, then the flaws in one’s voice are fixed. Fixed characteristics don’t require us to change a thing. Thye also makes us very quick to judge who is talented enough to do a thing because we have chosen to divide voices into good and bad.
If even untrained voices can be impactful then a human connection on a deeper level is available through communication. That simple thought can cause all sorts of emotions that some people would rather not navigate. Judging those that choose to engage is, in this case, is also self-protective.
So we judge. Because it somehow seems kinder (to ourselves) to do so. But we don’t judge all voices in the same way. No one is calling Alexa’s, or Siri’s voice dumb. It might not be your favorite, and you may choose to change it, but most people don’t. In fact, we accept digital voices without judgment with an alarming frequency considering how many opinions we seem to have about voice.
Which begs the question, with these digital voices become more ubiquitous will they eventually be the voices we accept as best? I really hope not. The technology is truly amazing and improving every day but it will never be human.
So two questions: What are your judgment patterns? And, are you willing to shake things up in these patterns?
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.