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The Importance of Tone of Voice

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

My name is Diamando and I have a tone of voice problem. I've said it. I've tried to change it. I've come a long way. I've accepted that in some sense, it will always be a part of me.

It's often funny to me when people point out their frustration with the way I say things; not because they are inaccurate, but because I have even more people who tell me on a regular basis just how much they love my voice. To them, it's soothing and calming. People often request that I record sleep stories for them, and my recorded meditations are widely appreciated. How is it possible that my voice can hold both so much positivity and negativity?

This is a question I have asked myself a lot over the course of my lifetime. What is it that makes one aspect come out instead of the other? How am I filled with such totally different qualities, each as powerful as the other? What is the "real" me?

The harsh truth, when I'm forced to look at it, is that both of these things are equally true. My voice can heal just as easily as it can harm. It is entirely within my control to decide which side I will dive into at any given moment.

What happens though, when it feels like it is totally out of my control? This happened to me a couple of weeks ago with a close friend of mine. We were discussing a health issue of hers, and I immediately jumped into savior mode. I had a lot of experience with this particular issue, and I felt like she needed to hear my expertise. Nope, I'm not a doctor, but I often play one with my friends- and this is NOT a good quality. Just because I have experience with something, it doesn't mean that my experience is the most important perspective.

I've spent a lifetime devoted to the idea that each person is a unique individual and we all can learn immeasurable things merely by listening to one another and collaborating in our collective growth. Yet I often lose sight of this when I get passionate or excited about something. I have a one-track mind and I come barreling through like a bull in a china shop.

Side note, I've always really liked this idiom. It makes me giggle to think of this innocent bull just doing his own thing and suddenly confronted with the reality that he has no choice but to keep walking and knock everything over. He just can't fit through. He might not even realize what he's doing because it's not his fault he's a bull. He has no control over his size or movements; he's just being.

Humans, on the other hand, have the distinct difference of having developed cognitive thought and verbal communication skills. I can't pretend to be an oblivious bull, just being myself and paying no mind to the destruction I'm causing around me. Even if that destruction is coming from a place of caring and compassion, if the other person isn't perceiving it that way, it is neither caring nor compassionate.

This is where tone of voice comes in.