Friday, November 14, 2014

Could It Be? Are You a Loud Talker?

How do you know if you're a loud talker?

I mean, other than someone asking you, "Why are you talking so loud?"

There are lots of ways one discovers this -- and some are hard to believe. But if enough people tell you the same thing, and not a-holes that don't like you telling you this, but good people who seem genuinely concerned, you've got to at least consider it.

Take me for instance. It pains me to say that I have been told I'm a loud talker. Not just like that, not "You're a loud talker!" but by shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! whenever they're around me. This is hard for me to process because I feel I am a quiet person. What I had to do and continue to have to do, is bring together the two sides of my brain. The one side that says you're quiet with the side that says, buuuuuuut  all the people say shhhhhh! when you're around.

You have to consider it. You know, like my co-worker from 50 billion years ago who was arrogant, condescending and spiteful. When she was told by our manager that she was arrogant, condescending and spiteful, she asked us to provide her with feedback, "I prefer it anonymously, and on my desk in by 8:00 tomorrow morning. Typed, please."

Just say the word, sister, because you got it. Eight notes from her co-workers on her desk the next day, "Yup. Yup. And Yup," the typed messages were all identical. Was that the end of it? Do you think I'm going to tell you that she bit our heads off and screamed that we were wrong? Nope. She shocked us all by approaching us in a group and with a direct gaze, she said four sentences. "Well. Apparently, I misjudged myself. Thank you for your honesty. I'll take your feedback to heart. Thank you*" (thank you doesn't count as a sentence, because it's manners. and I expect that)

Wow, right? She didn't argue us out of our perception. She took it to heart. I've never forgotten that. That's why I have to believe that I'm a loud talker. Because at least 50 people have told me that I am. And the fact that when I go to the movies the row in front of me turns around to glare.

What's the first thing a loud talker does with this information? When it's me that's the loud talker, you take your Reader's Digest Health Edition reading butt to an audiologist and say "PEOPLE TELL ME I'M A LOUD TALKER SO CAN YOU CHECK MY HEARING PLEASE." There, you get your hearing checked. When the tests come back within normal range, you next make an appointment to have your ears cleaned. After that grossness happens, you just try to talk quiet-er.

But it feels like whispering. Harsh, hoarse, tough on your vocal cords, whispering.

It will always feel like air being forced out too hard. But that's whispering, I guess.

I'm a loud talker. Something so very funny but not funny as much as ironic when I tell you that growing up, my teachers always told me I had to speak up. Speak up, Alexandra!

Guess what I've been doing ever since? Only now, turning my volume button down makes my shoulders pull up in anxiety because OMG NO ONE IS GOING TO HEAR ME.


I know this about myself, so the ones who think they're cleverly role modeling for me by using their subdued voices thinking I won't notice what they're up to, I know. You want me to mimic.

To the requests Calm Down!, I am calm, I'm just asking you if you make the stuffing out of the turkey or in the turkey.

The funny jokes about "Hey, you don't have to scream, I'm right here," dumb. It's my voice, not my vision, that's affected. I see you.

I tried an experiment once. Before I spoke, I asked myself are you on fire are you being followed is someone after you. If not, lower your pitch.

I did.

And then people started asking me if I was depressed.

Why do you ask?

* * *


  1. Yes, I'm a loud talker, too. Used to coach roller skating and didn't need a mic to project my voice to the back of the rink. The more excited I get, the louder I am.

  2. I have been told i"m a loud talker too. By my husband. Which makes no sense, because I really am pretty soft-spoken. I can't talk above loud music or noises. My voice doesn't carry. UNLESS I'm saying something I shouldn't be saying and someone is probably within earshot who shouldn't be. Then I'm the loudest talker around.

  3. Ms A- I can't believe it, but like I said, if everyone is saying it,... it must be true.
    Leigh Ann: right?? NO SENSE.

  4. Jim has been a loud talker for as long as I've known him (30 years!) so I'm a little afraid to get you two in the same room, ever. :)

  5. I don't think I am a loud talker. But I don't hear well, so I might be. I also have a thin voice, so it is difficult for me to speak loudly, and when I think I am shouting people still ask me to repeat myself. Basically I have volume issues.

  6. Melisa - I promise you, I will take turns.
    Andrea: See? I don't think I am either, and yet...



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