I was at a work sponsored happy hour, drinking beer and mingling with my coworkers. The conversation turned into this guessing game of “Which high school superlative would you be?” We went around the circle coming up with which superlative represented each person in the group. My turn came and within fifteen seconds, someone shouted “the loudest.” Everyone started laughing. I was nervously giggling. I recognize that I’m a loud person, but it’s a deep insecurity of mine.
When I was younger, I was soft spoken. My teachers were concerned because throughout elementary school, I had one close friend. In 3rd grade, I started meeting other friends, but I didn’t approach anyone I didn’t know. This behavior continued into middle school and high school. I stuck to my closest friends and didn’t socialize with anyone else. This all changed when I went off to college. My mom and brother came to visit me within my first month of attending school. My mom made a comment I will never forget. She said, “You’re a different person in the short month you left. You’re flourishing here.”
There was a shift in college. I became more open, less insecure and more apt to meet new people. My confidence increased and I found myself more passionate in wanting to suceed. This contributed to my so called “loud voice”. Since graduating from college, I have worked two different jobs. My first job, I was shushed at times when my voice increased in volume. When I say shushed, a manager put her finger to her mouth and shushed me in front of other co-workers. I felt disrespected and ashamed. This is the start of my insecurity of my loud voice.
Another reason I feel insecure about how my voice carries is because people can hear me. If I’m heard, it gives anyone the opportunity to judge me. If people can hear me, they may debate me on certain political discussions or gossip behind my back. I believe this is a huge reason to why I’m insecure in the volume of my voice.
I believe there are pros and cons to having a loud voice. I don’t want to change who I am, but I have to match the person I’m with. This is called mirroring. If I’m with someone who is quieter, I do attempt to lower the volume of my voice. I wouldn’t say I’m changing who I am, instead being respectful of the world I live in and who I’m socializing with.