How many of us promised ourselves that when we were adults, we would not sound like our mothers? How many of us have children and are discovering that on occasion we do sound like our mothers? While I have certainly caught myself saying and doing things that I vowed I wouldn’t, what I am discussing here is actually having a voice that sounds similar to that of your mother.
So much of what we learn is the result of the examples set by our parents. We imitate; we copy. A good example means good values. But have you ever considered why you sound the way you do?
Yes, we certainly find ourselves saying things similar to that of our parents, but my question for you actually deals with voice quality. If you were at your mother’s home and you answered her telephone, would the caller mistake you for your mother? Were you raised in a loving environment, the answer would probably be yes.
We inherit our vocal apparatus but there is more to the sound of the speaking voice than that which comes from genetics. Were you raised in Brooklyn, for example, it is quite possible that you talk through your nose. Raised in Boston and you probably drop your ‘r’s. Growing up in Texas means some twang in your speech. These characteristics are not inherited, they are learned. And, because we tend to imitate the voice of our same-sex parent, we have also picked up or learned their bad or good vocal habits as well.
Bear in mind that the similarity to your mother is dependent on your relationship with her. A loving relationship during your early developmental years is more likely to result in the similarity. On the other hand, if your mother was abusive, there is a good chance that you don’t sound like her. I have found that women who have been raised in that type of environment often sound like children when they speak. By the same token, if the relationship was positive and you sound like a 6-year-old, then your mother probably sounds that way too.
No matter how you sound, an interesting aspect of the speaking voice is that it is as individual to you as are your fingerprints: no two voices are identical. Similar maybe, but not exact. And while you may sound like your mom, the good news is that you can improve that sound by finding your ‘real’ voice.
Because most people are not breathing with support and because most people are not speaking within their optimum range, those same people are not aware that they can sound much better once they find their ‘real’ voice; and, in many cases the change is stunning. (If you want to see some amazing voice changes, go to my website and click on Before & After in the Menu bar.) When you can allow your chest to become your major sounding board, you will decrease the wear and tear on your throat and vocal folds (cords) as well as enjoy a voice that is richer, warmer, and more mature-sounding. Not too old, not too young, ageless.
Why not find out how good your voice can be? Let your chest do your talking and discover a voice that doesn’t sound like that of your mother!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic as well as SelfGrowth’s Official Guide to Public Speaking. Holding corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the US and Canada, she launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. You can watch clips from her DVD on her website and ‘before’ & ‘after’ takes of her clients as well as download an audio presentation in which Nancy describes how voice training can improve your life both professionally and personally at: www.voicedynamic.com