If you are living with someone with hearing loss you probably have been told, and try to, speak very clearly.
But have you ever had your loved one accuse you of shouting at them or sounding angry when you tried to speak clearly?
If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Recent research has found that speaking clearly can have negative connotations no matter what tone of voice or words you use.
This study took 18 young adults with normal hearing and had them listen to sentences spoken by volunteers. The volunteers were told to read each sentence in two ways – a normal conversational way and also with careful enunciation (clear speech).
None of the sentences contained any negative words or phrases.
Once read, the 18 listeners were asked to rate each sentence with an emotion – sad, angry, happy, fear, disgust or neutral.
Most of the time, the listeners interpreted the sentences that were spoken with the clear speech to be more negative in nature than those spoken in normal conversational tones despite the fact that the sentences themselves were the exact same and neutral in nature.
The listeners also thought that the speakers who had the most difference between their normal conversational tone and their clear speech were angry, unhappy people!
This just seems to underscore the idea that for some reason, speaking clearly and trying to enunciate well can make you sound angry and unhappy.
Weird, isn’t it?
I suppose it could be because oftentimes when we are angry we do speak more slowly and more precisely.
Or, perhaps this response comes from the disapproving tones we heard from our parents when we did something we weren’t supposed to do.
Whatever the reason, you now understand that your loved one isn’t trying to be difficult when they accuse you of sounding mad whenever you try to speak as clearly as possible.
Show them this article or understand how we hear by clicking here. It may make it easier for the two of you to communicate even when you are speaking clearly!
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