Post # 1
I’ve had this issue on and off throughout my whole life. Sometimes when I talk, people just ignore me as though I said nothing and they didn’t even hear me. I was talking to my friend the other day and she mentioned that most of the time she thinks I speak quietly or like in class when I say something during discussion she wonders what the heck I just said while others are able to respond. I’m just so confused by this. I talk in a normal voice and my volume is not the issue. I’m not nervous or shy to talk, so I’m baffled. I can’t use a big huge voice or increase my volume because it makes my voice so tired.
One time I went up to someone to say hi. Got probably 3 feet away from them and said ‘Hi Nancy’ and she just completely ignored me. Didn’t even notice me.
Another time, I was walking up to an employee to ask where an item was. Tried to get their attention at what I considered a louder than normal volume, but they didn’t hear me and I had to repeat myself.
I know I’m not the only one with this problem because I’ve seen a few reddit posts or something with people asking what’s up. Anyone have this issue or thoughts on this??
Post # 2
- Wedding: January 2021 - City, State
The issue seems to be you talk quietly, there’s nothing wrong with speaking quiet but your friend has told you the issue. It’ll be why folk aren’t acknowledging you, they’re not hearing you. Im not sure what the answer is except to maybe working on better voice projection rather than being Louder
Post # 3
whoswho : I’m not talking quietly though. I’m talking using my normal speaking voice or louder.
Post # 4
Hi bee, I’ve always had this issue all my life and i thought it was a volume thing but as ppl said realised it was a projection thing. Once at work a colleague was talking about someone in the office who you could hardly hear and i said well my voice is quiet too and he said no i wouldn’t say that. I now make a concious effort to not mumble and look up etc and have noticed ppl seem to respond more.. i guess also i realised sometimes people are in their own bubble and actually don’t hear you either i would hope rather than consciously ignoring.
Post # 5
sunnybee88 : I’ll have to look into projection techniques. It’s just very annoying like why am I not important enough for you to take the time and listen to me?
Post # 6
Try recording yourself speaking in what you consider a normal tone of voice, and then listen to it outside or with the tv on (not in a quiet room). You might notice what others do – you speak quietly. My husband speaks quietly, and I often find myself asking him to repeat himself because I just didn’t catch what he said. If you speak quickly, that also might hinder peopel from hearing what you’ve said.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard
I have this same problem! It is so beyond frustrating. Let me know if you ever figure this out. Someone told me I need to speak from my diaphragm more than my speaking from my throat/face. Honestly loud people annoy me so I’d rather be soft spoken, but it’s something I want to work in because people are always getting my order wrong, not listening to me in meetings, etc.
Post # 8
My husband speak in a normal voice and in groups I have no problem hearing him, but at home, unless we’re sitting face to face having a conversation, I often miss at least the first half of what he’s saying because he start off suddenly, mumbling, and I’m not paying attention (as I wasn’t expecting him to speak), so I often ask him to repeat.
Same in shops or on the street, if you come up to someone when they’re not expecting it, they might not notice / hear you at first unless you’re being deliberately louder (like if I want to ask the shop attendant something, say they might be working on the shelves, I would raise my voice to get their attention, speaking in a normal volume might not). In public, I’ve “ignored” people quite a few times because I had my ear phones in or just being in my own world / not expecting to see someone I knew, until they are literally tapping me on the shoulder or waving their hands in my face, and they often say “I called out to you a few times”.
In meetings, I find certainly one of the women in our team tend to get “ignored” if she suddenly speaks up, I wouldn’t say she’s quiet but if not everyone was expecting you to speak, you need to be much louder than normal to get everyone’s attention.
All that is to say… maybe you speak quietly and you can work on projection, or maybe you just need to be what you consider as LOUD in certain situations where you need to initially get people’s attention. But it’s probably important to note not to take things so personally, as it’s most likely not deliberate / not about you.
Post # 9
I work with a few people who talk very quietly and mumble and it’s beyond frustrating keep asking them to repeat themselves. A lot of the time I’m not even aware they’ve said anything if there’s background noise. I would rather someone be too loud than too quiet as at least I can hear them.
I’m sure like you they think they’re speaking at normal levels, but if you’re having repeated issues with people not hearing you and your friend has said it’s because you speak too quietly, clearly your perception of how loud you need to talk is flawed, if you were speaking at a normal volume you wouldn’t be having these problems frequently.
Post # 10
Projecting your voice (speaking from your diaphragm rather than throat) will help this. If people aren’t listening/hearing you, I would make sure I’m projecting.
Post # 11
My husband has a low voice (not soft or quite) and his words often have no separation. He also will have his head hung down or looking in the opposite directing of me while he is speaking. When I ask him to look at me I can hear him so much clearer. Maybe it’s not how loud you are or are not being. Maybe it’s how you are speaking? I’m sure it must be very frustrating either way.
Post # 12
I’m like you; people struggle to hear what I say. I found it helpful to attend speech training classes. Move your lips more. Enunciate. It’s probably not just your speech volume.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2018 - Location
I don’t think this is a question of you not being important enough to be listened to. You say you’re using your “normal speaking voice”, but obviously that’s quieter/not as clear as the average person. It feels normal to you but others are telling you they can’t hear!
Listen to them (ha!) and try to work on projection, maybe take an acting class or public speaking.
*Edited some words and added a thought
Post # 14
You could try adding gestures to your speech in order to enhance communication. I find that certain countries are more gesture oriented. My daughter came back from living in France and she gestured a lot more.
Post # 15
Are you by chance shorter? I ask because my best friend is short (she says 5′ but that’s a lie) and I am taller (5’8″). If we are standing I often times have a hard time hearing her even when she is speaking at a normal volume. She looks straight ahead when she speaks versus up, I feel like the sound just doesn’t carry as well.