Monday, February 29, 2016

What Our Voice Tells Us

We look for ways to relate with others, improve relationships, overcome interpersonal problems.  One of the easiest ways, we are told in an article in the Kyeongyang magazine, is in the voice. Written by a layman, in the Seoul Diocesan Family Pastoral Bureau, he reminds us of truths we have heard many times; find difficult to remember or when remembered know how to implement.

The first words between husband and wife, parents and children tell us what kind of relationship has been formed. Are the words gentle, calm and attentive or are they sharp, loud and authoritative? His article deals with the voice and what it tells us.

He mentions the well-known  law of Mehrabian, an American Scholar, whose studies, expressed simply and without qualifications, says we convey with words only about 7 percent, the other, non-verbal, 93% depends on attitude, facial expression and voice, more important in conveying our message.

According to the study, the non-verbal aspects broken down in more detail: attitude is 20%, facial expression  35%, and voice 38%. Consequently, says the writer, the voice is the most important. The voice is the second face.

He mentions that in a marriage over 70 percent of the time the wife is the first to initiate the conversation and by hearing the voice one can judge how the relationship is currently going. This he says is also true for the parent and child relationship. As the child gets older, the parent more often begins the conversation, and the voice will indicate how well the relationship is going.

First verse of Proverbs chapter 15: "A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." In the last paragraphs of the article, he mentions recent  studies of the voice and its perception. Scientists are seeing the possibility of determining a person's mental state, personality, and health by analyzing the voice. Like our finger print all different, so also our voices.

In the world, we have over 7 billion different faces, and similarly we have the same number of different voices. The voice is a gift of God and to use it correctly is a way of loving those with whom you relate with daily. It is a short cut to better relations,  and concludes the article with a question: Is your voice a peaceful one?