Ever noticed that some people are just so much louder than everyone else?
You might just think they’re excitable or outgoing, but there’s often a deeper meaning behind their volume level.
We’ll be going into some of the reasons why people talk loudly, as well as offering a moment of self-reflection about your own voice…
1. They’re overcompensating for shyness.
Some people who are very shy try to combat this by going all-out and being the biggest personality in the room.
This is their way of ‘controlling’ how shy they are – if they are loud and appear outgoing, people will never realize how quiet they really are.
2. They want to feel more important.
The loudest voice in the room is the one everyone wants to listen to, right?
Many people who talk loudly are actually just trying to show off about how important they are and get everyone to pay them a lot of attention.
If they’re talking over everyone, they think that people will care more about what they have to say than what others are saying.
This is a classic control technique and is the speaker’s way of getting attention and feeling like people really care about their opinions.
3. They’re trying to prove something.
Similar to overcompensation, some people who talk at a high volume are doing so because they feel they need to get their point across.
This is a step away from having an argument, in some ways, as the person is desperately trying to get people to hear them so that they can prove their point.
4. They’ve never had a voice before.
Some people grow up in a situation where they don’t really get to have a voice or share an opinion.
People’s childhoods really do shape how they turn out as adults, and being louder than normal can be a result of a repressive home life.
As an adult, the loud person in the room might finally feel able to express their thoughts and feelings and they are still learning how to do that appropriately.
If they were always ignored as a child and never got a response to what they were saying, they’ve obviously felt neglected in the past.
To combat that, they become loud adults. They are desperate to get attention, finally having a way to be heard, but they are not confident or sure how to use their voice.
5. It’s down to their biology.
A lot of our behavior comes down to our personality type and our childhood, but some of it is linked to biology.
Depending on how the muscles in our throats have formed, some of us may just speak more loudly than our friends.
It may also be down to a hearing impairment that’s gone undiagnosed and means that the speaker doesn’t know how loud they are talking.
6. It’s how they were raised.
Some people are very loud because of how they were raised.
My close friend grew up in a house where everybody spoke very loudly and she learnt it from them.
I, on the other hand, grew up in a home where quiet-time and soft voices were valued and have grown into a relatively quiet adult.
We all learn different norms from our families and friends, and we all have different experiences of what is normal and expected behavior.
7. They’re selfish and egocentric.
It’s not the nicest reason, but it is valid: some people are loud because they’re obnoxious.
People who are self-obsessed will often be loud speakers because they genuinely don’t care if they’re being rude while they do it.
In fact, they’ll sometimes do it to annoy other people on purpose.
This is quite a classic trait of narcissism – a disregard for other people’s feelings and an intent to frustrate or upset them in order to feel good about yourself.
8. They could be anxious.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people find it hard to speak out loud because they struggle with anxiety.
This can make their voice louder than others’ because they’re trying to cover up how anxious they feel, or they become unaware of how they’re talking because there are so many emotions running through their minds.
When we feel anxious, our bodies go into a panicky, fight-or-flight mode. This causes huge levels of adrenaline to pump through our bodies and often speeds up our speech and raises our volume levels.
9. They have control issues.
This is one that most of us can relate to – at some point, we’ve all tried raising our voices in order to assert ourselves.
Some people do this all the time, however, and it’s often due to a deep-rooted control issue.
It may be that the loud talker needs people to know they’re in charge by being the loudest voice in the room.
Or it may be that they feel more in control if their voice is drowning out their thoughts.
You may also like (article continues below):
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- How To Keep A Conversation Going: 12 No Nonsense Tips!
- How To Speak More Clearly And Stop Mumbling: 7 No Bullsh*t Tips!
- Conversational Narcissism: How To Deal With It And Avoid It
How To Deal With Loud Talkers
It can be horrible to have to tell someone to alter their behavior, whether you know and love them, work with them, or can just hear them yabbering away down the other end of your train carriage.
These are some tips on how to approach the situation delicately and how to get the best possible outcome for everyone involved…
1. Be considerate.
Try to understand the reasons behind it.
Be patient with this – everyone has gone, or is going, through something you don’t know about.
It can be hard to slow down and not get frustrated straightaway, but it’s a great skill to practice and learn.
Think about their other behaviors – are they loud and also fidgety (could be anxiety) or rude (could be egotistical) or very anal (could be control issues).
It can be difficult to process someone’s actions in context because we often just get annoyed at what’s going on right in front of us, but you’d like someone to do the same for you if one of your actions was upsetting them.
2. Add context.
As mentioned above, it’s easy to make snap decisions about people’s behavior – especially when it’s something abrasive like being too loud.
Try to think about why someone may be acting like this.
Not just the deeper meanings like above, but contextually.
Are they being especially loud in your Monday meeting because they’re selfish, or because a lot of people have been fired recently and they’re feeling insecure?
Maybe your friend is being noisier than normal – is it because they’re trying to control the conversation or because their parents just got divorced and they’re feeling off-balance and overwhelmed?
Think of yourself, too – how many times has your normal behavior shifted when you’ve been very stressed or angry or upset over something?
3. Communicate with them.
If someone in your life continues to speak loudly and it’s starting to become an issue for you, it may be worth telling them.
Now, the way you do this really depends on the nature of your relationship with them.
If it’s a close friend or family member, be kind when you tell them and try not to blame them for it.
You can considerately mention it one time, “Oh, you’re quite loud today, are you okay?” rather than, “Wow, you’re always so loud!”
If they feel like you’ve been thinking this for a long time, they’re more likely to take it personally and feel a bit betrayed by you.
With work colleagues, and friends and family, you can just be honest without being provocative.
Approach the situation nicely, almost make a joke of it if you need to, and do your best to keep them feeling comfortable.
“I love you, but you’re yelling a little bit! Let’s turn the music down so we don’t need to talk so loudly.”
This makes them feel safe and not attacked, and, by mentioning yourself in the sentence rather than just them and their behavior, you’re not isolating or blaming them, you’re just drawing attention to it.
4. Be polite.
It may be that someone on your train home is loudly talking on the phone, or the table next to you at dinner is literally drowning out your own thoughts.
Dealing with a stranger who is talking loudly is a very difficult one and is a situation most people try to avoid.
If you feel the need to mention something, do it with the utmost politeness!
Approach the situation calmly, making sure your own voice is soft and quiet.
Make sure you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
You can be slightly self-blaming if you need to be. Something like:
“I’m so sorry, would you mind being slightly quieter if possible, please? I’ve had an awful day and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed.”
This shows you’re acknowledging that it’s you requesting they change their behavior due to a personal reason, rather than you just telling them to shut up because they’re so annoying!
If you’re in a public space, you can always ask staff to do this for you – wait staff will gladly pop over to the table in question and suggest they lower their voices a little bit so as not to disturb other customers.
Remember, if you’ve asked someone to keep it down, you have to honor that request – that means putting your phone on silent, otherwise you’ll be very embarrassed to suddenly be the loud one.
How To Deal With Your Own Loud Voice
If you’re reading this and realizing that you might be the one with the loud voice, it’s worth taking a few moments to reflect on why that may be.
It might be one of the reasons we mentioned above, or it might be something totally different.
Either way, there’s a chance that someone finds you a bit too loud and it’s good to have some self-awareness and work on lowering your voice a little bit.
We’re not saying you have to whisper or never get passionate or excited when you talk, but it’s always a good idea to think about your own behaviors…
1. Listen more.
One thing that happens when we talk loudly is that we stop listening to what other people are saying.
We get so wrapped up in our own opinions and getting them across, or telling the funniest joke the loudest, that we lose track of what’s going on around us.
By teaching ourselves to listen more, we’ll become more in-tune with our own voice and find ways to regulate it.
2. Monitor what you do before you speak.
One of the reasons we can suddenly become quite loud is a change in environment.
Calling someone on an in-car phone means we have to talk louder than normal, which then feels normal. This is suddenly very loud when we speak to someone face-to-face.
Equally, listening to loud music before a meeting will throw your volume levels off and you’re likely to be louder than usual when you speak.
Think about what environment you’ll next be talking in (meeting, busy bar, quiet café) and do your best to have some time between environments so that you can regulate your volume.
3. Practice breathing exercises.
This is a great way to get some mindfulness into your day.
We’d suggest doing this first thing each day – it’ll help you adjust to being awake and get your mind in a good headspace before you do any talking.
That means you’ll mellow yourself out a little bit and have time to prepare yourself for whatever your day holds.
You’ll go into your day feeling balanced and ready, so are less likely to get all het up and off-kilter and noisy!
It’s also just a lovely way to start the day and take some time to yourself.
4. Speak to yourself more.
This might sound a bit weird, but it’s a great way of tuning in with yourself and your volume levels.
If you’ve got a presentation coming up, you can practice it by yourself to find the appropriate tone (and volume) of voice to use.
Talking to yourself also gets you used to your own voice.
It sounds silly, I know, but some loud talkers aren’t necessarily used to having a voice, or using it, which is why things can come out so loudly.
By spending some time learning how you talk, what feels good and natural will help you really tune-in with what’s appropriate.
Try a few things out and see what works for you.
If someone tells you that you talk quite loudly, do your best to not take it too personally.
It could be down to reasons beyond your control, or it could be a great moment for self-reflection.
Take some time to process it – don’t start second-guessing your interactions or panicking that everyone at work hates you because you’re a bit noisy!
People are telling you because they care about you and want to listen to you, just at a slightly lower volume.
You still have a voice and it’s still important that you express how you feel or what you think, so don’t let someone’s comment about your loud voice put you off.
Instead, take the time to practice speaking more softly and focus on the fact that someone cares enough to be honest and kind with you.
And remember – the loudest voice in the room isn’t always a roar!