Hearing your own voice. Literally.

Ya know, that moment when you hear yourself on a recording and you die one thousand times at the sound at your own voice? Sure, you do. Everyone knows that feeling. The voice that’s supposed to be you is coming from another person entirely. Normally, you sound sweet or sexy or cool but this person sounds painfully irritating. In that moment, you’re aware of the fact that all of your loved ones tolerate and accept this monstrous voice of yours and somehow that thought is humiliating.

What most of us miss in that moment is that voices we hear and connect with all of our loved ones are, just like ourselves, not the ones they believe they have. I’d guess that only on a few occasions have you found the voice of a friend or family member extremely irritating (maybe when your mom was nagging or your friend was talking about her jerk of a boyfriend for the hundredth time). Mostly though, you’ve never questioned these voices and how they sound.  You simply see their voices as part and parcel of the entire package that makes up a particular person.

This is a great metaphor for getting perspective on ourselves. We are able to hyperfocus and zoom in on each thought we have and our behavior in the world. Since we’re viewing ourselves from inside ourselves, we’re unable to zoom out and get a wide view of who we are from the outside. Our loved ones, though, have no other perspective of us besides the entire package from the outside. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and people who nitpick and are critical. I’m talking about the people who you really love and those who really love you.

Thus, the unthinking acceptance that we feel and extend to our loved ones is, by and large, the same acceptance that our loved ones extend to us. You have the same unnoticed ability as others to be accepting.

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