On whispers and shouts....

United States
November 17, 2009 10:36pm CST
Hi everyone :)) I read once: if you want someone to listen, whisper. The theory is that when you talk in soft or lower tones, the other person has to pay closer attention, and is more apt to truly listen to you. For me, on the other hand, yells and shouts are noise, very off-putting, and many of us tend to tune them out! What is your take? Which most captures your attention, the shouters or the soft-spoken people? Why? Do you have specific examples to share? Thank you Karen
4 people like this
18 responses
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
18 Nov 09
Hi Karen, I have to say I'm not a fan of either as I prefer people to speak clearly. I associate whispering with muttering which I loathe. There's been many an evening when a certain gent has joined the taverna table and beyond hearing my name from him have been more or less unable to understand a word he says as he is softly spoken to the point of muttering and of course doing it in Greek which I really need to hear clearly to understand properly. I'm not alone though and most of the Greeks have a problem hearing him properly as well. I suppose shouting then is better as long as it's not a case of being shouted at. I have one friend who shouts most of his conversation but very very clearly and I've actually picked up more Greek from him than anyone else, but he does it as used to shouting over the boats engines. So I guess I'd take the shouting type if it's clear as I'd rather understand what is being said than not. Actually thinking about it any group of Greeks put together usually shout.
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@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
18 Nov 09
That's up to Karen to decide I think.
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• United States
18 Nov 09
True, Thea, we all need to hear clearly what is spoken to take part in a conversation. Perhaps mid-tone speaking is the way to go? Except in a noisy situation where shouting above it is the only thing that works. Ugh, I do hate getting shouted AT, though. Karen
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
19 Nov 09
Hi Karen, I don't ever mix with the types who go around shouting AT people. But a table full of Greeks does get quite loud. Naturally the middle ground is the best but at the end of the day I do prefer loud to muttered.
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@yugasini (12816)
• Anantapur, India
19 Nov 09
hi karen madam, i am mild in talking mostly i am not shouting,i have seen some people they will should for all things every things,but some peoples tone is high we assume that they are shouting but when we know the thing,that they are talking,there are so many people with so many types of mentalities,have a nice day
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• United States
20 Nov 09
Hi Yugasini. I can well imagine that you would have a quiet or peaceful manner of speaking. It is preferable for myself that I do the same. Karen
@yugasini (12816)
• Anantapur, India
20 Nov 09
hi karen madam, thanks for the comment, each and every time i am cool and calm and may not get tension at each and every point,mostly i act calmly,if i know any thing also i will not ask immediately,i will ask the after two days only,have a nice day
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Nov 09
That is a wise way to go :)
@dpk262006 (56115)
• Delhi, India
18 Nov 09
Hi Karen! Quite an interesting thought! It appears saner if we talk in a soft and low tone, it is true that in that case others will have to pay more attention to listen to us. Shouting or yelling could be counter-productive and it could be taken otherwise. Some people have a habit of talking in louder tone and I think those people are not appreciated much by others. I try to talk in moderate tone so that the listener could at least listen to me and could understand me.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Deepak. You've gathered my point very well. A soft or normal tone seems to better convey what we need to say and capture the attention of those with whom we are speaking, where shouts are tuned out! Thank you for your input :) Karen
@dpk262006 (56115)
• Delhi, India
19 Nov 09
In fact Karen I liked your topic very much and would make it a point not to raise my voice unnecessarily as it may not serve any purpose. Deepak
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• United States
20 Nov 09
Thank you, my friend :)
• India
19 Dec 09
Hello my friend PeacefulWmn9 Ji, Whispering comes only when you want only particular person to listen. Normally my parents used o whisper, so tah conversation is limited to themselves. But, in a class of 40 pupils, what is the tone to be applied taht student pay attention and listen to teacher. We have coaching classes of more than 100, where public address system is used. Also, if tehre is need of immediate attention like Fire', requirement of medical aid, to divert eveyone's attention, 'shouting' only will help. Further, during any conspiracy, whisperingony will be adopted. I think, everythingis right at it's own place. May God bless You and have a great time.
• United States
19 Dec 09
Hello my friend. You are right :) Different voices and volumn for different situations. It makes perfect sense! God bless you, too, Karen
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• India
20 Dec 09
Hello my friend PeacefulWmn9 Ji, So nice of you for your pleasing comments. May God bless You and have a great time.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
24 Nov 09
Loud people set my nerves on edge, lol! Their voices are always so sharp and jarrig to the system. It is very unsettling to have to be around that kind of noise, especially when someone is yelling into a mobile phone.
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• United States
25 Nov 09
Precisely! It actually hurts the ears, so the tendancy is to tune out or walk away. Ugh. Karen
• United States
23 Nov 09
My boyfriend tells me that he can not stand that I do not yell when I am upset about something. He prefer I yell instead of calmly speaking.. *SIGHS* I guess opposites attract eh?
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• United States
25 Nov 09
Yes, Barbara, quite often opposites do attract. I have a feeling your boyfriend prefers yelling when upset, and when you don't, it gives him no excuse to vent lol. Just keep being yourself. Karen
@victory12 (348)
• Nigeria
21 Nov 09
Hello Karen, i prefer the two method, when someone is far away from me and he or she talk softly i will not hear but when the person is close to me i prefer soft-spoken so that the person beside or behind me will not hear what the person is discussion with me
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• United States
23 Nov 09
Hi Victory. That makes perfect sense. :)) Karen
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
19 Nov 09
This is actually something that I've been exploring recently with my children. I used to be the person that yelled at them when they were doing something wrong. However, in the recent past I've taken to more of a discussing things with them using a softer tone of voice. Surprisingly, it seems that when I use the softer tone of voice with them, what I am trying to convey to them comes through much better. It is a great thing to keep in mind and a philosophy that at least thus far has been beneficial in changing my parenting habits.
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• United States
20 Nov 09
Hello Dorann :) I believe your experiment was a great idea. When someone is speaking in a soft/normal and calm voice as opposed to yelling, others, including children, tend to tune in rather than out. And that is a positive :)) Karen
@mimpi1911 (25454)
• India
19 Nov 09
That's very well said Karen. Only today I responded to one discussion where I expressed my utmost bitterness towards loud people. One of my pet peeves is loudspeakers and noise. I cannot stand it and starts to get discomfort. I talk very softly and it has been like this since my childhood. I am patient and soft spoken and love it when I meet similar people. I think, we can be soft yet be assertive for many seem to confuse between loudness and assertiveness. I would also like to share that I cannot be a part of rock band concerts which sometimes I like enjoying at home but when live I hate it, so much so, that i had walked out of a much coveted rock show in the city! My friends think I am weird, but that's how I am.
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• United States
20 Nov 09
Hi Mimpi :) Anything that "hurts" the ears, to that person, it is noise. I feel as you do about people who routinely speak too loudly. The vibrations do become actually painful to one's ears, cause tension to the point of getting a headache. They even have a name for it: noise pollution! Ugh. Karen
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
18 Nov 09
Hi Karen I find that to and I have to be honest I used to talk in a lower tone to my Staff as you always had one that was being ignorant, and they had to really pay attention to what I was saying People will listen more because they know they will miss something and of course they do not want to as it might be something interesting lol
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• United States
19 Nov 09
LOL, good tactic, and I think that's the purpose of the saying: if you want to capture someone's attention, whisper. Yes, people have to truly listen to hear you! Karen
@savypat (20247)
• United States
18 Nov 09
I use to have fun with this, I taught an adult class at night ans sometimes the discussions would get very loud, to calm everyone down I would whisper Your next test will be next week. Of course I had to repeat it but it certianly got people's attention.
• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Pat. LOL, yes, I've used the same method teaching Sunday school and find it very effective. I hope your cat is doing well and that you and your husband are getting caught up on some rest! xoxo Karen
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
18 Nov 09
i HAVE A TENDACY TO TALK LOUD WHEN I AM TICKED OFF. wHEN MY SONS WERE HOME THEY WERE LIKE OH WELL, SHE'S AT IT AGAIN BUT WHEN I WAS REALLY UPSET & HURT OVER SOMETHING THEY HAD DONE & talked very softly to them it got their attention more, lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Jo. I think most of us tend to raise our voices when we're angry. And right again, keeping it on the quieter side seems to gain or hold someone's attention much better :) Hope you're having a fine day! Karen
• Australia
18 Nov 09
I think it depends on the situation, but in ALL situations some modulation is necessary. Monotone is definitely OUT. I speak to groups of children a lot and I often use a whisper. When there are children not paying attention, a whispered sentence (still in the story: not directed at a child) will get their immediate attention. A sudden shout (as part of the story) will do the same, but a whisper is usually more effective and lasting. I tend to think that kids are used to people shouting, and so a whisper carries more importance. I also conduct workshops for adult leaders and I often use a whisper. Here again, it seems to imply an importance - something to listen to intently. When our children were young, I never allowed them to talk between rooms (as I hear children and adults doing nowadays) They were always taught that if they had something to say, they would face the person to say it. I am pleased they carry this on with their children.
• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Cloud. I myself prefer modulated voice tones, as well. It is simply easier on the ears and more pleasant in general to hear such voices. And you're right...children tend to listen with more careful attention and anticipation to a story section that is whispered, and a bit startled or thrilled at those parts that are shouted. The way of story telling just adds to the pleasure of hearing it, as do "special" sound effects :) Also true, it's good when talking with someone or listening to them, to give them the courtesy of looking at them :) Thank you for sharing that. Karen
@bodhisatya (2384)
• India
18 Nov 09
hi karen, I think it takes a lot of patience and intelligence to be a soft spoken person. A person who raises his voice and tries to keep his point is maybe a fool. It is universal that people who are wise and clever won't ever raise their voice to show that they are the "Boss". Well my profession makes me to meet different industrialists who are extremely rich and successful. Most of them are very soft spoken, but at the same time they possess tremendous gravity in whatever they say.
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• United States
18 Nov 09
Hello Bodhi. You're right, especially when one is angry or passionate about something, it's easy to shout and not even realize it, but shouting is rather off-putting. I think it interesting, your observations on the rich and successful. :) Karen
@peace001 (727)
• China
18 Nov 09
hi,Karen curiousness is common to all men.and for this the world becomes more interesting and colourful,isnot it? have a nice day
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• United States
18 Nov 09
Hello to you, Peace. Yes, curiousness lives in almost all of us, but that is part of what makes life so interesting, that desire to explore it and people. You have a nice day, too. karen
@VKXY62 (1606)
• Australia
18 Nov 09
I heard of a person that trained their dog by only using whispers, sounded good to me. My hearing isn't the best, and my Mum is a bit deaf, so I usually get 'WHAT?' if I am not loud and clear.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 09
LOL, yes, what works well on a dog might not be so good with someone whose hearing is impaired. One of my dear friends is deaf in the left ear, and I have learned to talk more loudly with him, or I end up repeating each thing at least three times lol. Karen
@Hatley (164736)
• Garden Grove, California
18 Nov 09
hi peacefulwmn9 Soft spoken people get my attention far better than noisy belligerent yelling or shouting does. It is a known fact that if you want to win an argument with someone who is loud and obnoxious the quieter you can make yourself, even if you are angry, and the lower and softer you keep your voice the more apt you are to win hands down. the loud obnoxious lout will just give up and walk off in a huff.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Hatley. I tend to feel as react to tone of voice and volumn of the voice much as you do. True, even in an argument, one is more apt to hear us and take our point into consideration if we keep a calm voice rather than one that rants and raves! Thank you for responding :) Karen
• China
18 Nov 09
Hi Karen. As far as I am concerned I really like the words: if you want someone to listen, whisper. I really do not like a shout since they really make me feel that the people who shout is rude. As a Chinese people, we often shout in the street, bus, subway, supermarket. In USA, people always say how to judge a person is a Chinese or a Japanese is to see who shout loudly in the public areas. It is realluy ashamed for me. When I whisper to some one, I can share mey secrets or some thing that not suit for everyone to listen. And I really thing whisper is a good way for us to express our feelings and opinions.
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• United States
18 Nov 09
Hi Fafnirchan. Shouting, especially unnecessarily, is something I find nerve-wrenching and hard on the ears, hence the tendancy to tune out whatever is being said! I also like the theory: if you want to capture someone's attention, whisper. There is much to be admired about simple conversations with one who is calm and soft spoken. I appreciate you sharing your opinion on this. Karen