Tone of Voice

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Sometimes, I think that it might be helpful if we seriously had to watch video footage of ourselves interacting with our husbands and children.  Well – it would be terrifying, for some – but it might help us really get a good look at how we come across to those we are supposed to love the most.

IF YOU ARE LIKE I WAS…

My tone of voice was often condescending, holier-than-thou, sarcastic, angry, disapproving, impatient, sharp and unpleasant when I would talk to my husband.

I didn’t really think about it.  I mean, I was aggravated with him a lot, and I knew I wasn’t making any effort to control my tone of voice.

GUESS WHAT?

Our words are a big part of disrespect, but our non-verbals are even bigger many times!

A hateful, aggravated, annoyed, irritable, impatient, harsh, angry, scolding tone of voice spells HUGE disrespect to our men.

THIS TAKES PRACTICE:

I had to VERY CONSCIOUSLY watch my tone of voice.  All the time.  I still do have to watch myself with my children.  I don’t have much trouble with tone of voice with Greg anymore.  I tend to want to raise my tone of voice when my children  haven’t obeyed me after a few times of me asking them to do something with a pleasant tone of voice.  So, what I do with them, is I try to either whisper or sing my words to them if the pleasant/respectful tone of voice doesn’t work.  There are times I lose my temper.  Then I apologize.  But we also work on them obeying on the first time Mama or Daddy asks them to do something – so they are not off the hook!

You may have to actually practice in front of a mirror to be able to speak with a pleasant tone of voice to your husband.  Or even better, try practicing as you record yourself so that you can listen to what you really sound like.

WHAT TO DO?

  • Consciously keep  your volume normal or softer than normal when you are getting angry or irritated.
  • Consciously watch the edge on the tone of your voice, and soften it, making it sound pleasant and friendly (unless you are sad or angry – then keep it more neutral, but don’t let that angry tone kick in.)
  • Try whispering when you want to scream.  IT WORKS!  Your man will hear you more clearly, and you won’t be losing your temper.
  • Smile when you are speaking to your husband whenever possible.
  • CAUTION – don’t sound like you are talking to a kindergardener either – that can come across as patronizing.

KEEP IN MIND

Your husband has wisdom, too.

Your way is not necessarily the only “right” way.

Seek God’s will HIGH above your own.

Pray for God to give your husband wisdom to lead you and your family.

Pray for God to teach you to be a joyful, cheerful, supportive, respectful, cooperative follower.

Praise your man whenever he does something well!

Here is my Youtube video on this topic!

Why Nonverbal Disrespect is So Hurtful to Our Husbands  7 minutes (tone of voice and facial expression)

ALSO -

Please check out Thomas’ comment on the comments section of this post  - VERY HELPFUL!

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15 Comments on “Tone of Voice”

  1. Annie
    June 1, 2013 at 5:16 am #

    Hi April, losing temper is good coz it shows power I think but like not always tho .. I do kinda most times not always but sometimes just so I can win..
    good post..enjoooyyyeeeeeed it
    X A

  2. ccavanaugh66
    June 1, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    I am horrible in this respect and could really use more detailed pointers on changing. Could you write a more in-depth post on your efforts?

    • peacefulwife
      June 1, 2013 at 6:55 am #

      Ccavanaugh,

      Check out the youtube link on the bottom, I have a video where I give a demonstration of tone of voice and facial expressions. I will have another post on a similar topic tomorrow along with another Youtbe video link.

      If you still want more detail, let me know!

  3. Thomas
    June 1, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    This is a good one! The way we say something is as important (sometimes more important) than what we say. Also, human communication is 75-90% non-verbal, which means our facial expressions, gestures and body language set the “tone” even when we are not using our voices.

    When working with couples, I often videotape the sessions so they can watch how they respond to each other. Even turning down the sound is effective, because it matters less what they are saying and more how they are saying it (body language, facial expressions). For example, you can watch a couple with no sound and tell if their conversation is filled with kindness, frustration, contempt, affection, etc. Turn the sound on and the tone of voice also reveals things (like if the body language says one thing but the tone of voice says something else).

    We rarely see ourselves as others do.

    • peacefulwife
      June 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Thomas,
      THAT IS AWESOME! I really think if people did video tape themselves – they would be shocked at what they are actually communicating.

      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insights. I pray some couples might try this!

  4. sammythebeautiful
    June 1, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    I am so grateful for your Godly example and very needed teachings to us women on this particular topic….I so need to apply this in my life as I foolishly succumb to my bad temper too often…please pray for me…I really want to be a Godly women who loves, respects and honors her husband. Again thank you so much for your wonderful dedication to God’s work with these issues and significant teachings.

    • peacefulwife
      June 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Sammythebeautiful,

      You are more than welcome! Thank you for the comment. :)

      These are such important issues! They impact our ability to shine for Christ. I believe this must be a huge priority for Christian women – to allow God to regenerate our hearts and minds and purify us of our sinful attitudes that lead us to sinful speech that is so destructive to us and everyone around us.

      Lord
      I pray for Sammy – that You might empower her to see things from Your perspective. Let her have Your heart and mind! Cleanse her of every stronghold of the enemy and sin. Let her forgive anything she has against anyone and release all bitterness and resentment. Fill her with Your Spirit of power, love and self-control. Give her a new vocabulary full of praise and thanksgiving. Give her a new mind that focuses on the good – Phil 4:8. Remove the ugly tone of voice from her speech. Let her live in true humility and show affectionate love and friendliness to her husband and family.
      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

  5. Patrice
    June 2, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    This is a very important post. My husband tells me all the tome, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. So I’ve been trying to be conscious of my tone. I have recorded myself during and argument (I’m also working on not arguing) and felt awful. I have been extremely discouraged, though, because even when I am purposefully altering my tone to be pleasant and cheerful, yielding to his will, he says the same thing! So for a few days, I just said “poo it!”because I feel like he wants something that is ridiculously specific, and if he isn’t willing to tell me what it is, how can I achieve it?! Of course, that didn’t help either. I do understand, however, that I have spoken to him like this for years, so he isn’t going to respond when I fix the problem once or twice, it’s just hard when I need affirmations that I’m doing this correctly. : /

    • gambillswife
      June 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      God gives you the affirmation you need, think about how much better you feel after approaching things differently. I understand where you are coming from, I’m there now. I’ve been very disrespectful to my husband for over a year now and he still doesn’t know how to take me at times, due to my past reactions either verbally or facially. It’s a long journey, but with God involved all things are possible ! But I feel so much peace within myself now that I am obeying God’s commandment to be a respectful wife, there will be Good days and there will be Great days. Take one day at at time Patrice. May God Bless you and your Family.

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