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Speech and Emotional Connection

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

So many pupils over the years have come to me with the same problem, an inability to convey their feelings through speech. Clients from every possible profession and background all struggling to get their emotional intention across.

There are a couple of things at play here, firstly true storytelling is becoming a lost art. The internet and social media flood our daily experience with thousands of images and short films. Social media has taught us to be lazy with language, using just a couple of words or a snappy soundbite to put the point across.

The problem with this is we begin to communicate in the same way, explaining and telling stories that are lacking enough emotional substance to describe the situation or how something made the person actually feel.

Many people are completely disconnected from their true feelings and therefore make statements in an inadequate way. Some fail to find the vocabulary that properly describes the depth of feeling or are unable to bring the emotional content to their voices.

Which leads me to the second main reason that people can sometimes find expressing emotion through their voices difficult – trauma.

Often this is to do with a point in a person’s life when they have needed to protect themselves. Perhaps they have been bullied at school or had a narcissistic or abusive family member. Learning quickly to seem brave and stoic in the face of daily abuse they effectively shut the voice/emotion connection down so that their voices would not betray vulnerability and hurt.

While this might have worked well to protect them during the traumatic events it does not serve them well in adulthood.

Many clients come to me with monotone voices or patterns of speech. Understandably this frustrates them because it means people don’t always listen to everything they have to say.

It can result in an expression of anger or deep emotion being completely unnoticed, no matter what words they use. This is because they are saying ‘you’ve upset me’ in exactly the same way they might say ‘shall we have a cup of tea’.

The lack of emotional connection in their voice means that no one is understanding them properly.

Over the years I have found that talking about what created the issue can be the first steps to unravelling the problem and reconnecting the voice to the feeling.

As I say to everyone who approaches me with this issue – a child rarely comes into the world with an emotionless voice, something happened somewhere which created this.

Sometimes removing the ‘block’ can mean working together to create a list of 10 or more ‘Emotional Sentences’. These sentences which are personal to the client and give them an insight into how and why they have previously been misunderstood.

In many cases I help the client beyond this block with some guided healing mediation work, accessing where the problem and disconnection arose and then reconnecting.

Once the issue has finally been overcome and their voice/emotion reconnected, I have seen time and again how suddenly being able to communicate fully has revolutionised people’s lives.

The simple joy of being understood and having complete command of their voice has changed everything for the better. Often even improving their professional circumstances and careers.

Language and connection are so important, to be able to use your voice to convey feeling and a little vulnerability is both a brave act and ultimately compelling for the listener.

It is communication at its most powerful.


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