The proverbs stated it in the most eloquent and clear manner. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Songs, poetry and drama are all types of arts delivered through the medium of words. The beauty of a song consists also of its tone along with its lyrics creating a music that would be soothing to the earns. Poetry is considered good not only because its words are resounding as when you read it, but that its beauty lies in the way it is read with the tone leading the audience to where the ideas expressed want them to be. This is the same with drama. Conversations will be monotonous and boring if the tone is removed. In fact, there are languages that to many are beautiful just because they perceive its tone or accent as melodious.
The power of the tone of our words can be seen by way parents deal with their teenage daughters or sons. Teenagers are special time in our psychosocial, emotional and intellectual development. Teenagers are often seen rebellious and stubborn, a stark contrast to their attitude of being sweet and submissive when they were children. Just try to talk to them when your voice is a little stronger or your tone is a little higher and pretty sure they will respond even stronger or higher in tone. Thus, this is proof that our tone affects the psychology and attitude of our children. Parents should try to tone down their voice so as to earn positive and softer response from their children.
A study by Christer Gobl and Ailbhe N. Chasaide published in the 2003 issue of “Speech Communication” suggests that voice quality has important impact on communications. Softer tone signals affective states than strong emotions. The study identified several voice qualities including harsh voice, tense voice, modal voice, breathy voice, whispery voice, creaky voice and lax-creaky voice. It explains that each of this voice quality or tone produces particular emotions, moods and attitudes to hearers.
Another study by Jean-Julien Aucouturier et published in the “Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States” discovered that your emotions don’t just affect your voice, but that your voice also influence your emotional state. The findings suggest that the way we speak does not only influence our listeners but that it too influences us, the speaker. In practical applications, this means that if you want to be diplomatic, then sound diplomatic. The tone of our voices works like a self-feedback mechanism in which it reinforces our own state of mind or mood. This is an important discovery.
There is no denying that our tone of voice is powerful and influential. But it is important to understand that our tone not only influences others or those who hear us, as it also influence us, the speaker.
It has been said that each individual is a microcosm of the universe. Well, in the tone of our voice we not only have the power to create our own world into what we want it to be, as our voice also creates the very world where we ourselves live.