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Monday, January 21, 2002

Voice Modulation & Snap Judgments

Right now, I'm the traveler, the gypsy, the lover, the best friend who is coming to visit.

What fascinates me is how I can project an image/mythology unintentionally to others who don't know me very well. For some reason in a certain era of my life, other people kept imagining that I was unpredictable, when I'd then had the same phone number for over twenty years and am a "pillar of my community" with a local business. This idea of me being "unpredictable" pre-dates my currently traveling lifestyle. I really can't imagine how some would have seen that mythology in me, when I'm one of the most stable people I know.

Later I found out that it was a mere mannerism of the way that I modulated my voice. Talking in a monotone when people were about to give me money helped immensely to make them feel I was a totally dependable person. Funny that little mannerism of voice would have anything to do with it, isn't it? But changing it made all the difference in the world to encourage the "public" to trust me with their money.

I wonder how Chinese is affected by this cultural bias - ? - to speak Chinese you have to modulate your voice up and down.