There is several research that indicates how we communicate non-verbally (and unintentionally) when someone attracts us. For example, exposing the neck or the inside of the arms indicates interest, while crossing the arms does not.
However, not all of these discrete signals have to do with the position we take or the gestures on our face. According to research, there is also something else that betrays us. It’s about the voice, something that we constantly use during flirting, whenever we dare to say something to that person who holds our attention.
The voice and its link with sexual attraction
There are many ways to explain the logic behind our tastes when it comes to finding a mate, and one of the most talked about in psychology is that of evolutionary psychology.
This perspective focuses on how evolution has shaped the genetics that most humans share and how it influences our behavior. Reproductive behavior, in particular, receives a lot of attention by these researchers, because the strategies we use to mate and procreate have direct effects on genes.
In the case of voice, it is believed that one of the reasons that men’s voices are more severe is that the genes that cause this trait have been selected more often in women’s reproductive strategies. Which means in men the low voice is attractive and that is why those who do have it are more likely to have offspring (perhaps because this class of sounds is associated with large, and therefore loud, animals). In the case of women, the opposite is true: in general, those with the loudest voice are more attractive.
On the other hand, there is also data that indicates a curious phenomenon: people with more active sex lives have more attractive voices. In this research, several volunteers of both sexes they had to assess the degree of attraction they felt for the voices which had been recorded on sound recordings. Using this information and uncovering reports of the sex lives of the people who gave their voice to the experience, this strange pattern of behavior was detected.
Adjusting our voice to others
We’ve already seen that voice is related to sexual preferences, but … how does it influence flirtation once it starts? This is a relevant question, because the voice is not only used to influence the assessment of the attractiveness of potential couples; moreover, we often use it to please others more, even if we do not realize it. And that it can be used to detect sexual or romantic interest that someone can express to us.
The main thing is to pay attention to how our interlocutor adapts his voice to sound like ours. This phenomenon, called phonetic convergenceThis happens unconsciously almost every time we speak to someone who attracts us.
Speech rhythm as well as intonation and tone are altered to mimic that of the other person, so that they feel comfortable in the conversation by feeling “in their comfort zone”. On the other hand, the opposite happens when we talk to someone we don’t like: we focus on properties of our voice that don’t sound like the other person.
Additionally, this tendency to change the way we speak occurs on a small scale during the first few minutes we speak to someone, but it also continues days or even weeks later. For example, one survey found that months after moving in together for the first time, several roommates tended to speak in a much more similar way than they did on their first day together. Additionally, the degree to which their voices matched those of others correlated with the degree to which each felt close to the other.
Part of the chameleon effect
Phonetic convergence can be understood as part of the chameleon effect, a tendency by which everything our non-verbal language adapts to that of the interlocutor, Unconsciously, usually when there is a climate of attraction or emotional closeness (or you want to access it).
For example, some salespeople pay attention to the attitudes of their potential customers and mimic them, or try to relate the speed at which they speak to that of the other person.
So to know if you love someone, always you can pay attention to how your way of speaking changes during the first few minutes of conversation. On the other hand, if you are interested in this person, you can also try to intentionally change the way you express yourself so that the rhythms and sounds that make up your voice blend into it.