If you have recently noticed a guy talking to you at a high pitch you’re probably wondering why and what it might mean.

This post will try to help you to figure that out and to make sense of it as it happens in the future.

So, what does it mean when a guy’s voice gets higher? It can signal that he is attracted to someone, he is nervous, that he is being submissive or it could be that his voice is converging to the pitch spoken by those he lives with.

Since there are actually a number of reasons that a guy’s voice can get higher it would be important to consider the other body language signals that he is showing.

By doing so you will be able to get a better idea of why his voice is higher.

Possible reasons why a guy’s voice can get higher

There are a number of reasons why a guy’s voice can get higher and each of them will likely come with a number of clues in their body language.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons that a guy might speak at a higher pitch along with the body language signals to look for.

Attraction

It is known that men will often speak with a deeper tone when speaking to a woman that they find attractive. This is likely to be to highlight that they are in abundance of testosterone.

However, studies have found that guys will also speak at a higher pitch when they are talking to an attractive woman. This could be because they want to show their masculinity by speaking with a lower pitch while also showing that they are not a threat by speaking at a higher pitch, at times, as well.

This means that if you notice a guy speaking at both a higher and lower pitch when he is with you it could be because he is attracted to you.

If this is the case then he would likely show a number of other signs of attraction such as:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Holding his gaze with you for longer
  • Glancing at you often
  • Getting anxious when you’re with other men
  • Touching a lot
  • Pointing his feet towards you
  • Standing at a close proximity to you
  • Talking to you more than others
  • Mirroring your behavior

Mirroring

It could be the case that the people that he is spending most of his time with are actually causing him to change his vocal tone.

It has actually been shown that, over time, people will begin to change their vocal tone to sound more like the people that they spend most of their time with.

This means that if a guy spends most of his time around people that speak at a higher pitch then he will begin to speak at a higher pitch as well.

It was also found that people’s voices, in the study, converged towards those that they liked the most.

So, if a guy’s best friend speaks at a higher pitch then it could also be why the guy is beginning to speak at a higher pitch.

If he is mirroring their voices then he would likely be mirroring a number of their other behaviors such as:

  • Their smile
  • How they stand (ie with hands in pockets or folded)
  • How often they touch
  • Fashion choices
  • Sitting in a similar way
  • Copying their hand gestures
  • Walking in a similar way

Nervousness

One reason that a guy might begin to speak at a higher pitch could be that he is nervous.

If it is due to being nervous then he would have likely started to speak at a higher pitch after something happened that could have made him nervous.

There are many things that can make people nervous but an example might be talking at a higher pitch after being asked a question that is difficult for him.

If he is nervous then it would likely be that he would show a number of other signs of being nervous such as:

Rubbing the nose

Eye blocking behaviors such as frequent blinking, rubbing the eyes and putting things in their way

  • Rubbing the arms or palms
  • Rubbing the upper legs
  • Touching the neck
  • Tapping the fingers or feet
  • Fidgeting
  • Quivering
  • Licking the lips
  • Deeper breathing
  • Nail-biting
  • Crossing the legs and arms

Submission

One thing that can cause people to speak at a higher pitch is submission.

If a guy is feeling intimidated and he doesn’t want to get into a fight or to cause some other kind of trouble then it can cause him to speak at a higher pitch.

When people are being aggressive they will usually speak at a lower pitch since it signals more testosterone. If a guy were to speak back at him with a lower pitch then it could be considered as an act of aggression so he may choose to speak at a higher pitch instead.

If submission is the reason then it would likely be apparent based on the context but an example would be when being confronted by someone or when speaking to his boss.

If he is speaking at a higher pitch due to being submissive it would be likely that he would show other submission signals in his body language such as:

  • Looking down
  • Not maintaining eye contact
  • Laughing
  • Making the body appear small
  • Slouching
  • Showing vulnerable areas like the palms or neck

Why guys speak at certain pitches

The type of person that a guy thinks that he is and where he thinks that he fits in society will actually have a large impact on his vocal tone.

If the man thinks that he is dominant it has been shown that he will generally speak at a lower pitch.

Whereas, if he thinks that he is a high-status person then he will always speak with the same tone regardless of who he is talking to. So, if he naturally speaks at a higher pitch he will always do so and if he naturally speaks more deeply he will always speak more deeply.

Consider when it happened

When trying to figure out why a guy might be speaking at a higher pitch it would help to consider when he started to do it.

If he started to do it when a particular person walked in then he might be intimidated by them or they might be making him feel anxious for some reason.

If it started to happen after being asked a question then it would signal that he had some kind of an emotional reaction to that question.

If it has been more gradual then it could be that he is mirroring those around him.

Consider where it happened

It would also be helpful to consider where he started to speak with a higher voice.

If it was at work then it may be that he subconsciously doesn’t want to appear to be a threat to people that are higher up in the company.

If it was in a doctors waiting room then he was probably nervous.

Think about their normal behavior

It would also be helpful to observe how he talks and how he maintains his body language in a normal setting around his friends.

When he deviates from his normal behavior it would be a sign that something is wrong.

This means that when you notice that he is speaking at a higher pitch it would be helpful to consider what other body language signals appear to be different.

Related

What causes a guy’s voice to be high pitched? There are a number of possible causes it could be that he is genetically designed to speak at a higher pitch or he might be feeling submissive, attracted, nervous or he might be mirroring the pitch of those around him.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.