Pipe down in there!

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I have a friend who talks very loudly. It’s quite annoying and irritating. She’s so loud that it sounds as though she’s angry or upset. Friends and family members have asked me numerous times why she talks so loudly. I have asked her nicely a million times to lower her voice. Soon after telling her, the volume goes back up, even when she is sitting right next to me.

What is surprising is that she does not realize how loudly she talks. This person had her hearing tested about a year ago as part of a routine medical checkup, and her hearing was considered normal for her age. She tells me that she has been talking loudly all her life and gets annoyed when asked to lower the volume.

Why is it that she cannot lower her voice even when she’s been asked politely? Can such a nasty habit be changed? Would a speech therapist help? Do breathing exercises exist that could help her lower her voice? Could it be that she has some unknown medical problem? It’s come to the point that I cannot stand it anymore and this bad habit is hurting our friendship. — Loudness Sufferer

Dear Loudness Sufferer: Perhaps she was born with large vocal cords or is suffering a subtler form of hearing loss not detected in basic tests. (You might encourage her to see a specialist to rule that out.)

Whatever the reason for her loud talking, her worse habit is refusing to hear her friends. Before it totally ruins the friendship, let her know how it hurts your feelings when she disregards your pleas.

Editor’s note: Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.