What’s your week-by-week talking style?

My Hormonology

What’s your week-by-week talking style?

cellphoneYou probably already know that you speak faster, feel chattier and are far more eloquent on some days than on others.

But did you know it’s because of the rise and fall of your monthly hormone cycle? It’s true! Here’s why: Estrogen, testosterone and progesterone all affect how fast you speak, how much you like to talk and how well you say what you want to say.

Read on to find out you how to predict what your talking style will be like each week of your cycle and learn how to make the best out of every week’s hormone-influenced talk type….

Week 1: The wind-up
Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7
During the first couple of days of Week 1 of your cycle, you’re likely feeling quiet and the words you do eke out don’t come out as eloquently as you’d hope. That’s because estrogen starts out at the bottom of its cycle, which makes everything that affects speech—energy, concentration and memory—low, too. However, by the middle of your Week 1, it’s a whole different story: By then, estrogen rises to a level that makes you chatty and eloquent. This hormone is also making your memory sharper and your cognitive skills stronger, so you’re thinking faster on your feet and remembering words that you thought you’d only use on college entrance exams. As a result, it’s easier to come up with persuasive arguments for getting just what you want.
Who to talk to this week: After Day 3, call your credit card company, phone carrier, cell phone company and any other company where you can ask about new specials and bargain them down to new money-saving deals. Call to schedule that job interview, set up an important meeting or pitch a new client.  This is also the best time to ask your boss for a raise. Is your boss male? Ask him after lunch. That’s when a man’s testosterone is lower in his 24-hour hormone cycle, making him more likely to say “yes”. Ask him any sooner and his testosterone will be higher, making him more combative and, therefore, more likely to say “no”.

Week 2: Fast forward
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
Remember your stellar verbal fluency, memory and cognitive skills from last half of last week? They’re still going strong during the first half of this week as estrogen continues to rise. This means you’re speaking with even more fluidity and recalling the type of big words usually reserved for a UN council meeting. By mid-week, however, there’s a slight change. Peaking estrogen and testosterone are revving your energy to cycle-long highs, making you speak faster. You’re also talking it’s your job; you’ll fit in more words anywhere—giving way more details than what was asked for, chatting up the pets and even talking to yourself out loud…in public. An interesting sidenote: Research shows high hormones make your voice sound more melodic, feminine and attractive to both men and women.
Who to talk to this week: During the first half of the week, make all those money-saving calls you didn’t fit in during Week 1 of your cycle, schedule important meetings with new clients who weren’t available, and ask the boss for that raise if you chickened out. In the second half of this week, use your speedy speech days to catch up with girlfriends. Women are way better at being able to keep up with your faster pace than men. The reason? Guys have fewer speech centers in their brain than women, so they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to communication. If you do chat up a guy on these days, try to slow down as you speak. Men are already so easy to confuse. Spinning verbal figure-eights around them won’t help any. By the way, if you’re talking with a male boss on these days, try to lower the pitch of your voice (an easy way to do this is simply lower your chin a bit). Men often mistake higher notes in speech as a sign of ditziness. Of course, that’s not true. But have patience with men. A sex that doesn’t understand the need for coasters and throw pillows will never understand the complexities of estrogen.

Week 3: Slow and low
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15  to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
What a difference a week makes. Your lips finally get a well-deserved rest as rising progesterone and descending estrogen in this week slow you down and make you feel like clamming up. It’s just as well, since progesterone also puts a damper on your verbal ability, making you tend to say the wrong word more often, giving you that tip-of-the-tongue feeling and littering your speech with a few “ums” and “ahhs”. What’s more, the ease in which you recalled all those big words starts to fade. So, too, do the higher notes you were using last week. In fact, you could sound a bit monotone on occasion during these rising progesterone days.
Who to talk to this week: You only get one chance to make a first impression, so unless you can overcome progesterone’s verbal challenges, it’s best to call up longtime buds who already know you well. With nurturing progesterone on the rise and your desire to do less of the talking, you’ll enjoy one-on-ones with pals who need to bend your ear for awhile. Have an important meeting or phone call that requires spot-on speaking skills? Take a moment before you talk to think about what you’re about to say before you say it. Not only will you have a better shot at getting what you want to say right the first time, research shows that pausing and speaking deliberately is perceived as a sign of intelligence!

Week 4: Round and round
Final 6 days of your cycle
As estrogen descends, so does your word recall and memory for details. At the same time, bottomed-out estrogen makes you tend to give less direct answers to questions and more likely to touch on many topics while trying to make a single point. Some might say you’re speaking in circles or going off on tangents. Truth is, this kind of free-form thinking can help you come up with lots of great ideas and creative solutions. So, the more you talk, the more genius proposals you might come up with.
Who to talk to this week: Invite friends and co-workers to brainstorm with you. Having people around to act as a sounding board for you as work through issues out loud helps you generate more inspiring ideas and solutions.

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