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When did we all start obsessing with perfection?

I want a British accent
What’s wrong with your accent?
It’s too German
… but you are German!
I know, but I don’t want to sound German when I speak English… I don’t even like Germans very much!

Well I guess we all want something we can’t have… I’d like to be able to speak Italian, Spanish, French and Thai, I’d like to have more energy, smoother darker skin, thicker hair, less grey and definitely less wrinkles… but, guess what? It’s not going to happen.

The question is why do you want to have a British accent? And which British accent exactly? London, Manchester, Scotland, Cornwall? Stating the obvious here, there are so many different types of English, British, American Australian, South African, and many more…

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they like listening the sound of their own voice. Even those people who like to talk a lot, probably like the attention, rather actually listening to themselves. There seems to be an obsession with perfection today, photo filters turn us into supermodels at the touch of a button and now you want to speak English with ‘Received Pronunciation’ and have Oxford dictionary vocabulary at the tip of your tongue. Are you aware that not everyone actually responds positively to RP English?

Personally, the upperclass accent really turns me off… I’m an easy going person who finds a lot of humour in everyday life and who laughs a lot. And I particularly warm to northern English accents rather than the ‘posh’ local accents of my home region. I love listening to Adel with her classy singing voice and her down to earth London accent when she speaks.

My point here is that as human beings we are naturally curious about people and their origins. We are attracted to people who stand out a little from the crowd. We’re fascinated by people who have lived a diverse life, travelled, worked hard, failed, tried again, and again and again. People who have actually lived their life rather than sat at home perfecting their accent, their hair, their handshake…

Your accent is a reflection of who you are and where you come from, and as long as you’re considerate of others and their language ability (don’t speak too fast, or swallow your words) you’ll find that people find you (and what you’re saying) much more interesting and relate to you much more than when you’re trying to be someone else. I would be willing to bet that more people will be inclined to speak to you and be more interested in what you have to say…when you, the person say it, rather than if a super intelligent AI chatbot said it for you with subliminal vocabulary and perfect RP English.

So, if you’re stressing yourself about your accent my advice would be to relax a little and instead look at whatever judgements you’re making about yourself on the inside. Tune into the thoughts and feelings that judge your accent negatively and your desire to be ‘other’ to understand what the real issue is. And, If you need help with this… book some time with me. I can help to come to terms with whatever it is that’s going on, on the inside.

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