Naturally in my native language my voice over the phone is sometimes closer to a female voice. But my natural voice is sounding completely normal.

The problem is the listener in the other end of the phone will misunderstand and address me with "Miss". I always want to tell him/her, hey please don't address me as "Miss" , call me "Sir/Mr/or name". What are polite and nice ways to bring my point across?

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    Just a side note: I got confused by seeing the choice of the theme for your blog. :) Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 16:58
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    Reading the subject line only, I assumed that this was an entirely different question related to Miss vs Ms vs Mrs. Instead it sounds like you are being mis-gendered by folks who assume that your voice tone indicates you are a woman. It might be a good idea to edit the subject to be more clear about what you're asking.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:14
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    Is your first name considered a male name in your language? Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:32
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    @JulianaKarasawaSouza That might not be a very goo way: From where I belong , a "Kiran" can be a Mr or Miss, for example. Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:53
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    There was this issue over on IP interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/23113/… Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 20:46

6 Answers 6


Most of the time, the nicest way is to be straightforward.

If this happens in middle of a running conversation, just say:

Excuse me if you got confused by the tone of the voice, but I'm Mr. X here, not miss X.

Another way, lead the conversation by saying:

"Hello, Mr.X here / speaking"

include the salutation on purpose so as to leave no room for interpretation.

[Clarification after the comments]:

Based on culture, the X can be your firstname, lastname or full name, whichever does not sound egoistic and rude and super-arrogant.

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    @Bee how is that? It's just correcting the mistake in understanding. Do you have any alternate wordings? Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:00
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    @Bee Anything said loud and harsh in a monotone voice will sound aggressive - just a small example here: "I REALLY LIKE ICECREAM!" ;)
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:06
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    The second is the better solution, just let them know from the start
    – Kilisi
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:25
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    Referring to yourself as Mr. sounds super arrogant to me, but that's probably a regional thing.
    – Mars
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 2:41
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    To rephrase it simply: You don't normally use a title (honorifics) for yourself, so "Hello, I'm Mr. Mars" is weird. Using a title for someone else is normal. "Hello Mr. OP, pleased to meet you" is normal.
    – Mars
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 8:39

I'm trans so I have special experience here, I guess...

Whenever I get misgendered I have three options:

1) Say nothing.

2) Immediately correct them.

3) Correct them if they continue to do it.

You have to figure out how much it bothers you. Usually if I'm say... talking to a vendor that I'll never speak with again, I just ignore it. It's not worth the bowing and scraping and apologizing that follows.

If I correct people right away I usually say something like "Actually, it's ma'am.", or just interject "She" right after they say "He" or whatever. I have yet to have a single person say anything beyond "Oh okay sorry"... if they start falling over themselves to apologize excessively I usually add "Don't worry about it, it happens all the time, its no big deal." to put them at ease. My goal is to clearly communicate my expectations without placing blame on them.

Sometimes I'll decide to say nothing, but it will keep coming up in the conversation and I will decide to correct them. This is usually the most awkward way to go about doing it - there's always a pause where they count up in their head how many times they misgendered me already. I try to stick to the same non-confrontational attitude with this, but it's always at least a bit awkward.

So I'd say either correct them right away politely and try to downplay it (after all, they're not trying to insult you or anything) or don't say anything if it isn't worth the effort.

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    Thank you for sharing your experience and how to deal it. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:39
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    We are actually little bit new to LGBT rights , and few people openly say that they are LGBT in open. However the law implements their rights. As a country the future will be change for good. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:40
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    @sandundhammika Yeah, it's not a direct answer, and I'm sure there's cultural differences, but I figured my answer on what has worked for me without pissing off others would be useful in some way. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:28
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    To be honest, if I addressed you incorrectly by mistake, I'd want to be corrected so I don't make the same mistake again.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 2:19

I'm assuming here that these are one-time failures by people you don't know to correctly identify you, and not coworkers calling you incorrectly on a repeated basis or with intentional rudeness.

For one-off mistakes, an immediate, quick, but casual correction is usually effective. Try not to dwell on it, and if the caller apologizes, make your response to that polite but brief as well and try to move the conversation on to reduce embarrassment for both parties.

For example: "Sorry-- I go by Mr. X" "Oh, I am so sorry!" "No problem. You were saying...?"

I agree that Sourav Ghosh's idea of getting ahead of it by introducing yourself as Mr. before the caller has a chance to make assumptions is a good plan as well, unless your company culture on usual phone etiquette discourages such formality.

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    "That's, Mr. X." [apologies] "No problem." - The key is how you say no problem : nonchalantly, even if it did cause you offense.
    – Mazura
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 1:44

Why do you need to correct them?

I have the same problem--my phone voice sounds female enough that I will generally be assumed to be female even when they don't know my name (I have the male spelling, the female Lauren is far more common.)

Unless there's some reason they need to know my gender I just let it be. It's not worth trying to correct people.

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    But there is a disappointment that disappointment does not deserved by a hard working full of dreams employee workplace environment. Personally that was a disappointment for me because nature have created me as male and I like this male life. I specially I females address me as a male. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:13
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    Yes in workplace , the sexually I should be neutral. There is a statement never date a person from your workplace since it will make the life lot terrible. To keep the life happy and fine tuned have a person(s) outside the workplace for dating. Even it is true, I still want to be a male identity in the workplace. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:15
  • @sandundhammika "Never" - if you find the love of your life in the workplace, don't miss out on the partner who makes you happy for the next 50 years because of some statement. Obviously be aware there can/will be difficulties, but your happiness is more important than a job.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 1:37

When this happens on the phone, and someone calls you "Miss" or "Mrs." your reaction shouldn't be "please address me as..." but "I am ...". You are Mr. Dhammika. You don't want to be addressed in some special way, you want to be addressed in the correct way, according to who you are.

So if someone guesses incorrectly that you are female based on your voice, you should say "I'm not Miss Dhammika, I am Mr. Dhammika". That clarifies who you are. How they address you is then up to them. (For example Mr. or Sir).

Now if they didn't address you as "Miss / Mrs." but as "Ma'am", in that situation they guessed wrong, and if they had guessed correctly, they would have addressed you as "Sir". In that case, you can say "It's not Ma'am, it's Sir".

Most people will now address you correctly. If they don't, you stop them and say something like "Excuse me, but I said it's Mr., not Miss".


Another thing to try could be to explain

Hi ... btw. I know some people think I a woman when on the phone but I am male, just to add...

That's an interesting option in situations like a first business call where you want to avoid expecting upcoming embarrassing situations for both of you.

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