Don’t Give Up!

When the speech gets tough, the tough keep listening! As many of you know, hearing loss can be an extremely frustrating impairment to live with. There are many psychological and physiological aspects to hearing well, but the main focus I want to have this month is: How quickly do you give up listening or trying to understand in difficult situations?

When most people initially start to realize they have hearing loss, they recognize listening situations where they’re not understanding the words clearly. One of the easiest things to do when you’re not hearing clearly is to simply give up or mentally “check-out.” Then you act like you know what someone is saying and just ”smile and nod” or you can use some other skills to try to understand the conversation and stay in the game. I definitely recommend the latter.

Once you give up on a conversation, it’s easier to do it again the next time. You slowly fall into a pattern of not really listening, and eventually withdraw from troublesome hearing situations. People who stay engaged in the conversations – even when they misunderstand – find they can pull enough out of a conversation to get the general meaning. This allows them to interact longer and find a higher degree of satisfaction with the encounter. This also keeps your cognitive skills for listening and processing at peak performance.

Don’t throw in the towel. Keep fighting for clarity. It can be frustrating, but the victories are rewarding when you realize you were facing a tough situation and overcame the challenges.

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