Coming to terms with your hearing loss is not an easy thing to do. Maybe you’re embarrassed by it, or you’re worried about what your friends, family, and coworkers will say. In the end though, sharing this news with others is important not only for them to fully understand your situation, but so they can better communicate with you.
It’s okay to be nervous about sharing this information, but in the end it’s necessary. Let the tips below help you when it’s time to tell others about your hearing loss.
It’s best not to leave out any details. Telling others about your hearing is meant to improve how they communicate with you. You’re no doubt tired and stressed from missing out on conversations and asking people to repeat themselves. Striving for complete disclosure instead of only telling half the story gets everything out in the open.
Whenever you choose to share the news, it’s best to start from the beginning so every person you talk to knows how serious it is. Not only will you feel relieved, but others will be less confused about current communication problems. Acknowledging the reality for everyone makes it easier to cope with the hearing loss and move forward together.
Think of sharing this news as an important step in improving communication between yourself and everyone with whom you talk.
Approaching Friends and Family vs. Coworkers
You’ll have two major groups to tell, and the news may not go over the same with both. Your friends and family have probably already acknowledged the hearing loss—they were just waiting for you to acknowledge it. Letting them know can help them understand more about your hearing loss and support you with solutions. The relief of telling them and having someone on your side helps ease the pressure of managing hearing concerns. After family, your friends know you best, and they too may have already noticed changes. Friends will be happy to help you so they can keep talking to you. It’s a win-win situation.
When approaching your employer and coworkers, remember to stay positive. Even though it’s harder to gauge their reaction, telling them is fully necessary to continue working together and to make any workplace adjustments. Discuss any steps you’ve taken so far, mention any challenges you’re currently facing, and offer tips they can use that make communicating at work easier.
Provide Communication Tips
Everybody will need to improve their communication methods, and you may find it helpful to include a few communication techniques when telling others about your hearing loss.
Sit on your good side or let others know the best way to talk to you so you can maximize what you’re hearing. Speak clearly and turn your body toward the person with whom you’re talking. Ask to speak to them in a quiet area or have them sit closer to you. Friends and family will appreciate the gesture and be thankful for your honesty and pointers, and you’ll find yourself less stressed while listening.
You can also do a few things on your part to hear better. If you know the situation will be in a noisier environment, take any preventive steps ahead of time. When someone is speaking to you, ensure you’re paying full, complete attention. Concentrate on the person talking. If you’re having trouble hearing, it’s okay to admit it, or if you’re tired, suggest a break. You can always re-start your conversation.
Don’t let your hearing loss go untreated. Request an appointment at Associated Audiologists today to see how they can help you manage your hearing.