Communication is the foundation of any relationship. When it breaks down, for whatever reason, everyone loses. If you or your loved one are dealing with a communication breakdown due to hearing loss, there are things you can do to ease your frustrations. You don’t want to stop interacting or only speak to one another in passing. Losing your intimate conversations or your interesting debates, takes the spontaneity out of relationships. Despite a hearing loss, you don’t have to lead a stressful life and lose connection to what matter most in your life.
- Keep a sense of humor about your hearing loss. If you can laugh and take little mistakes in stride, you can reduce embarrassment for yourself and others as well.
- Don’t start conversations with your spouse at a distance or in another room. If you initiate the conversation, get in front of the other person, first. Then talk. That’s the WALK, then TALK rule.
- Use your eyes to get visual cues. If you need glasses, wear them.
- Be an active listener. Follow the topic and participate in small group discussions when you can. Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat.
- Arrive early for meetings and church to get a seat near the front.
- Choose quiet restaurants and entertain in small groups.
- Be sensitive to asking your spouse to be a “human hearing aid.” It’s not their job to interpret for you. Take responsibility for your hearing loss.
- If you need hearing instruments, wear them. No one wants to wear hearing aids but they certainly can improve speech and enrich the quality of your relationships and your general well being.