I was googling “psychological effects of hearing loss” for another writing project when I came across this. It’s an open letter than an audiologist drafted for deaf and hard of hearing people to share with their hearing friends and family. Sometimes it helps me to read things like that because for whatever reason, it’s hard to ask for help and reading someone else’s words makes it seem more reasonable.
I like the last point in the letter about conversing one-on-one as much as possible.
Because of my hearing loss, my ears cannot separate people’s voices like your ears can. That is why in most group situations, I hear people talking, but cannot understand much of what they say. Also, in a group, I find it difficult to follow several people at once. By the time I have figured out who is speaking next, I have lost most of what was said. It is much easier for me to understand you face-to-face in a quiet corner of the room than as a member of a group.
That’s something that I’ve been too shy to ask for, but it really is helpful. I don’t expect people to talk to me and only me for the duration of the group event, but I do feel more included if a few people just take a few minutes to chat quietly.
The only thing I would add to that is that generally, I prefer to do things one-on-one with people instead of in groups. Like I would rather get together with one friend for lunch than make a dinner party out of it. Or go to the movies with one person and not a whole group. But I have the hardest time making that happen. Sometimes I feel people are reluctant to do things one-on-one. I know that schedules conflict and especially with the young parents that make up my age group, plans can change at the last minute when there are kids involved. People are busy. But one of the downsides to our social media is that I know people have time for parties and other group activities. 😉 Just not for lunch or coffee.
I know I could do a better job of asking people to join me for those one-on-one times, but the road goes both ways as well. Sometimes I give up asking because people say “no” so often. Maybe it’s just me then, but does anyone else have a hard time setting up one-on-one time?