Over one billion people are deaf or have some degree of hearing loss. Odds are you know someone who is experiencing this.
Those who have an impairment have shared that they would hope others realize how costly it is to have to consciously focus on what others are saying. It’s not that they don’t want to hear what others say, it’s that the focus becomes tiring during some conversations.
Human interaction is vital to each of us. But how do we maintain etiquette-ful communication when all parties may not be able to fully participate?
Hearing loss can vary from mild to severe. One person I spoke with shared that the best thing for him is when the person with whom he is speaking doesn’t go on and on. Keeping conversations short and concise helps him immensely. As does enunciating and articulating.
Eye contact, while important in every interaction, is especially important when someone isn’t hearing all your words. She often watches lips and “reads” what you are saying.
People who have hearing loss are aware they miss out on at least parts of conversations. They:
Being hearing challenged can be a lonely position.
Speaking with someone who can’t hear you presents a challenge. Consideration and understanding are key during these interactions.
What to do:
What not to do:
Effective communication is not a 50-50 effort, it requires 100% participation from all parties. If you have a hearing impairment, it is helpful if you:
Maintaining and improving relationships is what being etiquette-ful helps us to do. When someone experiences hearing loss, it affects every aspect of communication. And it’s not just about one conversation participant or the other.
Every participant in a conversation has an obligation to make that communication as effective as possible. Communication is at the heart of every relationship. Remaining mindful and considerate is always the thing to do.