In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are talking about. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
That means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.