Everyone knows that successful communication is a two-way street, requiring both a speaker and a listener who are engaged in the conversation. When the listener is hearing impaired, they tend to become disengaged if the conversation is difficult to understand. Eventually the speaker follows suit, leading to miscommunication – or worse, no communication at all.
In relationships, this often leaves both parties feeling frustrated, disconnected and lonely. Here are a few tips that you, as the hard-of-hearing communication partner, can offer your circle of family and friends to help you understand words more clearly – so that everyone can enjoy the conversations more.
Ask them to slow down a bit and speak just a little louder; shouting does not help.
Ask them to say the words as clearly as possible and look at you while speaking if at all possible.
Ask them to pause at meaningful places so that your ears can catch up with their mouths. Talking a bit slower is always better than talking too fast.
Much of the ability to easily communicate comes from the “context” of a conversation, along with the “content”. If you misunderstand something, ask your partners to learn to rephrase the statement, not just repeat it the same way.
While it may take time and patience to learn these few communication skills, it will truly be worth it!