Do you ever feel like no one is really listening to you? That's all too common when it comes to hearing loss. However, despite the challenge of having difficulty in understanding and participating in conversations, relationships can still be healthy and strong for hard of hearing people.
The key is to find a friend or partner with whom you can connect on an intimate level through quality listening
Communication through active listening
Being a good listener is an essential part of communication, both in hard of hearing communities and outside of them. Being comfortable with listening and being able to properly parse body language cues is an important part of fostering strong relationships.
Great listeners come to understand their conversational partners as they show interest in what they are saying and practice active listening. They are often able to resolve conflicts more quickly, as well as provide people with a safe space for them to communicate their thoughts openly and honestly.
Developing the ability to have open communication through actively listening can take hard work but it's worth it, especially when it comes to providing support for hard of hearing individuals who rely on reading body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal cues.
Calmness diffuses stressful situations
Being a good listener can offer many benefits both in your personal life and in the business world. It can bring calm to conversations, allowing for more positive and productive communication.
This calmness can diffuse stressful situations, providing an environment of harmony, reducing overall stress. Practicing active listening by acknowledging the speaker's feelings and demonstrating thoughtful consideration of what is being said can show respect and create a bond between individuals.
Becoming a better listener can improve relationships on many levels so why not give it a try?
Listen with respect
Listening is an important skill in life, work, and relationships. To become a better listener, try to move the spotlight away from yourself and focus on listening without judgement.
Try to be patient and understand the speaker’s perspective. Ask questions to gain further clarity and make sure they feel heard. Listen with respect, think more about what the speaker is saying rather than thinking of your response.
Lastly, genuinely try to connect with them - can you determine their emotion or outlook? Taking active steps like these will help you hone your listening skills over time.
Use simple vocabulary
When communicating with someone who could be hard of hearing, it's important to adjust your style of communication. It's best to speak at a slow and steady pace, in full sentences, using simple vocabulary.
Additionally, you may want to face the person directly as you speak so that they can easily read your lips if needed. Be sure to keep a pleasant and friendly expression on your face as well so the conversation remains comfortable and professional.
Body language is also important; make sure you use appropriate gestures or facial expressions to support your point where possible. By taking the time to adjust your communication style to accommodate the needs of those you are speaking with, you can ensure effective and understandable dialogue regardless of the difficulty in hearing them.
Work with an audiologist
Resources to help people with hearing loss or deaf family members can be found with hearing health professionals such as audiologists. Working with a Stockport audiologist can provide Stockport hearing aid fitting, ear wax removal, and necessary hearing health checks. Stockport ear wax removal services are often conducted through micro-suction or Stockport ear syringing techniques which are gentle procedures used to clear out the ear canal in order to improve hearing.
For those affected by hearing loss and their families, these resources can help them move forward with greater inclusivity and accessibility in their lives.