You'd Have Thought I Would Have Learnt My Lesson by Now
I'm forty six years old, was diagnosed with a hearing loss when I was five and started wearing hearing aids full-time when I was nineteen.
You would have thought I would have learnt my lesson by now.
What's more, you would think I would listen to my own advice.
I was stood with a group of friends, seeing as we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were social distancing. There was probably about five to ten minutes of general chit-chat and I was following along well. Then someone said something to the person to my right, I missed it, the same person then turned to me and said something that I guess was related, chuckles from right-guy and smiles. I chuckled to, the classic response! I was already asking myself "what the hell am I doing?". Then to drive the situation home, a different person on the left said something to me, which I think was related to the thing I aleady missed, I didn't hear a single word he said, so what did I do?
Just stared at him and then the floor. Said nothing.
I know these people well and could easily have asked them to repeat themselves but somehow the situation just ran away from me.
There was now an awkward silence, obviously they were waiting for me to respond, I still didn't, shifty glances all round, some foot shuffling, nobody quite sure what to do. I'm staring intently at the ground, hoping I might develop eye-lasers and burn a hole big enough for me to crawl into.
Eventually, after a uncomfortable 20-30 seconds, someone started another topic of conversation to fill the gap and we were off again. I was mortified at my own stupidity.
It was painful. It was also easily avoided.
Always always always ask people to repeat themselves, if you try and blag it then its going to go badly. Saying "I can't hear you" is much less embarrassing than awkward and confused silences and glances from people who may have no idea what is going on.
Maybe one day I will take my own advice.
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Posted by Steve
I have been wearing hearing aids since I was five years old, when a mild hearing loss was first diagnosed - now aged 45, that mild loss has progressed to a severe one and I rely on some pretty awesome hearing aid technology to be able to stay in the conversation. I'm passionate about helping people to understand hearing loss, hear more and communicate more easily.
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