Being able to communicate effectively when everything around you is seemingly in chaos can be a little frustrating. The temptation is there to start yelling over everyone else just to get your point across, but that could come across as unprofessional and even downright rude.
In order to navigate the hectic environment you find yourself in, here are four golden rules you can use to make the situation easier to handle.
- Be Open About your Hearing Loss
It’s not something everyone can see and know that you’ve lost some of your hearing. Being upfront about it will put them on alert so that they can be accommodating to your needs. Inform them as to whether background noises make it difficult for you to hone in conversation or what sounds you have difficulty hearing. Those who are aware of your problem are willing to speak more slowly and clearly to make it easier for you to understand.
There’s also the option to seek out the solution for hearing loss with just a quick trip to your doctor.
- Pick the Meeting Place
If you know you’re going to be meeting someone during the day, pick the location, if you have a say. Having some control over the setting means that you’ll be able to plan accordingly as to what the noise levels will be.
For example, if you’re going to be meeting someone for lunch, suggest that you go an hour later so that there will be fewer people and you can hear conversations more clearly.
- Arriving Early
Showing up early to the location will give you some time to examine and reflect on the environment. Is sitting by the window the best choice when there’s busy traffic outside? Do you want to sit near the kitchen where dishes and pots are clanging around all day? You’ll have an easier time if you get to decide the best place to sit so that you can hear what everyone is saying.
Better yet, arriving early means that you can give your ears the opportunity to adjust to the environment around you. This is especially useful if you already have a hearing aid, as you can adjust the volume and settings until it’s just right for you.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If you’ve missed a part of the conversation, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask. Asking people to repeat themselves may feel demanding and that you’re slowing down the flow of conversation, but if you want to feel involved, then your conversation partners should be willing to consider your needs as well. Hopefully, your friends won’t take this as an invitation to start yelling, as that would just be embarrassing.
Dealing with hearing loss is an ordeal in and of itself, so there’s no need for you to make things more difficult for yourself by pretending it’s not there. It may make you feel self-conscious, having to be treated differently, but that’s the worst way to look at a situation. Everyone has their handicaps that should be respectively catered to, so don’t feel as if you’re becoming a burden to everyone else.