In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling 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.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but they can be far more severe for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your professional life:
- Not able to hear others talking behind you
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and finding help.
This means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.