Communicating with others when you have hearing loss can be stressful for both parties. Even when hearing devices are used, proper communication strategies are essential for maximizing the experience. Whether you use hearing devices or not, if you suffer from hearing loss, the following tips may help you.
Tips to Help You Communicate Better
- Maintain eye contact with the person you’re speaking to, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room; visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
- Make sure you focus your attention on the person before beginning a conversation. Pay attention to their words as well as their body language.
- Ask your conversation partner to speak slowly and concisely, and for them to pause between sentences to give you time to process information.
- Rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation, and practice lip reading. Avoid having important conversations during mealtime as eating and drinking can distort speech.
- Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause you to miss out on much of what they are saying.
- Ask your partner to repeat themselves when necessary or have them try using a different word or rephrasing their sentence if it is too confusing.
- Supplement your conversation by keeping a paper and pencil handy. This is especially important if you are getting instructions from your conversation partner.
- Remember, communication is a two-way street. Do not feel embarrassed if you are having difficulty understanding; speak up and communicate your needs with them.