Tips for those who LOVE those with hearing challenges
When the hearing goes, where does the love go?
It can shrink or it can grow! These tips make a world of difference.
The silent epidemic of hearing loss has many impacts upon relationships. Those loving the one directly experiencing hearing loss are challenged in unique ways. However, there is little education of how one might best remain effectively engaged in such a PAIRing (“People Activating Intimate Relating”™).
Here are some tips to stay in connection:
- Remember, even with excellent Hearing Aids (we call them our “Ear Buddies”) support, hearing is not like it was.
- Remember yelling does NOT increase the other’s ability to hear you. Volume is not helpful, slow clearly articulated words make a huge difference.
- Remember to ensure that the they can SEE your mouth. When hearing loss occurs, there is a subtle compensation that begins immediately, by developing lip reading skills. This is often unnoticed by the challenged individual. Make sure they can see you.
- Remember, it takes a fraction of a second longer for the brain to register sound as language when there is a hearing loss – so slow it down and allow a pause for comprehension. A gift of patience can make a world of difference. Besides, we could all benefit from a slowed down pace!
- Remember back ground noise can often trump even the best “Ear Buddies” – so pay attention to the context of your lunch date or your social encounters. Notice and choose sound contexts that have minimal back ground noise. Attend to where the waitress stands to insure, they can be heard by all.
- Remember, get the attention of the person with “Ear Buds” FIRST, before speaking a word. One can do this visually or by touch, either way gain attention before communication begins.
- Remember, hearing is different than listening. Listening is sound registering in the brain as words, sentences and communications. Listening requires more focused attention. Giving the gift of Intentional attention is the bed rock of intimacy! Both hearts involved can exchange this blessing and watch the love grow.
Take note: When/if one chooses to not remember and implement these tips, the one challenged often feels shame and isolation, even when it is unintentional.
When there is a hearing loss, all those involved have an opportunity to deepen their loving behaviors, strengthen their attentive awareness & appreciate the value of “Hearing All Hearts”.
When the hearing goes, the invitation embedded within this loss, can birth a whole new way of loving!
Don’t miss the party!
Alaya Chadwick, Founder & Director of The (W)hole Point Institute, LLC