In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more extreme for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
While it may feel like this crept up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. So begin by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.