Everybody with some degree of hearing loss understands that we develop strategies to manage our day-to-day situations. Sometimes these situations involve technologies; other times, it is a behavior adjustment.
Interestingly, most people are not aware unless they’re in a similar situation. Often we do things without thinking about what we’re doing. Most of the time is a way for us to adapt to certain conditions and environments.
We know what it takes to be hard of hearing, and we embrace our uniqueness.
Here are five common ways that people with hearing loss behave or do to get by.
1. Pretend not to hear
When you get tricked into picking up an annoying sales call or a spam call, play like you can’t hear.
Sometimes we honestly can’t hear. But when we do understand what they are saying and telling them to place us on the “Do not Call” list doesn’t work, the last resort is to pretend that we can’t hear.
Hearing people have also favored the selective hearing tactic, but it’s a better fit and makes better sense for people with hearing loss. It can be a great strategy when someone tries to pick you up or chat with you because they find you attractive, even if you have a wedding band.
So use it sparingly when you want to make peace or to avoid unwanted situations that are neither good for you nor the other person.
2. (Google) Search to fill in the blank
You know you are pushing it when you ask someone to repeat it for the third time. You need to write down the number or name of the person calling.
You’ve tried multiple ways to get the correct information. At first, you ask them to repeat by spelling and giving you the number. You are hoping to buy time to get the correct details. You ask again for the 2nd or 3rd time. You only got some of the numbers or letters, but not all.
Sometimes you can’t ask them to repeat if it is a voice message. Caller IDs are a savior if the number or business is available.
But what are you to do if you have no backup? You need to search online or some internal company directory. Use the asterisk(*) symbol for the letters and numbers you couldn’t make out. The search result can put you closer to the answer.
“Oh, yes, that’s the plumber I contacted!”
3. Get someone to call you
At times adaptive and assistive tech are costly to add to your technology portfolio. You don’t want to invest in another tech to help you to adapt to loud places like a busy restaurant.
If you have a Bluetooth connection between your mobile device and hearing aids, one hack is to get the person you’re with o call you from their smartphone. You are having a conversation via a phone call instead of talking to the person across the table. You’ll be able to hear clearly via Bluetooth from your smartphone.
Our smartphones have a natural noise suppression feature that can block background noises when calling in a busy place.
The other person’s smartphone can be turned into an external mic that you can use to have a conversation without the distraction of noise surrounding you.
4. Mirror your way to know who’s nearby
I can’t count the number of times I’ve jumped to unexpected people or noises that I was not aware were around. It’s enough to increase my heart rate and cause a heart attack.
Instead, now, mirrors are a savior. They give you a 360 view that is needed. The reflection will pick up any movements and changes.
The last thing you want is your coworker standing and talking to you for five minutes without knowing that you don’t even notice they are there.
5. Eavesdrop conversations by lipreading
Body language can reveal much, but words and people’s words can tell much more. If you are ever curious or nosy to know what someone is talking about from afar. Lip reading is a great way to know what conversations people are having.
When you want to know what a celebrity or political leader says off camera, there’s much to be revealed when they speak. It may not be that interesting most of the time, but it’s nice to have the superpower to do so.
We know what it takes to be hard of hearing and embrace our uniqueness. What do you think that isn’t on the list that should be?
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