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Why Pretending to Hear Doesn't Help

a man who is struggling to hear properly

You're in a round table discussion for work or social purposes. Someone is issuing instructions, but you can't hear what's being said. You feel embarrassed but you're not going to speak up about it, no way. Instead, you just nod your head and leave without any idea of what's next. 

Under these circumstances you might think you have saved face. You attended the meeting and left, yet nobody knows you had any trouble hearing at all. Unfortunately, this is the problem – nobody knows you have hearing issues. If they did, they would accommodate you and you have the same information as everyone else. Below are the reasons why pretending to hear doesn't help. 

Why pretend to hear?

The fact is that everyone pretends to hear some time, it's part of our culture. Imagine you are in a group setting either for a social event or for some other purpose, like work or therapy. People are talking and you don't hear what's been said. It's very unlikely you would ask them to repeat even if you have good hearing. 

It's far easier for us to pretend like we heard what was said and laugh along, rather than risk drawing attention to ourselves and our inadequacies. So, if you do have hearing issues you might think otherwise fine to do this as well; after all, where is the harm in simply doing what others are doing. 

When it comes to people with hearing issues, however, it's more important to let the group know so that they can accommodate you. By not speaking up about your hearing issues you give group members the wrong impression that your hearing is fine and you can participate in proceeding the same as everyone.

The danger of pretending

Pretending to hear can have serious repercussions for your health, social life and work. It is the easiest thing to do but it's a very bad habit. When you pretend to hear you give people the wrong impression which quickly backfires. Soon you won't want to go out with friends or take part in social activities. 

When in work pretending to hear is equally damaging. You might only catch some or none of what has been said but you nod anyway and pretend like everything is understood. When it comes to the assignment or what you need to do for your job you are at a loss. This can be embarrassing and lead to a loss of reputation of the job itself. 

Pretending to hear also creates problems in your family life and with your partner. If your loved one shares something important with you and you pretend you hear, only to act differently in relation to the issue, they might be confused and irritated. Depending on the issue they might also be hurt. It's best to be upfront with people for the start about your hearing challenges.

Admitting you have hearing loss

Struggling through a conversation when you can't hear what is being said is difficult for you and unproductive for others. Whether it's a social group, your family and friends or your work colleagues it’s time to admit to them that you struggle to hear. You will find they will respond positively and make extra efforts on your behalf. 

Pretending to hear is the easy option but it's not a solution. It’s better to break the habit sooner rather than later and transform those bad habits into good ones. The sooner you do this the faster your life will improve and the more practice you will get at speaking up about your hearing issues. 

The way to do this is to interject when you can't hear something. Don't simply say that you can't hear them and ask them to speak up, explain that you have a hearing issue. The explanation will make all the difference and you won't have to explain again in that company. Think of every situation as an opportunity to spread awareness about your hearing challenges. 

Hearing consultants

After you realize that you do not need to keep your hearing issue a secret you can work on improving your life with the people around you. It is not only about raising awareness, it's also about finding an audiologist who can support you best and getting the best hearing technology for your circumstances. 

If you find yourself in situations where you struggle to hear what's being said the best advice is to speak up about it at the time. Following that consult an audiologist for a hearing test and possible device. Contact Armand's Hearing Center today at Bradenton: 941-748-9800, Sun City: 813-938-1148.