Want better relationships in your life?  Do you feel that you can’t communicate with the men in your life because they aren’t listening?  Is it because they just aren’t hearing you?  The truth is, men are 5 times more likely to have a hearing loss than women and according to research are less likely to seek a solution to their hearing loss!  It is oftentimes a difficult and frustrating situation for the women in their lives when it comes to communication.  I recently ran into to a patient at the local store who said, “My husband refuses to get help for his hearing loss.  He claims he doesn’t have a hearing problem.  The other day we were driving down the road and he asked me to repeat myself so many times that I finally asked him to pull over so I could get out and walk.  I am so frustrated!”

As women, what can be done to help a situation such as this one?  When someone you know has a hearing loss, you can help make things easier.

Remember, communication is a two-way street.

The sense of hearing is a vital link to the world – a source of pleasure, information and connection to others.  It is the key to all human activities.  It’s necessary for learning, exchanging information, and generally taking care of one another.  It is also important to remember there is a need for good communication skills, even if the person with a hearing loss has top of the line hearing devices to aid in the loss.

If you know someone with a hearing loss, you can use supportive techniques that make it easier for them to follow a conversation.  Clear speech is a technique that is easily understood which you can readily adopt into your daily life.  You might even say that it is your responsibility to do your part in improving communication through clear speech.

Clear speech results when the speaker (you) attempts to express every word and sentence in a precise, accurate and fully formed manner.  These deliberate actions are exactly what are needed to help a person with hearing loss improve their ability to follow a conversation.

Speak as clearly and precisely as you can.  As a result you naturally slow your speech down resulting in clearer communications

Pause between all phrases and sentences

Stress key words in a sentence

Never turn your back when speaking, always face the individual

Remember, these techniques require concentration and effort.  It requires practice until it becomes second nature.

When someone becomes frustrated with you because you don’t always speak up, gently remind them that it isn’t your fault they can’t hear.  It’s not anyone’s fault unless we choose to ignore the problem.  Do all you can to speak clearly, but more importantly,  encourage the person to seek additional help by visiting a qualified audiologist, receive a full comprehensive hearing evaluation and see what today’s hearing technology can do for them.  Many of today’s providers will allow a free trial, a test drive if you will, with today’s technology to see which one is going to best fit your specific needs.  Call today.