SUCCESFUL HEARING = GOOD HEARING AID SETTINGS + GOOD COMMUNICATION HABITS
ATTENTION FIRST, LOOK, TALK
Typically, we think of something and just start talking, even if the other person is in another room, the kettle is boiling, water is running or they are concentrating on something else. THIS DOES NOT WORK and creates a lot of repeating and frustration. Often the one party blames the other who “does not want to listen” while the listener says the speaker is “mumbling or talking behind my back.”
FACT: We hear with the brain, not the ears, AND, the ageing brain (all of us) cannot do five things at once. It needs to focus, orientate, analyze, then understand. The problem is we don’t change our communication habits during our lifetime, but our brain’s ability to interpret and analyze does change a lot. Also, what the ears don’t hear we can often see on someone’s lips or face: look at the person you are talking to.
THE RULE: (FOR SPEAKERS): DELIBERATE COMMUNICATION – (FOR LISTENERS): ACTIVE LISTENING. Hearing and listening are not the same thing.
In other words, the hearing aids on their own cannot fix our communication problems entirely. The irony is that when we meet strangers or have guests we are all attention and project our speech, while with our own family and those closest to us we have lazy communication habits and the most frustration! Children and grandchildren often don’t realize that they now have to slow down and speak more deliberately with their elders. NEW HABITS NEED TO BE FORMED and this requires the patience to pause before you speak, and to take a pause for patience. This applies to all of us, with or without hearing loss. Quality of attention leads to quality of communication, which leads to harmony in the home.