Being hearing impaired can make social settings frustrating because you are worried about not being able to understand the people around you. However, if the people around you know about your hearing loss and are aware of a few helpful communication tips, being out and about with friends can become light and easy again. So whether you are the friend, partner, or family member of someone with hearing loss or you have hearing loss, here are a few helpful communication tips that you can use or ask others to use when you are out and about to make everything a little bit easier.
- Maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to who has hearing loss. This may seem obvious but it is very easy to forget this simple communication tip when you are trying to multitask. Always looking at the person you are speaking with can help the other person read your lips, see your facial expressions, and can help project the sound of your voice directly at the other person without getting disrupted. You should also avoid talking with your hands near your face or anything in front of your face.
- Consider rephrasing something you are trying to say if the other person is not understanding your conversation instead of repeating it. Sometimes certain words are harder to understand or perhaps they are not familiar with one of the words you are using, so trying to say the same thing in different words can be more helpful. If the person is still not understanding you, remember to look at them when you speak and to speak in your normal voice, not a loud voice or a slow speech pattern.
- Try to minimize background noise when you are looking to have a conversation with a person who has hearing loss. This means turning off the radio, TV, or looking to a less crowded area in a restaurant. If you are going out to lunch, dinner, or even just cocktails, you can call the restaurant ahead of time and request to have a table that will be separated from any large parties or the kitchen/servers station.
These are 3 easy tips that anyone can use to help make communication go smoothly with anyone, especially someone with hearing loss. Using these hearing loss communication tips will help you support your friend or family member. If you or a loved one has any questions about hearing loss or other ways to improve upon your communications you can contact us here.