STEP 1 – Admit I Have A Permanent Hearing Problem
By now you have had your hearing professionally tested and have been told the fact that you have a permanent hearing problem.
You now have two choices: (1) denial or (2) acceptance. It is normal for most people to go through a period of denial. What is sad is that most people wait five-to-seven years before solving their hearing problem. A person in denial uses a typical thought process.
- “I hear fine, it’s just that people mumble; they don’t speak clearly any more.”
- “It’s the noisy places where I have trouble hearing … I’ll just avoid those places and I’ll be OK.”
- “My hearing will heal in time.”
- “I hear what I need to hear, I’ll just ask them to repeat.”
- “I can cope with it. I’ll just concentrate a little harder.”
- “It’s really not bad enough that I need hearing aids yet.”
- “Wearing hearing aids does not fit into my self image.”
- “If my hearing gets any worse, then I’ll get help.”
The fact is, you cannot hide your hearing loss. It’s more obvious than any pair of hearing aids. Your associates, clients, friends and loved ones already know that you have it. You can push the fact out of your mind, but you are only fooling yourself. You can decide to try and conceal your problem, but the symptoms have already given your secret away.
- You answer the wrong questions.
- You confuse similar words, like “bathroom” and “vacuum,” “dime” and “time,” “peach” and “teach.”
- You turn up the TV too loud for normal listeners.
- You have started a pattern of asking others to repeat what they have said.
- When listening, you get a confused look on your face.
And if you continue to conceal your problem, you are like a person who looks at himself in the mirror, sees cake crumbs on his face, and stubbornly refuses to brush it away. Your commitment to concealing your hearing problem will begin a downward social spiral. Here are the most usual consequences. You will eventually:
- Give up your favorite activities rather than be embarrassed by your hearing problem.
- Avoid all situations which could be difficult.
- Lose your sharpness, your vibrant self.
- Unknowingly shift your burden to your loved ones.
- Cause loved ones to give up on you.
- Become a victim of your decision to do nothing.
The first step to overcoming your communication problem is admitting to yourself and to your nearest loved one(s) …
- That you have an irreversible hearing problem.
- That your hearing problem is affecting the quality of your life.
- That medication will not ‘open up’ your ears.
- That there is not a surgery that will correct sensorineural or a mixed-type hearing loss.
- That your friends, loved ones, clients and associates already know you have a problem hearing.
- That the only positive choice you have is hearing aids.