Are family members telling you to go get your hearing checked?
You aren’t alone. I hear this daily, not just from patients in my office, but from acquaintances at networking events, the cashier at the grocery store, the guy in line at the coffee shop. Sometimes it sounds like people are being downright mean to them. The person feels badgered, pressured, nagged into doing something that they do not want to do.
If you will allow me, I want to take you on a bit of a gut check. I hope that this isn’t stepping on anyone’s feelings, but I think it needs to be said.
First, an example that I came across this week. While waiting in line at a coffee shop, an older gentleman behind me, tapped my shoulder and told me he would like to cover my purchase. I’ve never had that happen before and after politely refusing a couple of times, I agreed, feeling grateful to get to see a kind gesture like that firsthand. We made small talk in line, and I immediately noticed that he was having trouble following the conversation. I would ask if he lived close by, and he would avert his eyes awkwardly, nod a bit and then look at me again to say, “Sorry, what?”. I see this daily, so when he sometimes appeared zoned out and disinterested in what I just said, or when he spoke directly over me even though I had just begun a sentence, I just focused on enunciating clearly and more loudly than I normally would. I couldn’t help but wonder about his other interactions, just like this one, with a stranger who might think that he was awfully aloof…or rude. I watched the cashier’s face as she attempted to confirm his order and to report the cost to him. She had to repeat and re-explain several times, and looked exasperated that he didn’t understand her. Eventually he asked me if I was in college (ha!), and I replied that I owned a hearing clinic across the street. He told me that he had recently lost his hearing aids and that his family was after him to see about getting a new pair, but he felt like he was doing just fine. I told him my tests were free and I’d be happy to help him. He said he was really hearing just fine, but…I handed him my card anyway.
If the people who are closest to you in your life are asking, requesting, pleading, pressuring, nagging…maybe it is because it is the 10th time they have asked and you have ignored their request. Maybe they are feeling offended that your focus, your interest, your mannerisms don’t seem to line up with the person that they know you to be (like I suspect is true of the guy I met at the coffeeshop). They may notice when someone perceives you as rude. You might not. You didn’t know you missed anything. Because….you missed it. That’s the clencher right there. You don’t know how much you are missing because you are MISSING IT. Take a step back to notice, does your family member seem tired? Tired of repeating or stressed from raising their voice above their comfortable level. Are you being considerate of their comfort and their needs? Could your pride be in the way? Does your denial have an underlying cause? A fear of the cost? A fear of the appearance? A fear of perception?
Take a leap of faith, and follow the advice of that family member or friend. Do you really think that they are out to criticize you or to make you feel bad, or do you think that they may be trying to sound the first alert to help you approach life in the way that they know you always have. Talk with a professional and you will see that your fears become alleviated. The phrase I hear most often at checkups is, “Knowing what I do now, I would’ve done this sooner”.
Hi! I’m Madison. I’m a Hearing Instrument Specialist (like my mother). I’m observing, learning, absorbing and sharing as I become a part of this beautiful South Charlotte Hearing community. I want to know you! So please leave me comments if my posts are meaningful to you or teach you something new, and feel free to tweet me at @LevineHearing!
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