I did it! I finally agreed to get the hearing aids that Ruth has been nagging me to get for so many years. It seems that I actually do need hearing aids. This is a victory of sorts since I have often been accused of not listening. So it is in fact not my fault that I appear to not listen to people.
“So, how is it going?” you ask. I’ll tell you. Everything is so loud now that it is annoying. This includes things like TV, rustling paper, flushing toilets and people.
In the old non-hearing days, I would nod my head in agreement and understanding and people were mostly unaware that I had no idea what they said. Now that I actually hear what people are saying, what they are saying is mostly something that can be ignored. I still nod my head, however I now have the added burden of knowing what the babble is all about. It is harder for me to act interested now. Also, when I interrupt, I have to try to find an appropriate interruption spot. Before, I could interrupt just because they stopped to take a breath.
I teach this communication stuff in my Successful Customer Relations presentation. Carrying on a full conversation when you actually are listening and attempting to understand is hard work. The speaker has to make sure to use the appropriate verbal and nonverbal cues to ensure the message is properly encoded. The listener has to be adept at decoding these cues and provide appropriate feedback to ensure that the message is accurately understood. I teach that external and internal noise (the persons thinking process) interfere with good communication.
Now that I can actually hear the words, these noise effects are magnified. This places a greater need for me to minimize the barriers that are under my control. Since I am an inherently lazy person, this is a nuisance.
Another thing that I now know is that, to me, I really am the most interesting conversationalist I know. Yes, it’s true.
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