The loss of one’s hearing can be a very personal topic of discussion for many people. It is not unusual for those who have lost their hearing, or are in the process of doing so, to go through a stressful trial.
This process can involve undergoing a period of emotional upheaval before being able to come to terms with their condition and what it may mean for them.
As a family member, it’s difficult to see loved ones struggling to cope with hearing loss. Perhaps you read our article earlier this month and have decided to talk to your family member this holiday season.
Rest assured, if you have a family member or close friend who seems to be having difficulty handling their hearing loss, there are some ways that you can approach the subject so that your loved one is comfortable enough to speak freely.
Decide on the Best Time and Place to Talk
Starting a conversation about a difficult subject can be easier when it is broached in the right setting and at the most appropriate time. While many people want to mention the topic at the spur of the moment, planning can be a key factor in how well the conversation may go. Set aside a specific time for the conversation, and choose a quiet setting.
If Appropriate, Use Humor
Injecting the right level of humor a conversation about a difficult subject can help make the topic less wrong. It can ease your loved one into taking freely about their hearing loss. Of course, you know your family member best, but don’t discount the value humor can bring in these challenging conversations.
Use the First-Person
Word usage can affect how your loved one responds to you when speaking about a subject that may make them uncomfortable and cause them to become defensive. Speak directly about what their hearing loss means to you. People are also more motivated to get the help that they need if they realize that others they care about are directly affected by their hearing loss.
Don’t end the conversation without expressing optimism about how your loved one may benefit from seeking treatment for their hearing loss. Mentioning benefits of being able to find joy in social interactions may motivate them into action.
Have the Best Intentions
In most cases, your loved one may already be very reluctant to have a conversation about their hearing loss. If you want to have a fruitful conversation that shows that your care, it is essential that your approach them with love instead of frustration. You want to avoid making your loved one feel as if they have to be on the defensive, which can cause them to feel bitter about any assistance you may offer.
Assume They Already Know
It is highly likely that your loved one is aware that their hearing is not what it should be and that it may be time to seek professional treatment. Start the conversation with this assumption, and they may surprise you with how they respond knowing that you are aware of their condition.
Be an Empathic Listener
Being a good listener means that you are actively listening to your loved one’s concerns. If it is appropriate, allow them to steer the discussion and do most of the talking. In response, you should acknowledge that you understand their concerns.