Author Topic: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"  (Read 1444 times)

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Softly Spoken

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S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« on: December 04, 2013, 09:35:53 PM »
So we've been talking on other threads about how to handle various conversational challenges in a social setting, and I ran into a different problem along those lines: what if you would love to talk to anyone about anything, but it is physically impossible because environmental circumstances have rendered you effectively deaf? :-\

I went out with my theater group the other night to celebrate our final performance (We all killed it btw ;D). It was tricky finding something close enough to the theater that was open late, but we found a sports bar/restaurant in the mall. When we got there we realized that it was Tuesday - Trivia Night for many bars around the city. Which would have been fine if we were there to play but we were there to talk to each other. Trivia Night involves random music and video being played and an MC speaking to the entire restaurant using a microphone. They also chose for some unholy reason to leave the background "ambiance" music on when not actively playing the trivia. This coupled with the miscellaneous conversation among the other patrons created a cacophony that basically sounded more like a techno dance club than an average size bar and grill. :(

I am deaf in one ear, and once a certain amount of background noise is present I really can't hear anyone unless their mouth is right next to my good ear. So I found that a) I was relegated to successfully talking to only the people directly next to me and b) spent a lot of time just sitting there watching a lot of animated conversation going on around me. I also missed when people were talking to me unless I happened to be looking right at them.

My new goal since last night is to find a different (i.e. less crowded and quieter) location for our next wrap party. In the meantime, I am wondering what I could have done. The only thing I have come up with was to actually move around the table sporadically, and possibly move my chair...but I'm not that forward of a person and I would resent having to do this to socialize with the people I came with. We were sitting in a circle (unfortunately close to the MC) so there was no place I could go that would have made it any easier to hear. I am an introvert by nature which means I am not a social butterfly in party settings. I stake out my little corner and enjoy low key one-on-one conversations that flow my way - but that is in an optimal setting with no noise barrier to block the flow.

I would like to hear (heh ::)) what other eHellions with auditory limitations do to cope with these kinds of issues. I love to talk and I love to listen, but I have to be able to hear in order to listen!
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 09:42:24 PM »
Did you make your companions aware of your hearing issue? I have two people I socialize with who are hearing impaired in one ear. We all know it so we make the effort to make sure he doesn't get excluded, including switching seats occasionally and doing a lot of leaning in conversations or even repeating what some one further away has said.

Similarly I have a family member who is loosing his voice and barely speaks over a whisper. So in loud places we also work hard to make sure he is not left out of the conversation.

Softly Spoken

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Re: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 10:16:41 PM »
@ Hmmmmm - I've mentioned it, but I feel SS bringing it up and in the situation I described I'm not sure what the other people there could have done.

I've noticed that hard-of-hearing seems harder for people to process and more likely for people to forget - if I was completely deaf they would be faced with accommodating that on a more consistent basis. Since I seem to have an okay time of things about 90% of the time, no one (including me) thinks about what the other 10% is going to be like - until I walk into a noisy restaurant and think "Oh crumbs. This is going to be unpleasant."

Your group sounds wonderfully thoughtful - I'm not saying my group wouldn't be equally as thoughtful, I am just not sure how to effectively ask for that consideration.

I know I wasn't the only person who didn't like the noise...maybe we just need to work harder to find a quieter place.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 10:09:20 AM »
I have a little trouble hearing under those circumstances, but worse than that, if there is a lot of background and ambient noise it makes me feel jittery and ultimately cranky.  I usually smile and say, "Sorry, all this noise is giving me a headache.  I'm going to have to go now before it makes me feel worse."

As I have gotten older, I find that I am less inclined to do things that make me uncomfortable just to be sociable, maybe that is why I now find it easier to quickly leave.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 10:16:49 AM »
@ Hmmmmm - I've mentioned it, but I feel SS bringing it up and in the situation I described I'm not sure what the other people there could have done.

I've noticed that hard-of-hearing seems harder for people to process and more likely for people to forget - if I was completely deaf they would be faced with accommodating that on a more consistent basis. Since I seem to have an okay time of things about 90% of the time, no one (including me) thinks about what the other 10% is going to be like - until I walk into a noisy restaurant and think "Oh crumbs. This is going to be unpleasant."

Your group sounds wonderfully thoughtful - I'm not saying my group wouldn't be equally as thoughtful, I am just not sure how to effectively ask for that consideration.

I know I wasn't the only person who didn't like the noise...maybe we just need to work harder to find a quieter place.

It took us a while to remember. David mentioning to me once or twice that he was deaf in his right ear wasn't enough. I'd be talking to him on his left and he just say "Excuse me, I can't hear out of that ear" and turn is other ear toward me. After a dozen times I remember. Scott on the other hand, who I've known for 15 plus years, still has to remind me on occasion because his isn't really bad unless we are in a room with a lot of background noise. So if I or someone else he is close to forgets he'll just point to the appopriate ear.

Given your being reserved, I'm sure it is uncomfortable to bring it up repeatedly. But I'm sure everyone would rather be aware and reminded on occasion.

Tea Drinker

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Re: S/O "I don't watch that" - "I can't hear you!"
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 06:02:14 PM »
A friend of mine wears a large button that says "I read lips and I haven't seen a word you said." Because it's pre-printed and pinned to her shirt, it's not about the specific person she's trying to talk to: it's a general notice that this woman needs the accommodation. But that works better when the problem is that they are facing away from her, rather than the room being very dim.
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