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Why Pretending to Hear Doesn't Help

a man who is hard of hearing

Pretending to hear. Have you ever done it in a social situation? You wouldn't be alone in it, but it's not something that's going to help you. When you can't keep up with a conversation due to hearing loss, you may choose to pretend to hear what another person is saying instead of being honest: it can be embarrassing to some to admit that they can't hear, so they simply don't admit it.

Pretending to hear feels like an easy thing to do when you face challenges with your hearing loss, but while it may save face, it's a great way to feel lonely in social situations! Nodding along doesn't always work when you are in social situations, and when you need to pay attention, it ends up being pretty rude to pretend to hear, too! It leaves you outside the conversation and it can leave you feeling tense and worried as a result.

Depending on your level of hearing loss, you may feel challenged every single day when you are with people at work or around friends and family. It's important not to miss out on the things that are being said to you, as you will not be able to advocate for yourself anymore. When you're in a loud environment, you may also notice that other people's speech blends in and you lose out on what is necessary for you to hear. Letting people know that you are experiencing hearing loss is the best possible option, as they will make sure to accommodate you when they are speaking.

Conversation will move more smoothly, and you get to be included, too. When you speak to an audiologist about your hearing loss, they will be able to talk you through how to converse easily in busy spaces and give you tips for explaining your hearing loss without you feeling embarrassed. Here are some of the reasons why pretending to hear is not a good idea at all!

Faking it? That'll hurt

When you fake hearing those around you, you are going to immediately block yourself off from being able to ask for information to be repeated. Sometimes, you need to ask for information to be reformatted, and when you pretend you can hear someone and you nod along, you're going to prevent yourself from being able to get the answers you need. Sometimes, it can feel inconvenient to ask someone to repeat themselves, but when you do this, you get the information that you missed and you no longer miss out.

If you're at work or you're studying, you're going to need to pay attention and hear those around you to be able to get the full information you need. When you pretend to hear people in a working environment or even in social ones, you're going to feel left out, which will hurt your feelings. Faking the ability to hear will also ensure that you misunderstand what is being asked of you, and this leads to extra work for you in the long run.

Eroding close bonds

It may feel okay to nod along when you're hearing small talk – but how do you know what you're hearing is small talk if you nod along and pretend? You need to have conversations to be able to build close bonds and trusting relationships, but if you're pretending to hear people, you're going to be unable to build those necessary bonds. Trying to bluster through a conversation you can't hear also makes you a secretive person if you feel that you cannot be honest with the person you're talking to.

Being honest about your hearing loss will make a massive difference to those conversations and relationships, and when you pretend to hear and someone is asking you questions, you're going to struggle to answer and respond properly. Others will notice and assume that you are not listening deliberately, and this will then make them feel as if you don't care about your conversation! Pretending seems like disinterest and it makes you seem as if you're ignoring others – even when you're not.

Be honest

You should do your best to be honest about your hearing loss. Talk about your appointment with the audiologist and don't be afraid to be open with others. If you're in a situation you cannot hear, explain that you can't hear very well and they will make accommodations to ensure that you can understand everything later, instead.

Speak to an audiologist today

Learn more about Adirondack Audiology and talk to an expert to see the extent of your hearing loss. Call us today at 800-273-9536 and you can get started with knowing your hearing limits.