Everybody jokes that kids suffer from selective hearing loss – meaning they only hear what they want to hear!
Ask them to clean up their room while you’re watching TV with them and there will be no response.
Yet if you try to sneak some chocolate out of the fridge, while they are doing something at the other end of the house – amazingly, they’ll hear THAT!
A few years ago my husbear thought that *I* was suffering from selective hearing loss – aimed solely at him. It lead to some tension in our relationship, as he felt that I no longer seemed interested in what he had to say!
But the truth was, unless I was looking directly at him, I really couldn’t distinguish what he was saying. If he had his back to me, or was in another room, or there was background noise such as the television, try as I might I just couldn’t catch what he was saying.
Aware of his hurt, I tried desperately to compensate. Whenever he spoke I would concentrate with all my might, to no avail. Sometimes I cheated and pretended that I heard – but more often than not, I was caught out when I gave a totally unrelated response!
He also quickly realised that my “mmm – hmmm” was an attempt to mask the fact that I had absolutely no idea what he was saying!
So I made an appointment to have my hearing checked. Keen to solve the mystery, the husbear came along too.
Turns out I did have some hearing loss – particularly in the lower ranges, which is where men’s voices tend to be pitched!
The hearing centre thought that my hearing had probably been permanently affected by the many years that I suffered from severe hay fever and sinus (thankfully, it’s been a lot better in the 10+ years since I saw an allergy specialist and underwent a series of injections).
Once we were aware that it WAS actually a problem, and not just selective hearing, we learned to work around it. My husbear is much more patient with me now – although he still gets frustrated sometimes!
Can you imagine if he HADN’T come to that appointment with me? There is NO WAY he would have believed me when I told him what the specialist said!
I’m actually thinking it might be worth getting my hearing checked again. While I’ve long found it a struggle to hear well enough to have a conversation in a busy restaurant, for example, all this mask wearing with the pandemic has made it more challenging than ever to hear what people are saying.
And, I much prefer to watch TV or movies with the subtitles on!
How’s your hearing holding up?!