Compensating For My Hearing Loss: Standing Too Close For Comfort

When I think about myself as a child growing up with partial deafness, I sometimes will look back and say, "Oh, that is why I did that!"

A situation a student had recently, reminded me of how I used to stand really close to whomever was trying to walk and talk to me at the same time. As my head turned towards them, so I can face the speaker, I would unknowingly move in closer and closer, which was uncomfortable for many, especially if they did not know why I was doing this.

My friends wondered why I liked to stand really, really close to them sometimes. Some of them found it annoying. One told me, "Back off! I can smell on your breath what you had for lunch!" Typically, I would apologize and step back to give the speaker some space. But, I would always naturally gravitate back to standing very close to the speaker, especially if we were walking side by side or if he or she was on my deaf side.

I never really thought about why I did this until I started learning about what it means to be hard of hearing.

I think if I had paid more attention to my hearing loss and understood why I did some of the things I did (to compensate for my hearing loss) it could have saved a lot of frustration, confusion, and embarassment.

Today, depending on the situation, sometimes I will catch myself standing too close to someone as they talk to me. But I learned that as long as the person is on my better hearing side and I have good visibility of his or her face, I will remain at a comfortable distance. 

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1 comment:

  1. I used to follow my friends around as they would talk so that I would understand them. I was teased a lot because of this, now I just let them walk away and ask them to repeat themselves.

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