The only one thing that you requested was for the trash to be taken out. But, unfortunately, it never got done. When you ask why they didn’t do it, your partner says “I never heard you ask me”. Why aren’t you surprised that your partner didn’t hear the one thing they wanted done? This “selective hearing” is a normal indication that communication is breaking down.
We normally think of selective hearing as a negative, almost like it’s a character flaw. Accusing someone of selective hearing is saying they weren’t listening to you. But it’s possible that the actual culprit behind your selective hearing might not be a short attention span, it might be the early stages of hearing loss.
What is selective hearing?
You’ve most likely been accused of selective hearing at some time in your life, even if nobody used that specific name. Selective hearing occurs when you can clearly hear information that’s helpful to you but conveniently miss the bit that’s negative. You hear the part about cooking a delicious meal but miss the part about cleaning up the dishes. Things like that.
It’s very common for people to have selective hearing behavior. But this behavior is more prevalent in men than women, according to some research.
It may be tempting to make some assumptions about that (and the way that people are socialized certainly does play into how this behavior is contextualized). But the other part of the equation may have something to do with hearing health. If your “selective hearing” begins to become more common, it could be an indication that you may have undiagnosed hearing loss.
Hearing loss can produce gaps in communication
Communication will definitely be more difficult with undiagnosed hearing loss. You’re most likely not surprised by that.
But here’s the thing: in many cases, communication problems are an indication of hearing loss.
Symptoms can be very hard to detect when hearing loss is in the early phases. Your tv may get a little louder. When go out to your local haunt, you have a hard time hearing conversations. It’s most likely because the music is so loud, right? But besides situations like that, you may never even notice how loud day-to-day sounds can be. This lets your hearing gradually decline. Up to the time you’re having problems following along with daily conversations, you almost don’t notice.
Your hearing health is concerning your partner
You will notice some of the people in your life are beginning to worry. Your family and friends will most likely be irritated when they think you’re deliberately ignoring what they say. But as it turns out more and more often, aggravation may turn to worry.
So, your partner might recommend you schedule a hearing test to determine if something is wrong.
It’s significant to listen to your partner’s concerns. Have an open discussion with them and accept their help because they care about your well-being and aren’t just annoyed with you.
Other early indications of hearing loss
You should be aware of some of the other early warning signs of hearing loss if your selective hearing appears to be getting worse. Here are a few of those signs:
- Cranking the volume up on your devices
- Hearing in crowds is challenging
- Speech sounds distant or muffled
- Requesting that people talk slower and talk louder
- Consonants are hard to make out
You should contact us for a hearing test if you have any of these symptoms.
Always protect your hearing
Safeguarding your hearing is so crucial to preventing hearing loss. If you can’t avoid overly loud noise, be certain you wear hearing protection, like muffs or plugs. Any feathers that you might have ruffled with your selective hearing can be smoothed over by using hearing aids to communicate more successfully.
A diminishing attention span will be responsible for most selective hearing situations in your life. But you might want to take it as a signal that it’s time for a hearing test when people around you start to notice your selective hearing getting worse.