Friday, January 29, 2010
Touchy about hearing loss
It's funny how people tend to be much more sensitive about damage to hearing than about impaired eyesight.
I certainly include myself in this over-sensitive group! Cheerfully I admit to hearing loss. Proudly I wear my cunning little Phonax hearing aids. But poke me the wrong way and I'll still bristle with indignation.
Partly, I'm reacting to another funny thing about human nature: I've noticed that the more defensive people are about their own hearing, the more they are likely to comment on other people's hearing.
(Obviously, I include myself in this over-sensitive group.)
So when a person with poor hearing, aware they should have bought hearing aids yesterday, comments on my poor hearing, logic flees. These two people are incapable of having a sensible conversation on the topic of hearing, because rumbling under the spoken words are other powerful silent messages, such as...
"Your hearing is worse than my hearing."
"You need hearing aids."
"Pot calling the kettle black."
And our hearing gets worse and worse. Neither of us can bear to listen to the other person.
During one such exchange recently, a sister had to step in and tell us two deafish persons to drop the subject. We were talking about two different things (on the surface) and the conversation was going nowhere.
Hearing sensitivity had rolled us right into social ineptness. Stupidity. Craziness. Rudeness.
This is kind of weird, don't you think? I never pick up on similar vibes about eyesight. Maybe that's just me. I love glasses. If you've got it (poor eyesight), flaunt it—like Dame Edna Everage.