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Why Pretending to Hear Doesn't Help

a man struggling to hear out of his right ear

When we start naturally losing our sense of hearing over the course of our lives it often happens so gradually that we barely notice until we strain to hear the TV or our family speak. 

It is common for us to use defense mechanisms when we have health problems to disguise our issues and be polite with the people around us, and in the case of struggling to hear it can be to pretend we can. 

Pretending to be able to hear someone speak can be an almost subconscious reaction, and it is something many of us do in our lives. If someone asks a question, we might ask them to repeat once, but after that first time, it feels awkward and instead we nod our heads our laugh. However, pretending to hear is not a good thing for us to do and in order to be healthy and happy we need to kick the habit. 

Why do people pretend they can hear? 

As we said above, many humans are polite, and we often don’t like confrontation or awkward situations. The reflex we have when someone is speaking to us and we don’t hear them is to pretend we did and laugh it off. If someone is explaining something to us and we cannot fully hear every detail we are too polite to tell them so and this leaves us listening to something in part as the other person speaks. 

But what is the problem here? 

Well, the main issue with pretending to hear is that you will not get the full information and this can be misleading not only to you but the other person. Imagine a scenario where someone you view as a friend asks you out for dinner and instead of saying politely that you don’t feel that way about them, you just nod and laugh. 

Is this fair to the other person? If that person has been working up the courage to ask you for a while and you have finally said yes, they might take it the wrong way and believe there is a romantic intent. If you haven’t heard correctly you could have put yourself in a position that will cause hurt to both parties later down the line. 

Pretending to hear is not a good way to live your life, and it is a habit we all need to crack. If you are having genuine issues with your hearing, the best thing you can do is go for a hearing test and speak to a professional to get some advice. You might be fitted with a hearing aid, and this will allow you to live your life without having to pretend you can hear people. 

Hearing aid fear 

If you are worried about having a hearing aid fitted and feel as if you will lose part of your identity as a result, you need to realize that a hearing aid will not change who you are as a person. A lot of people go about their lives pretending they can hear to avoid the seeming embarrassment of a hearing aid when this should not be the case. No one will judge you for using a hearing aid if you need it to hear clearly. Break that fear, and instead consider just getting that hearing aid and living your life in a healthier way. 

It can be very difficult to break the habit of pretending to hear people speak especially if you are a very introverted person. For those who cannot deal with conflict or embarrassment – the act of telling someone you didn’t understand what they said can be a difficult hurdle to cross. 

It is important to remember that people will be more accommodating to you if you are honest and explain that you are hard or hearing than if you listen to a whole speech and don’t understand any of it. Learning to let people know that you struggle hearing is a good practice and it will save you from some seriously awkward situations in your life. Be brave and be honest with people and they will respect you for it. 

Remember if you have a hearing problem to go to the doctors soon and get yourself a hearing test. It is always better to treat hearing loss early and you can have a hearing aid fitted right away that will impact your life in a positive way and stop you ever having to pretend to hear again. Call East Bay Audiologists, APC at 925-718-5592 to enjoy some expert advice in the field and get the help you need.