Posted on: December 5, 2013

The Holidays are here and for many that will mean family gatherings, or attending other social occasions. Here are 7 tips to make these situations as enjoyable as possible.

  1. Make sure that you face the person you are speaking with. This way the person’s voice is aimed directly at you. It will also allow the listener to use any non-verbal cues that he or she may need to follow the conversation. We are better at “reading lips” than we realize!
  2. Be sure to have clear lighting on the speaker’s face.
  3. On the same token, concentrate on the speaker. We gather a large portion of our communication non-verbally. So paying attention to facial expressions, lip movement and body language will help you get more of the conversation. Supplement what you hear with what you can see.
  4. Avoid background noise whenever possible. When going out for supper ask for a table away from noise. For example, away from the kitchen, the cash and away from music. If you can, try to avoid the peak hours at restaurants.
  5. It helps if you have each other’s attention before one starts to speak. When one has a hearing loss it takes more concentration and energy to follow a conversation.  Missing the first bit of a conversation can make understanding very difficult.
  6. When someone does not understand what you said, try re-phrasing it with different words rather than repeating the same sentence again.
  7. Anticipate what will be asked next. When ordering food in a restaurant for instance you can be pretty sure to be asked what side you want, how you want your steak, or your eggs, etc. Be ready for the questions; you will find that it is easier to hear when you expect it.

Enjoy the Holidays and your time with your loved ones!