Hearing vs. Listening and What to Do About It

Wesson Hearing Aid CenterBlog


At Wesson Hearing Aid Center it is important for us to establish the difference between listening and hearing. So how do they differ? Let’s start with an example. Imagine a classic scenario — your partner asks you to do the dishes while you are watching television and you hear but don’t really process the request. In this case even though you heard the request you were not paying attention — therein lies the big difference between hearing and listening.

Hearing is knowing there are sounds while listening is understanding and acting upon those sounds. Add hearing loss into the mix and listening can be pretty difficult. You see, the equation requires the ability to hear in order to listen. Listening to those you love and cherish can be difficult when your ears are having trouble picking up sounds you need to hear. So what can be done? For starters coming in and finding out your hearing status is the first step. If you need the assistance of hearing technology you need to find out right away to regain the ability to listen. There are also other tips after hearing loss has been diagnosed that can be helpful to open up lines of communication.

1. When someone is talking to you be sure they are facing you and making eye contact. If the television is on or one of you is on your phone, communication is hindered — be sure to give each other undivided attention to maximize listening capabilities.
2. Be present and pay attention. Both parties should be engaged in the conversation — being passive is never helpful, simply be relaxed and attentive to keep the lines of communication open.
3. Try not to get defensive. When listening keep an open mind and do not jump to conclusions.
4. Create a mental picture of what the speaker is trying to convey instead of planning what you are going to say next.
5. Wait for the speaker to pause and then ask for clarifying questions.
6. Do not trail off — stay on subject when talking, this keeps the communication clear
and concise.
7. Give the speaker regular feedback — show that you understand by nodding or
providing appropriate verbal understanding.
8. Last but not least, pay attention to the nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and
body posture — these cues can give additional information about what the speaker is feeling.

Hearing loss is tricky because in order to listen we need to be able to hear. That is where we come in — our goal at Wesson Hearing Aid Center is to reconnect people with their ability to listen. Give yourself the best advantage and be in the know. Being in the dark about hearing loss can wreak havoc on your personal and even your professional life. Do not wait another minute to find out your hearing status — schedule your free hearing evaluation with us today on our “Contact Us” page and get your life back on track!