Midweeks on Mute: Foot in Mouth Disease

This week isn’t a specific question but a concern which niggles in the backs of our minds. Everyone asks it at some point about something but if you are young and living with hearing loss, it will probably centre around that:

What will people think/say?

Well, they’ll think or say a lot of things, some of which are really random and others which are really tedious. Sometimes they ask good questions though, hence this series. Here are a few of my favourite random ones.

I didn’t know you had a hearing aid, when did you get that?

The sarcastic thing to do would be to reach up and pull it out in fright and ask how on earth that got there, you knew the government had been watching you.

A better answer is to play it cool and say something like Dana? I’ve had her for ages. That way makes it sound like old news and people quickly lose interest. They might wonder how they missed it but they don’t really care.

Why do you need that?/ Why do you have a hearing aid?

Because they’re all the rage you know. It used to be glasses with fake lenses, now it’s dud hearing aids because specs are too mainstream.

Not gonna lie, it is almost impossible to answer this one without sounding sarcastic. I have a hearing aid because I don’t hear very well.

Although, I did come up with an epic spy story concept based around hearing aids… patent pending.

You’re a bit young to need them, aren’t you?

No. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have very little regard for these sorts of conventions. You can go for a straight no, a gentle not really, or if they are genuinely interested you might like to tell them a little bit about it. If, on the other hand, they are teasing you and you aren’t ok with that, just tell them that you are mature for your age.

*Confused look.*/ But you’re so normal.

Turns out, the failure of the sound receiving bit of my ears does nothing to inhibit my (neurotypical)cognitive function. My mind is blown.

Basically, this is such a silly, thoughtless reaction that it is hard to know how to respond graciously. I usually go for a simple yep or a helpless shrug then carry on the conversation we were having before. Thankfully, this reaction doesn’t happen all that often and the people who say it are usually people that you can just walk away from.

Most people (if they notice) will only be mildly curious but won’t care all that much. It’s one of those things that you are just going to have to get used to.

Roll with it, the novelty will fade.

I know it might seem harsh to say that you should just be gracious and deal with it but that’s all you can do, really. To be forever getting wound up about it or being sarcastic with people is an unproductive waste of time and energy.

Know when to give patient answers or explanations and when to just walk away.

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