Guest Author: Amber Frazier, Student Clinician
Conversation is key to healthy relationships. But when and where is the ideal time and place to have a meaningful conversation? Should couples and partners converse about important topics at home? In the car? At a restaurant?
Communication encompasses three variables: the speaker, the listener, and the environment. Each of these variables play a role in the success of a conversation. For people with hearing loss, the importance of these three variables increases. In the article “Relationship Communication: How to Talk So That Your Partner Will Listen,” The Huffington Post suggested 10 ways to improve communication in relationships and highlighted strategies for the speaker, listener, and environment:
- Pick the right time to start the conversation.
- Keep the conversation short and to the point.
- Pause and ask for feedback.
- Don’t catastrophize.
- Don’t attack.
- At the beginning of the conversation, tell the listener if you want to solve problems or if you want to share feelings.
- Listening doesn’t mean you agree.
- Respect advice.
- If you describe a problem, describe a solution.
- Support the speaker.
Remember that when hearing loss is involved, communication can be challenging. By remembering to think about the speaker, listener, and environment you can master conversation. Try practicing these communication tips, sometimes called communication strategies, for the remainder of Better Speech and Hearing Month!