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Better Conversations around the Dinner Table

Conversations are important to developing friendships and deepening ties with family members. During the holiday season we can find ourselves more frequently conversing around the dinner table with friends and family. Did you know that an important part of good conversation is listening? From researchers featured on Psychology Today to the hosts of NPR’s Dinner Party Download, listening is one of the most important tips for creating good conversations.

Answer this: have you ever been so busy trying to figure out what you were going to say that you didn’t hear what was said by your conversation partner? Being a good listener shows you are not just interested in the topic at hand but in the person and their thoughts and feelings on the matter. This applies universally whether you have hearing loss or not.

If you do have hearing loss, here are several considerations for improving your listening skills:

  • Make sure your hearings aids are ready to go. First, don’t enter the busy holiday season with hearing aids that need maintenance or repair. Next make sure you bring extra batteries with you especially if traveling. And, talk to your audiologist to learn more about setting adjustments that can be made to assist in dinner situations.
  • Bring a hearing aid accessory. A hearing aid accessory can stream conversation directly to your hearing aids. These accessories are discreet and can be placed on the table.
  • Move closer. Don’t try to capture conversation across the table, instead sit next to the person you are speaking with. If you are dining at a restaurant, choose the table and seat with the least background noise.
  • Don’t be afraid to make it known that you cannot hear the conversation well. Sometimes you need to be your own advocate especially around a crowded dinner table when voices and different conversations are competing with each other.

Contact our hearing center if you have questions about how your hearing aids can help you be a better listener.