Diving into the Dynamics of Selective Hearing

Wife is annoyed by husband who appears to have selective hearing.

The only one thing that you requested was for the trash to be taken out. But, regrettably, it never got done. When you ask why they didn’t do it, your partner responds “I never heard you ask me”. Why are you not surprised that your partner failed to hear the one thing they wanted done? This “selective hearing” is a common indication that communication is failing.

This “selective hearing” is frequently viewed as a kind of character flaw. It’s as if you’re accusing someone of deliberately not listening. But selective hearing could actually be connected to untreated hearing loss instead of a short attention span.

What is selective hearing?

You’ve probably been accused of selective hearing at some point in your life, even if no one used that specific name. When you miss all the things you don’t want to hear but hear everything else, that’s selective hearing. You hear the bit about the chocolate cake, but you miss the part about the calories. Things like that.

It’s very common for people to have selective hearing behavior. But this behavior is more common in men than women, according to some research.

How people are socialized does offer some context and it may be tempting to make some assumptions from this. But the other part of the situation may have something to do with hearing health. Let’s say your “selective hearing” starts to become more prominent or more common. That could actually be an early indication of hearing loss.

Hearing loss can cause gaps in communication

Communication will definitely be more difficult with undiagnosed hearing loss. You’re likely not shocked by that.

But one prominent indication of hearing loss is communication issues.

Symptoms can be very difficult to detect when hearing loss is in the early stages. Your tv might get a bit louder. When go out to your local haunt, you have a hard time hearing what people are saying. You most likely just presume it’s because of the loud music. And so, besides that, you could go through most of your daily life without giving much notice to the volume of the world around you. Your hearing can slowly diminish because of this. You scarcely notice the problem until you’re at the point where you often have trouble hearing conversations.

Your hearing health is concerning your partner

The people around you will most likely be concerned. Your family and friends will probably be annoyed when they think you’re deliberately ignoring what they say. But that aggravation often becomes worry when they acknowledge that hearing loss might be the real culprit.

And your partner may want you to find out what’s going on by having you schedule a hearing test.

Your partner’s worry is significant and it’s essential for you to acknowledge that. Talk openly with them and welcome their help because they care about your well-being and aren’t just aggravated with you.

Early hearing loss has a few other indicators

You should be aware of some of the other early warning signs of hearing loss if your selective hearing seems to be getting worse. Here are some of those signs:

  • Requesting that people talk slower and speak up
  • Having a hard time making out consonants
  • Difficulty hearing in crowds
  • Speech sounds distant or muffled
  • Cranking up the volume on your devices

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s worth calling us and getting a hearing test.

Use ear protection

It’s crucial that you take steps to protect your ears in order to prevent hearing loss. If you can’t stay away from overly loud noise, be certain you wear hearing protection, like muffs or plugs. Any feathers that you might have ruffled with your selective hearing can be smoothed over by wearing hearing aids to communicate more successfully.

In most circumstances throughout your life, selective hearing is going to be an artifact of a diminishing attention span. But when you (or someone around you) notices your selective hearing getting worse, you might want to take that as an indication that it’s time to have your hearing assessed.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.