Find out what Chelle and Julia discovered this month on this month's hearing loss journey, where we explore how to get our hearing partners in the know!
We actively encourage others to be proactive with hearing loss truth. You're partners are your support system in this journey. Don't let them manage your hearing loss. Let them be your hearing partner.
Join us May 2nd, 6pm MT for our live workshop Hearing Loss and Inclusion.
Julia: Good morning, and welcome to Hearing Loss LIVE! If you're tuning in today, please remember to share, like and subscribe to all of our events and stuff going on. We have email newsletters, we have a YouTube page, we have our Buzzsprout that keeps our transcript, we will be adding more purchasable stuff to our Buy Me a Coffee here soon. So let everyone around, you know where we're at. This month, we're closing out our Hearing partners with our closing thoughts on what we learned in our live workshop. For those who have not attended, we really do love our live workshops. That's where the tribe as Chelle calls them gets together. And we have questions and we talk about what does a hearing partner look like for us this last month, and we've had a couple of blogs and podcasts on family and friends. And I want my first myth I realized I ran into and this was even just like folks asking if they could attend our live workshop was "I'm not married?" Or "I don't I don't have a family member who I consider a partner can I attend?" Absolutely. Because hearing partners are more than our friends and family. hearing partners are coworkers. I consider Chelle a hearing partner. Sometimes when we say that people get a little confused on what I mean. I consider myself a hearing partner to my spouse, I consider a hearing partner to our HLAA group. And I think they call me that as well. So hearing partners, is anybody and everybody who you have to communicate with out in the world. So that's my first really, aha, we came across. Chelle, you guys, I'm not gonna lie. I've never seen so many note takers in my life. But I was people write notes left and right. Wait a minute, you can hear this. So I'm gonna have Chelle share some thoughts that came to her about what helps her make better relationships with her hearing partners? I'm gonna say it that way.
Chelle: There was what makes me better. Sorry, say that again. It's like a Monday morning. But it's it's not. [laughter]
Julia: No, it's a Friday, Fri-yay, man. What Thoughts and what came to your mind at the live workshop in this month about better help between you and your hearing partners? And I don't care if it's your spouse or a friend or me. What were some thoughts that came to mind or with another hearing loss individual?
CHelle: Okay, there were, there were several of us taking notes for sure. And I have mine written down right here. And one of my aha moments was that we need our hearing partner to stick up for us once in a while. In my past, I had my, my mom and my sister. And the then has been helping helping me in a variety of ways. Okay, well, not overdoing it, though. But they made sure that my kids who were little at the time respected my hearing loss. Any time, they thought the kids were trying to get away with something because of my hearing loss, they would stop it. You stop that right now and you respect your mother. So this is when they were little. And as teenagers, I had almost no issues with my kids during those years, and I've heard some, some sad stories about teenagers taking advantage of their parents' hearing loss in the past. And I was lucky it didn't happen for me. So making sure your hearing partner helps you or helps others to respect your hearing loss will go a long way. And we need those people to stick up for us sometimes. The other thing that came up or I think several of us were writing notes was I'm bluffing. And Julia did say something at one point. And it was just like what? She said she was talking to her grandmother on the phone, and she could hear her grandmother bluffing. So she, she got angry, and she hung up. But they made up later, and they fixed it. But I was like, "you can you can hear bluffing?" She said, "Yes, I can." You have a comment on that, Julia?
Julia: Yeah, it's actually your question it was as an aha moment that I realized we all bluff. Whether you have a hearing loss or not, we bluff. It's how we can get away with it. Gloria immediately started looking at definitions of bluffing when I got done with this. So we'll talk a little bit about that. Because she really makes you think a minute. And I realized I bluff as well, right? I'm at a conference, or I'm talking with somebody who may or may not int-- interest me. I'm gonna say, This is why one of our lipreading concept classes is very important in understanding it's more than lip reading. So maybe I've tuned out to a conversation. And I'm nodding, right. Because when we tune out, we nod. But because of my hearing privileged, hearing, whatever you want to call it, when a person's tone changes, I can hear it. And the ability to tune back in immediately becomes forefront for me. And I know I have to listen to what's being said next. With hearing loss, you may or may not catch that tone. So you get caught in the bluff, and it becomes an anger management more than anything else. I think it's why it's important all of us were better at being present in the moment, and having true communication skills that we can work on all the time. Does that make sense?
Chelle: It does. And a long time ago, my current husband let me know that bluffing to him was like him saying nevermind to me. It's a disrespect there. So Gloria looked at other stuff, and she went into it, and this will be her baby at some point. But I'll just touch on it really quick. And that is that, bluffing in a sentence is a sort of lying, and there's degrees of lying. But we are-- like the sin of omission, okay, you leave out certain things, and bluffing it kind of like goes in that same area. We're not being honest. We're not being honest about our hearing loss. We're not being honest about what we what we heard. We're not getting our information. We're just we do the smile and nod thing. So honestly. But why can't we be honest? Well, for the older generation, there was the stigma of deaf and dumb. I know the Deaf community just hates that term. But it still used I mean, last year, I got it from somebody well my friend was deaf and dumb, but she went to college and she did all this stuff. And I'm like, How does that even related anymore? I don't know. So that term is still around. And the older generation still fails that I think deeply. So that's why they bluff and try to blend in. For me for a long time it was because my first husband was such a jerk. That I was afraid to ask for repeats because he wasn't very nice, given me repeats back and I thought oh, that's everyone. And here's where I come out about being married three times now. The second husband was so good about my hearing loss, so very supportive. He would out me all the time. I was bluffing because he caught me bluffing, he knew my bluffing, he could hear my bluffing. [laughter] And he would tell people. "Oh Ha ha, she didn't hear a word you said. You're gonna have to turn around and look at her when you talk." I was like wow, this blows me away. And eventually I got used to it. But the other thing he didn't want people to think was that I was rude and stack up because I would walk away while people were talking all the time and So he would introduce me as, "this is Chelle, she has a hearing loss, if she walks away while you're talking, it's because she can't hear you." So all this stuff, you know, then this is helping versus managing he was outing me, which was very uncomfortable. But he taught me that I had to manage my hearing loss. So it was okay, I don't resent him for doing that, to me or anything, he was really good about that.
Julia: I really liked the difference between standing with your friend or spouse or family member, coworker, whatever, and their hearing loss versus managing their hearing loss. I think even those of us in the community that are hard of hearing, try to manage each other accidentally. We are a true believer in support. But every at the bottom, I think my big aha moment is at the bottom of the day, what your family dynamics are, what you're comfortable with, how you communicate, is going to be key. Chelle and I could have the exact same hearing loss, but maybe she prefers her communication like this. And I prefer my communication like that. And our hearing partners can be along and say, This is what's working, what can we work on and work together. I'm going to say loud and clear. mimic what you want. I don't know if I'll ever stop saying that. mimic what you want.
Chelle: model the behavior.
Julia: Model the behavior. Thank you, I can never remember that word model for whatever reason, and I knew you knew it. Model the behavior. Not everybody will follow it. I can't solve that. But those who want to communicate most with you will start to model it back. The other one that profoundly Shelley pointed out that I push a lot, strive for progress, not perfection. We all want to be perfect. But if I'm worrying about the neighbor doing XYZ, and that's what I need to do to be perfect. It's never going to happen. But if I strive for progress, and remember to watch for those moments that say, Ooh, this just happened. And applaud myself, pat myself on the back, you'll find less anger at the end of the day. And more achievement happens towards perfection. That makes sense Chelle? And sometimes that's hard, right? Sometimes seeing those little ones are just really hard.
IChelle: am not perfect myself. But I'm, I'm happy when I at least catch myself doing it wrong, and then try to correct it. I'm never going to be perfect.
Julia: Anything else that you think people could learn from this month's topic with their hearing partner?
Chelle: Yeah, just that there's what you touched on. There's diversity in the community and we do see it where one person was like, you gotta have a cochlear implant but that's maybe not an option for the other person. There's so many different tools and strategies and that's kind of what makes hearing loss advocacy hard because we are so diverse. But you know, we just want to share options and tools and you allow the person to pick what works best for them.
Julia: Thank you. Next month we are going to touch on inclusion watch next week for our blog. Inclusion has many different facets, right we talked a little bit today about don't let your family members manage you versus standing with you. I'm going to call it. And inclusion in the family looks different than inclusion at work looks different and inclusion in your hearing loss groups look different. So we hope to add I believe it's Mays' better month-- Hearing and Speech Month and they're focusing on inclusion. So hopefully we can look into helping you get to some of those events. What they have going on as well. Our let's talk will be May 2nd, 6pm mountain time so you need to adjust for your timezone. If you haven't signed up there's many ways to find the link on our blog and our web page or through any of our social media stuff. So join us let's talk inclusion. And remember, share like and subscribe. Bye!!!