How to Hear Better at Holiday Gatherings
Here comes the holiday season! Navigating a world full of sound is an everyday thing for you, but the unique cacophony that is a family gathering can present challenges you never face during the course of a regular day. Kids running around playing, football games blaring from TVs, tons of crosstalk as friends and relatives catch up on life (or argue about their annual topics)—it can all add a lot of extra effort to your attempt to hear everything that’s going on.
Since you’ll be among people who know and love you, we recommend being very up-front about it all:
- Limit yourself to one-on-one conversations as often as possible; they’re easier to follow, even with background noise.
- Try to keep room light to your back, so you can clearly see people while they’re speaking.
- If your place at the dinner table is lousy for trying to hear what’s going on, speak up and ask someone to switch seats with you.
- Remind people that if they call you from the kitchen, you probably won’t hear them in the living room; have them send a handy niece or nephew to get you.
- If a day full of exceptionally active listening gets tiring, slip away for a while, take a break and come back later with “fresh ears.”
Those are just a few thoughts to consider. The most important thing to remember is that your family wants you to feel comfortable and included. Let them help.