Diving into the Nature of Selective Hearing

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

The only one thing that you asked for was for the trash to be taken out. A little while later you discover your partner failed to do it. When you ask why it didn’t get done, your partner replies “I never heard you ask me”. Curious how that works, how your partner didn’t hear the one thing you requested from them. The popular term for this is “selective hearing,” and it’s usually a sign of failing communication.

We tend to think of selective hearing as a negative, sort of like it’s a character flaw. Accusing someone of selective hearing is saying they weren’t listening to you. But selective hearing might actually be connected to untreated hearing loss instead of a short attention span.

Selective hearing – what is it?

You’ve most likely been accused of selective hearing at some time in your life, even if nobody used that particular term. When you miss all the stuff you don’t want to hear but hear everything else, that’s selective hearing. You hear the bit about the chocolate ice cream, but you miss the part about the calories. Things like that.

As a behavior, selective hearing is very common. 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 draw some social conclusions from this. But hearing health is probably another major component. If your “selective hearing” starts to become more common, it could be a clue that you may have undiagnosed hearing loss.

Hearing loss can produce gaps in communication

Undiagnosed hearing loss can definitely make communication much more challenging. You’re probably not surprised by that.

But one notable sign of hearing loss is communication issues.

Symptoms can be really hard to detect when hearing loss is in the early phases. Perhaps you start turning the volume up on your tv. When go out to your local haunt, you have a difficult time hearing conversations. It’s probably because the music is so loud, right? But besides situations like that, you may never even observe how loud daily sounds can be. Your hearing can gradually decline because of this. You barely notice the problem until you’re at the point where you frequently have difficulty hearing conversations.

Your hearing health is worrying your partner

You will notice some of the people in your life are beginning to worry. Your friends and family will most likely be annoyed when they think you’re deliberately missing what they say. But as it turns out more and more often, aggravation might turn to concern.

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

It’s significant to pay attention to your partner’s concerns. 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

If your selective hearing is getting worse over time, it might be worth keeping an eye out for some of these other early indications of hearing loss. Here are some of those signs:

  • Cranking the volume up on your mobile phone, television, or radio
  • Requesting that people talk slower and talk louder
  • Trouble hearing in crowds
  • Having a difficult time making out consonants
  • People sound far-away or muffled when they speak

You should call us for a hearing test if you have any of these symptoms.

Use ear protection

It’s crucial that you take steps to protect your ears so that you can prevent hearing loss. Minimize your exposure to noisy settings (or at least use earmuffs or earplugs when you must be around noise). Hearing aids can also help you communicate effectively, which can smooth over many rough patches that your hearing loss might have caused in the first place.

A diminishing attention span will be to blame for the majority of selective hearing situations in your life. But you may want to take it as an indication that it’s time for a hearing test when people around you start to observe your selective hearing getting worse.

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.