Think back to the last time you felt a strong, connected, and thriving relationship with someone. You might imagine time spent having a meal with a friend, taking a walk with a family member, or traveling with a romantic partner. When you recall this moment of a healthy relationship, what comes to mind? We experience love, understanding, and trust in many ways, and each person is unique in what makes that feeling come about. No matter what it takes for you to know you are cared for, communication is likely part of that interaction. Our deepest relationships are built on trust and openness, and verbal communication is a primary way to establish these principles of trust. Among the many other communication issues that can arise that form an obstacle to a trusting relationship, one of them might be hiding in plain sight: untreated hearing loss. Whereas other communication problems have to do with complex principles of psychology and relationship maturity, hearing loss is a physiological condition that can lead to a ripple effect in your relationships. Let’s consider how untreated hearing loss can interfere with your relationships, as well as the benefits you can expect in your relationships when you get the treatment you need.
Relationships and Communication
Our relationships are all built on communication. Though not all communication is verbal, most of us rely on speech to get across our thoughts, expectations, and needs most directly. When we communicate in this manner, we can establish a pattern of expectation, care, and trust. That trust is established in two major ways. In the first, we can become vulnerable to another person through a disclosure. When we find that other person accepting and understanding what we have shared, we feel a sense of trust that grows stronger. These disclosures might be serious moments in our personal histories or opportunities for minor rejection. When we find that other person continuing to accept and support us, we can trust that we will not be left alone in the future. The other major way to establish trust in a relationship does not have to do with vulnerability or personal disclosure, but it does require communication. Relationship experts point to casual speech as a way to remind others of our co-presence. When we are together with another person, we establish trust that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally available if something comes up. For instance, simply sharing information, questions, and little jokes at home is a way to build trust in the presence of a loved one. That trust is based in the most basic need humans have to form groups and family units. As you can see, verbal communication is necessary for both of these paths toward a trusting relationship.
Hearing Loss and Trust
One of the unfortunate outcomes of untreated hearing loss is that it can get in the way of these two types of trust in relationships. When a loved one tries to disclose something vulnerable, we might not pick up on the nuance or importance of what is said. In the worst cases, we might not understand at all. In the second type of trust-building communication, we might be unable to hear the little comments and jokes that form that general bond of co-presence. Particularly when someone calls out from another room in the house, we might not hear that communication at all. Leaving that person hanging can feel like a betrayal of trust, minor or major, and our relationships can suffer as a result.
If you are concerned that untreated hearing loss is getting in the way of your relationships, the time is now to get a hearing test. Once you have a full diagnosis of your hearing needs, our hearing health professionals can connect you with the treatment that is right for you. Getting treatment for hearing loss can improve your life in countless ways, ranging from physical, mental, and cognitive health to strong and trusting relationships. With these many benefits in store for you, why put off getting a hearing test any longer? We can use the results to point you in the direction of treatment and stronger relationships as a result.