Now That I Can Hear…: Dale Hansen, Practice Administrator, Family Hearing & Balance Center


Since I have received my hearing aids, I found that I can hear much better. Since I have received my hearing aids, I can hear, but I found that I had to learn how to listen better. The challenge for me, since I can understand what is being said, is to understand what is being really said. If this sounds like a bunch of tangled mess, please let me clarify.

Sometimes, I don’t like what I am hearing. The words that I don’t like can create an emotional response. Before, when I didn’t understand, I had go-to responses. I would smile and say, “sure”, or “nice.” They were generic responses that generally fit, and then I would try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Now…

What creates the emotional response? Judgmental statements. Passive aggressive statements. Personal attacks. Unsolicited advise. Just like any of us, all I could hear was the arguments in my head. The assessments were made quickly, the responses formed even more quickly, and I would volley a round of come-backs without prejudice.

The problem? What I was hearing was not what they meant. I had to learn how to listen again. Before, I had become so dependent on body cues that I forgot about tone and context. I was reintroduced to listening to the meaning behind the words, beyond my first impressions. It became a rebirth into understanding them and what was being said, before forming my responses before their sentences were completed. The great thing about hearing? You can hear. The bad thing about hearing? You can hear it all. Good. Bad. All.

I am connected though. When I take the hearing aids out, I experience a disconnect. I had someone the other day trying to remind me to smile. I had my aids out and I didn’t hear her. Finally, she said, ” No smile? Not today? Ok.” She walked away from me  and I know I upset her. With hearing aids, one hears the good and the bad. Either way, I prefer to hear, listen well, and understand when someone is trying to remind me to smile.

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10 Comments Showing 50 most recent
  1. Richard Reikowski

    I love to see your smile! Keep em smilin’….:)

  2. Amy

    Great perspective! It is very helpful for people who don’t wear hearing aids to understand what’s going on inside the mind of someone who does.

    • Richard Reikowski

      I agree Amy. A great perspective!

  3. Kristie Dannemiller-Smith

    Well said!! Retraining the brain to listen again!!

    • Richard Reikowski

      Good point on retraining the brain!

  4. Jen Subotnik

    Thank you for sharing your perspective! It is, sometimes, hard to tell weather you didn’t hear or if you are just thinking of a response when I come to you with a question. This was very helpful to know.

    • Richard Reikowski

      Appreciate you sharing and encouraging Dale on this post!

  5. Joanne Upton

    Oh the difference between hearing and listening goes for both the hearing impaired and the hearing.

    • Richard Reikowski

      Yes, this does apply to those with and without hearing loss. Good idea.

  6. Gail Reagan

    It also helps if the person speaking talks clearly and with words that make sense. Sometimes words just don’t want to come out right, and that can be confusing for both the hearing and hearing impaired….. so just keep smiling 🙂

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