Diving into the Nature of Selective Hearing

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

The only one thing that you requested was for the garbage to be taken out. But, regrettably, it never got done. “I Didn’t hear you”, they say. Why aren’t you surprised that your partner didn’t hear the one thing they needed done? The colloquial term for this is “selective hearing,” and it’s usually a sign of poor communication.

This “selective hearing” is often viewed as a kind of character flaw. It’s like you’re accusing someone of purposely not listening. But selective hearing may actually be connected to untreated hearing loss rather than a short attention span.

Selective hearing – what is it?

You’ve likely been accused of selective hearing at some point in your life, even if no one used that particular name. When you miss all the things you don’t want to hear but hear everything else, that’s selective hearing. You hear the part about the chocolate cake, but you miss the part about the calories. That sort of thing.

It’s extremely common for people to have selective hearing behavior. However, most studies point to males failing to hear their partners more frequently than women.

How individuals are socialized does provide some context and it might be tempting to draw some social conclusions from this. But hearing health is likely another major factor. Let’s say your “selective hearing” starts to become more prominent or more common. That could actually be an early sign of hearing loss.

Communication can be impacted by hearing loss

Communication will definitely be harder with undiagnosed hearing loss. That’s probably not that shocking.

But one notable sign of hearing loss is communication issues.

Symptoms can be very difficult to notice when hearing loss is in the early phases. Your tv might get a little louder. When go out to your local haunt, you have a difficult time hearing what people are saying. It’s probably because the music is so loud, right? But besides situations like that, you might never even notice how loud daily sounds can be. This allows your hearing to gradually deteriorate. You hardly notice the problem until you’re at the point where you frequently have difficulty hearing conversations.

Your partner is becoming concerned about the health of your hearing

The people close to you will most likely be concerned. Yes, selective hearing is a relatively common aggravation (even more frustrating when you already feel like nobody is listening to you). But as it turns out more and more frequently, irritation might turn to concern.

So, your partner may suggest you schedule a hearing test to determine if something is wrong.

It’s important to listen to your partner’s concerns. Talk openly with them and accept their help because they care about your well-being and aren’t simply annoyed with you.

Early hearing loss has a few other indicators

You should be aware of some of the other early warning signs of hearing loss if your selective hearing seems to be getting worse. Here are some of those signs:

  • Difficulty hearing in crowds
  • People sound far-away or muffled when they speak
  • Cranking up the volume on your mobile phone, television, or radio
  • Consonants are hard to make out
  • Requesting that people talk slower and talk louder

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s worth calling us and getting a hearing test.

Always protect your hearing

Safeguarding your hearing is so crucial to preventing hearing loss. Reduce your exposure to noisy settings (or at least wear earmuffs or earplugs when you must be around noise). Any feathers that you might have ruffled with your selective hearing can be smoothed over by wearing hearing aids to communicate more effectively.

In most situations throughout your life, selective hearing will be an artifact of a waning attention span. But when you (or somebody around you) observes your selective hearing becoming worse, you may want to take that as a sign that it’s time to get your hearing tested.

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.

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