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Admitting we have a hearing loss shouldn’t cause embarrassment, but for many it does...

A young girl whispering to her grandmother.

How to talk to your family about your hearing loss

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This exclusive content is part of our How to Talk About Hearing Loss series. Read the content below, or download a PDF to print and share.

Admitting we have a hearing loss shouldn’t cause embarrassment, but for many it does, and telling others that we don’t hear well can be difficult. We might worry that asking for help, even asking someone to repeat themselves, will so inconvenience and annoy our family that they’ll stop communicating with us altogether.

However, according to social psychologist Heidi Grant, “people are wired to be helpful” and not asking them for help is a mistake. The problem, she says, is that “asking people for help isn’t intuitive; in fact, a lot of our instincts are wrong. As a result, we do a poor job of calling in the reinforcements we need,” depriving ourselves—and our family—of the chance to help one another...

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