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How not to teach your girlfriend about deafness

What are the best ways to teach your loved ones about hearing loss? 

Gianluca Trombetta, a HearingLikeMe contributor who has moderately severe hearing loss, presented an entertaining  monologue at  a BBC Ouch Storytelling Live event last month, sharing his experiences on what has worked.. and what hasn’t. 

He says he hated it when his girlfriend talked before he was ready to listen, so he developed a couple communication strategies.

“My strategy was dog training,” he says “So, every time I couldn’t hear her I would interrupt her and tell (her) what she did wrong. “

Eventually, he says, he realized that his girlfriend wasn’t a dog. So, he found a better way to help her learn how to communicate with him. 

There are two main rules, he says. 

  1. Always speak in the same room
  2. The Attention Rule: Get the hard-of-hearing person’s attention first, then that person should give their full attention

Read more of Gianluca’s tips: How Can You Improve Communication with Your Partner?

“I miss much less now,” he says. “The beautiful thing is that I don’t get frustrated anymore because I know that she cares.”

Read more: Ask Anna: My fiancé doesn’t understand my communication needs

Read more: 7 things you can do to communicate effectively with someone who has hearing loss

BBC Ouch Storytelling Live is an event in which disabled people used humour to discuss difficulties they have faced in their lives.

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Author Details
Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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