While I was writing “Never Mind, It’s Not Important“, I realised I have certain friends who do way more than just avoid brushing me off with a “never mind” when I am in a situation where I struggle to understand what is being said: they will repeat and summarise for me.
This happens especially in group situations where I haven’t managed to position myself optimally, or when the audio quality or acoustics aren’t good.
Having somebody “be my ears” and repeat to me what I need to know is really precious. We’re at the opposite of the “it’s not important” situation I wrote about recently: I am willingly giving up the power to decide what is important or not to somebody else. But the key word here is “willingly”. It is my choice.
This allows me to relax instead of having to strain, and it also means I won’t be asking the person speaking to the group to repeat stuff that everyone has understood but me.
So, group situations where somebody is giving information/instructions for everybody are a typical scenario — another is dinner parties at restaurant tables. It’s really nice when the person beside me repeats what a more distant person is trying to get across to me when I’m asking them to repeat for the third time. Easier!
I’m very grateful for these people who seem to be able to keep in mind that it’s more difficult for me than them to hear well in tricky situations. And it touches me that they care enough to take the trouble to make life a little bit easier for me.