Did I Hear You Right?
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I have been dealing with tinnitus.(Read more and don't self diagnose)
In my case it’s a very high pitch in my left ear that has not stopped but will as it happened as the result of a concussion. I also have to deal with migraines and the fact that I get a little fuzzy later in the day. So I get up really early to spend my MENSA period in high productivity.
What could be a burden has become a learning experience, and all in all, I think I’m doing rather well.
I’ve learned that hearing happens in the ears, but listening happens in the brain. This is fascinating stuff. When parts of the information we need to process are missing, including sound and pitch, the brain will actually make it up.
When I’m extremely tired, I’ll hear strange sounds but I don’t know where they are coming from, so I’ll investigate until I remember that the sound is coming from my own head.
Which takes me to my point; we often hear someone saying one thing, when the speaker actually said something else. We hear through the filter of our own experience and expectations.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, a compliment can sound like an insult. If someone compliments someone else and not you, it can sound like a put down.
We have all had to deal with that coworker who never actually hears what has been said. (You may have even married this person.) They will argue against a point that you have not even made and when you try to tell them this, they feel as if they are being attacked. There is really no guard against someone else’s misinterpretation but we can all be clearer in what we mean to say.
We can also check for clarity. When my children were younger, I would constantly ask; “What did you hear me say?” Whenever I did, I could see how my meaning had been misinterpreted. (Now that they are older, I need to go back to doing that.)
When I hear an insult, rudeness or something I don’t like, I breathe, pause and check my listening. Did I hear the insult or was it actually said? More often than I care to admit, I am hearing what I am feeling and not what was being said.
Fortunately for me, I feel pretty dang good, so I hear that way too.
Can ya hear me?
Be you, be well, be listening.
Bertice Berry, PhD.