“When there’s a longish silence between me and my friends, it’s because someone has asked me something and are waiting for an answer.
“Then I go, ‘Wait, what? Did you ask me something?’ ” writes Gael Hannan for the IDA Institute.
Friendships between the hearing and non-hearing present challenges. “I know I shouldn’t feel embarrassed” in such moments, she writes, “but sometimes I just do.”
“I have met people who are impatient with being asked to repeat themselves and who never quite grasp that being asked to ‘speak up’ is not a request to yell at me. These people and I don’t become friends because we irritate each other too much. But the people who are better than this, if they decide they like me enough to include me in their social circle, just have to be gently (or otherwise) instructed in the art of conversation with a person who has hearing loss.”