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12 Things You Need To Remember If You Love Someone Who Is Deaf

12 Things You Need To Remember If You Love Someone Who Is Deaf

Would you rather not be able to hear or not be able to see? That’s a common question people ask each other, but imagine having to live with either one of those disabilities. Those with either one need a lot of our love, support, and understanding. But, to offer all those things, you have to understand what hurdles they’re facing and know what you can do to help.

Here are twelve things that are crucial to remember if you have deaf people in your life.

1. Be close to deaf people

Of course you should be close to your deaf friends emotionally, but this tip is strictly about being close to deaf people physically. The nearer you are to them, the better of a chance they have to hear the words you’re speaking or read your lips. So, stay close to your loved one who is hard of hearing.

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2. Be loud enough for deaf people to hear you

Deaf people can’t hear as well as most other folks, so naturally you’ll have to speak louder for them to understand you. That doesn’t mean you should just shout at them; that comes across as aggressive. Instead, being a little louder than normal will project your voice and make it easier for deaf people to hear you. The website DeafTalk has a great resource to help you better understand sound level for deaf people.

3. Prepare deaf people for loud sounds

Loud sounds can be very disruptive for deaf people. Whenever you anticipate a lot of noise, be sure to warn the deaf person you’re with that it’s about to come so they can prepare for it.

4. Separate your words

Deaf people rely a lot on reading others’ lips. For that reason, to make it easier for them, it’s good if you sound out each word in a way that a deaf person can distinguish them.

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5. Keep conversations with deaf people focused

A scatterbrained discussion is a huge burden for deaf people. They’re following your words not just through sound or reading your lips but also through intuition. If you change the subject unexpectedly or do something else unpredictable, you’re making it harder for deaf people to understand you.

6. Lead deaf people to somewhere they can “hear”

This is pretty simple. Help get your deaf loved one somewhere where they can best hear the main speaker, read their lips, or preferably both.

7. Explain their needs to others

Most people haven’t read this list of tips, so it’s usually up to you to explain to others what your loved one will need from them.

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8. Keep an eye on what they can and can’t understand

In order to constantly improve your communication with someone who is deaf, take notice when they have trouble understanding you. Think about what you said and why it may have been difficult for them to comprehend, and adjust accordingly.

9. Be willing to communicate differently

Talking is the easiest way for a lot of us to communicate, but not so much for deaf people. Embrace communication via texts or email or something else visual to make their lives a little easier.

10. Talk in places that are quieter and more private

Identify locations where there will be as little disruption as possible for those with hearing problems. Even the sounds many of us filter out, such as traffic or background music, can be distracting, so be sure the places you pick have as little of that as possible.

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11. Be aware of visual cues

Deaf people largely depend on visual language, which makes something like a smile more valuable than ever and an unintended frown more problematic. Keep your visual cues in mind at all times because that’s one of the main ways deaf people are going to interpret what you’re thinking or feeling.

12. Display sympathy during the hard times

Know how to bolster up their spirits when deaf people need your support during the periods when they are most struggling with their disabilities. A few words of sympathy can go a long way. Your friendship and companionship is the most powerful thing you can offer anyone, especially those with disabilities. Never forget that.

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Matt OKeefe

Freelance Writer, Marketer

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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