Wife is annoyed by husband who appears to have selective hearing.

You asked for help with one basic chore: take the trash out. A little bit later you discover your partner didn’t do it. When you ask why it didn’t get done, your partner says “I never heard you ask me”. Why aren’t you surprised that your partner didn’t hear the one thing they needed done? This “selective hearing” is a normal sign that communication is breaking down.

This “selective hearing” is often viewed as a kind of character flaw. Accusing someone of selective hearing is saying they weren’t listening to you. But selective hearing might actually be related to untreated hearing loss rather than a short attention span.

Selective hearing – what is it?

You’ve likely been accused of selective hearing at some point in your life, even if no one used that specific name. Selective hearing happens when you can clearly hear information that’s beneficial to you but conveniently miss the bit that’s negative. You hear the part about making a delicious meal but miss the part about cleaning up the dishes. Things like that.

It’s extremely common for people to have selective hearing behavior. But this behavior is more prevalent in men than women, according to some research.

How individuals are socialized does give some context and it may be tempting to make some assumptions from this. But the other part of the situation might have something to do with hearing health. If your “selective hearing” begins to become more common, it might be an indication that you may have undiagnosed hearing loss.

Hearing loss can create gaps in communication

Undiagnosed hearing loss can indeed make communication a lot more difficult. That’s probably not that shocking.

But here’s the thing: oftentimes, communication issues are an indication of hearing loss.

When hearing loss is in those really early stages, there won’t be a lot of apparent symptoms. Your tv may get a bit louder. You can’t quite hear what your friend is saying when you stop for a beverage at your local tavern. It’s likely because the music is so loud, right? But besides scenarios like that, you might never even notice how loud day-to-day sounds can be. Your hearing can slowly decline because of this. You scarcely notice the problem until you’re at the point where you frequently have trouble hearing conversations.

Your partner is becoming concerned about the health of your hearing

You will notice some of the people in your life are starting to be concerned. Yes, selective hearing is a rather common aggravation (even more irritating when you already feel like nobody listens to you). But as it happens more and more frequently, irritation might turn to worry.

And your partner may want you to find out what’s going on by having you schedule a hearing test.

Your partner’s concern is relevant and it’s essential for you to recognize that. Have an open discussion with them and accept their help because they care about your well-being and aren’t just irritated with you.

Other early indications of hearing loss

If your selective hearing has become worse over time, it may be worth keeping an eye out for some of these other early indications of hearing loss. Here are some of those signs:

  • Hearing in crowds is difficult
  • People sound far-away or muted when they speak
  • Requesting that people speak slower and speak up
  • Consonants are hard to distinguish
  • Turning the volume up on your mobile phone, television, or radio

You should contact us for a hearing exam if you experience any of these symptoms.

Wear ear protection

It’s critical that you take steps to safeguard your ears so that you can prevent hearing loss. If you can’t avoid overly loud noise, be certain that you use hearing protection, like muffs or plugs. Hearing aids can also help you have more effective communication, which can smooth over many rough patches that your hearing loss might have caused in the first place.

In most situations throughout your life, selective hearing is going to be an artifact of a waning attention span. But when you (or somebody around you) notices your selective hearing getting worse, you might want to take that as a sign that it’s time to have your hearing checked.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Call or text us for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call or text us.

Schedule Now