Have you ever felt like people aren't hearing you? It's frustrating, painful and if we are honest it often drives us to do things we regret. Here are 10 reasons why people might not be hearing you.
1. They might be hard of hearing. We tend to assume everyone has perfect hearing but this is not the case. The National Institute of Health reports that 15% of adults 18 or over suffer from some type of difficulty with hearing. Don't assume everyone can hear you.
2. Sometimes there are factors in the environment you are in that keep people from hearing you. A loud air conditioner, loud music, television and people focusing on other things while you are talking. You may need to make an adjustment to your environment so people can hear you better.
3. Listening is a discipline and an art. Most people don't know how to do it very well.
4. Maybe you don't project when you talk. It's very difficult to hear someone if they have a low voice or don't project when they talk. Mumblers are really hard to hear. You might need to speak up and encourage others to do the same.
5. You aren't clear when you talk. I've quoted a famous preacher before and I'll do it again because it's so profound. He once said, "we should speak so clearly that we are understood but also so clearly that people cannot misunderstand us". One of the best ways to know whether or not you are a clear communicator is to ask 2-3 of your closest friends. Give them permission to be painfully honest.
6. You have distracting habits when you talk. Our body language is much louder than our vocal chords. Remember that. Our bodies are always talking even when our mouths are quiet. Again, a good friend or coach can help you with this.
7. You are proud. There is no one harder to hear than a proud person. I think people can hear angry people better than proud people, although I don't recommend that emotion either if you want people to hear you. Pride is the leading cause of deafness in relationships. It's very difficult for people to hear you if you project that you are better, faster, stronger and above the person you are talking to. Which leads us to the 7th reason why people don't hear you.
8. You don't listen to people. Pride is the number one reason why people don't listen. There is a reason God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth. Make sure you are living out the 2 ears to 1 mouth ratio in your relationships. This means you should be listening more than you talk. People are far more likely to hear you if they feel heard.
9. People can't hear you if they are in pain. It's very difficult to hear when you are suffering. Factor this in if you feel like people aren't listening to you. You might even ask a person how they are doing and if there is anything they are suffering with.
10. People have an agenda. Our current political climate is an unfortunate and perfect illustration of this. If someone has an agenda in a relationship they aren't going to be able to hear you like you want.
Grace and Peace.