With Easter Sunday coming up soon, here are some tips on how to survive noisy family dinners!
For deaf people:
- Show up with confidence. For some, going to a crowded, noisy holiday/restaurant, especially when you’re deaf, can be daunting. But really, it should be exciting! You are going to see people, have great conversations, and eat some delicious food! Enjoy the moment (no matter how cliché that may sound). If you’re feeling a bit intimated, I suggest you stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself, “I am amazing, I am worth it, I am a great person.” This actually works.
- Do not hide in your phone. It is so easy to slip away from a conversation and find comfort by pretending you are busy in the virtual world. No matter how strong the urge to escape may be, don not give in. You will miss out on so much.
- If you are struggling to keep up, ask the person next to you what everyone is talking about. If they say, “Don’t worry about it,” or “It’s nothing,” do not give up. Ask another (nicer) person.
- Try to get a seat in the middle of the table where you can see everyone best. This will help you follow along in conversations and make you less likely to feel isolated.
- Eat good food, laugh, and have fun!
For hearing people:
- Please include us!
- If we ask you to repeat something, repeat it. It is not hard to repeat a sentence or two, and you will likely make a person’s evening much better by including them.
- Do not assume that we do not care about the conversation if we are not talking as much. Chances are, we are just trying to follow along and jump in whenever we hear something familiar.
- Try to face us when talking. Holiday events are typically noisy and chaotic, which makes hearing, even with cochlear implants or hearing aids, especially impossible.
- Do not talk with your mouth full. Not only is it gross, but we will not be able to read your lips as you are spitting your food all over our face (:
These are just some tips to keep in mind if you are deaf or have a deaf family member or friend coming to your house to celebrate with you! Of course, every scenario is different and we just have to adapt. I hope these basic tips serve as a guiding point to make everyone’s evening just a little bit better!