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I Can’t Hear You When I am Wearing a Face Mask

photography of woman listening to music

I can’t hear you. It is hard to hear when my mouth is covered in fabric, secured with drawstring around my ears. The person who is speaking is speaking clearly. They may be wearing a mask as well but that is not the point.

Meeting with an account representative at a bank, we were wearing masks. Not too far away was another representative who would join our conversation from time to time. We giggled unashamedly when he was talking and I couldn’t hear him. I told him, “I can’t hear you, I am wearing a mask.” The silliness of it was it should have been, “I can’t hear you, your facemask,” or something to that effect.

I Can’t Hear You

It reminds me that we talk to much. We plan our responses before the person is finished. Missing out on what could be an incredible conversation, we are shortchanged by our own addiction to speaking. You can walk away from a conversation knowing nothing extra beyond what you already know, because you didn’t listen to and absorb with what the other person was saying.

This happened again when I was at the grocery store. I told the cashier that I couldn’t hear her, I was wearing a mask. As she was also wearing a mask we both giggled. Again. It was so ludicrous, yet powerful. I have a new goal. To listen more, speak less.

It is hard to hear when I am wearing a face mask speaks a lot of how we communicate. Can you imagine if we slowed down and listened more and spoke less how this would decrease our bad interactions? The times when you walked away embarrassed because you don’t feel you got your message heard and it was sure to be misinterpreted.

False Narrative

Decreasing false narratives may just require more listening. And less speaking. It is time to build my listening skills so that when my mouth is covered, I can actually hear you more. It’s not you, it’s me.

Jessica Fletcher

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