I’ve talked about concentration fatigue and ‘Zoom fatigue’ in the past. But the topic of ‘listening fatigue’ is somewhat similar to it. If you are not familiar with it, at the time of recording, I have been going through a form of listening fatigue where I’m tired of listening.
Just to clarify, I don’t mean I am tired of listening to people talking to me because of what they are saying. It’s more a long the line of I’m tired of the physical action of listening.
Hence why ‘listening fatigue’ (aka ‘hearing fatigue’) is a term that is often used by some deaf and hard of hearing people.
You can watch the video…
…listen to the podcast…
…or read the transcript to understand more about why I’m tired of listening.
What is listening fatigue?
I am so tired.
Some of you might find this a bit weird, but I’m tired because of listening.
So let me just clarify. I’m not tired of listening, that I can’t be bothered with people, the attitude where you’re like, “oh, you’re talking nonsense. I’m tired of listening you to speak”.
No, not that kind of tired of listening.
I’m tired of the action of listening. It’s exhausting. It gives me fatigue.
And there are people labelling a “listening fatigue” or “hearing fatigue”. And in some way, for me, anyway, it does link to ‘concentration fatigue’.
It’s very, very similar and they are linked, but this is just tiredness of another level. And I think it’s kind of catching up on me.
You see, at the time of recording, I’m actually recording this later than I wanted to, and it kind of gotten delayed to record it because I was physically tired, fatigue from listening to…anything.
Most of the time, it’s from listening to other people speaking, trying to understand it. Listening hard and trying to work out what they’re saying.
But even just the idea of processing sound around you and trying to separate it or working out what sounded around you.
And trying to maybe listen to that one particular sound amongst all the other sound because maybe there are background noise.
So I’m really tired because of that. I’m just tired, man.
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I promise I won’t be as tired as I am now.
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and it would really have a lot to raise deaf awareness and beyond.
When does listening get tired?
This (feeling) is actually very common. I’m not saying “woe is me, I’m the only one going through this. Why is no one not going through this?”
This is actually very, very common.
And I think as well it’s becoming more common now because more people are doing video calls.
Now, obviously, video call for me is a bit easier than the standards phone call because you can see people can lip read and somewhat of a body language there.
But it’s not perfect. It’s not ideal. It’s not going to make things like that much better.
However, there is this phenomenon, now people calling it ‘Zoom fatigue’ and that’s exhausting.
That is a thing, and I think that kind of also catching up on me. And it’s not just because of from my work where I tend to have video called with my work colleagues, friend or client, anything like that. It’s even as well when
using it for fun, for personal thing.
For example, right now everyone is far away from each other and maybe in lockdown or whatever, or just living far away from your family and friends.
So you connect with a video call and you maybe do some activity like a quiz And that’s what we’ve been doing a lot, been doing a lot of quiz.
But I think it has come to a point now where I’ve done it so many times, where it (fatigue) is creeping up on me…this tiredness that I’m getting is happening now because it’s just even more listening than required
when I’m not really wanting to listen.
I have to really listen carefully during the quiz. You want to win. I’m competitive. I want to win this game. I also want to be involved and I
want to take part in it.
But when you working so hard to listen in a quiz or whatever game that play in via video calls, then I also get very, very tired.
And wow, it really knocked me off-course. I end up needing to take a day off. Maybe because I need to do that, I’ve been working a lot so maybe I needed to take a day off.
But I’ve noticed in myself where I feel like I just don’t want to listen to people speaking and listen to what they’re saying. It’s physically, very, very hard for me.
And I just couldn’t keep up with it to the point where I’ve avoided video call at the moment. I’m avoiding talking to people on the phone because I just
couldn’t physically do it.
And sometimes, it just either went from silence around me or just something very soft sound, maybe white noise or something like that. Or just sometimes.
How I deal with with listening fatigue?
This is why I like my noise-cancelling headphones, they’re good for that.
You know, I have that complete silence or just focus on one sound and not just have so many things to listen to.
Granted, these headphones are very expensive, but it’s an important investment for me. It really was useful for me when going through a busy, noisy high street or a noisy airport and you just wanted to drown out the noise and I guess put it on and then just calm and peace.
And people say maybe you have some kind of sensory processing disorder.
I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s like that. I just think it’s part of the
whole listening experience. It’s just more and more difficult for me.
And maybe I should talk to someone, whether I have some issues about processing sound, because sensory processing disorder mean that there are other things that are stimulating your senses.
So maybe too many things are bright, visually distracting or overwhelming.
But for me, it mainly about sound, so I don’t know, sounds processing disorder is a thing or not.
But I don’t think it’s that, I just think genuine tiredness of the amount of listening I have to do and I just kind of wanted to share that with you because maybe, you know, someone going through the same thing, maybe you don’t.
Or maybe you just wonder why sometime people don’t want to talk
for whatever reason. And it could be because of the tiredness from listen, from communicating, from processing all sound.
And that is right now what I am going through.
If you are one of the few who have been trying to get in touch and trying to speak to me for whatever reason, and I have postponed or cancelled it…Sorry, I just wanted to make sure that I recover well and then I get back to you.
Is it similar to concentration fatigue?
But the idea it’s so, so hard to listen and I think, listening fatigue maybe is a thing, but I think it concentration fatigue.
What is concentration fatigue…
…and why do deaf and hard of hearing people goes through it?
There are overlaps there. It’s so tiring. This is something that a lot of people need to be aware of, especially if you are in a position or work where you are talking to people.
For example, you might be a teacher and you’re talking to a student and there might be one or two students who are just struggling with their hearing and they have to listen extra hard and they get that tiredness.
That will happen.
And maybe you are a teacher who does online tutoring. Again, you get the combination of the listening fatigue or concentration fatigue, but also Zoom fatigue on top of it.
I mean, it’s just one fatigue after another, but it’s just something that you need to be aware of.
And that’s why it’s important for you to also check out the post about communicating with deaf people.
There are thing that you can make things a little bit easier, like making sure there are no background noise, making sure that it’s a well-lit environment so that you can lip read, make sure you are face-to-face.
There are so many little things that you can help to make it just a bit easier for us to process those sound. But it’s not going to make a 100% perfect. It’s just about making it lighter and easier work for us.
So again, please check out the post.
You can even download a guide, a picture format of it below.
You can check it out. It’s so important to check it out.
That’s about it really. I just wanted to share that this has been a late recording because I’m so tired and I’m right now trying to asmuch as I can avoid video call or phone calls because of that listening fatigue.
Let’s call it that. Let’s call listening fatigue, and it’s something for you to be aware of.
Make sure you check out all the resources in the description.
And I’m very also curious to hear from people who go through similar things.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. And I’m sure people who have gone through the same thing, they may have to suffer in silence.
And you shouldn’t have to do that.
So I want you to know that you can share that with me in the comment down below.
And hopefully, this video has validated that if you also feel like that, well, that’s normal. It’s totally OK. You can feel like that because I am feeling like that right now.
Maybe I should stop, so I’m off for a nap.
In the meantime, I will speak to you again soon.
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