Listening with Style: Mastering the Art of Effective Listening

A Brooklyn Audiology Associates Blog Series

Episode #5: Dinner Time

You’re out at a trendy restaurant with friends, and the lively atmosphere is palpable. Laughter, clinking glasses, and the sizzle of the kitchen are all part of the dining experience. But if you have hearing loss, this scenario can quickly become a communication challenge. The restaurant noise tends to be low pitched, while most hearing losses occur in the high-frequency range, leaving you with little to work with for clarity and understanding. Fear not! We’re here with some tips to help you rock the restaurant scene as a listener:

  • Choose Your Restaurant Wisely: First things first, if you have the power to pick the restaurant, opt for one with less noise. Your local sports bar or a venue with live music might be a blast for some, but they can make hearing difficult for everyone, not just you. Seek out quieter restaurants, those with cozy atmospheres, where you can enjoy good food and conversation without straining your ears.
  • Corner Booths Are Your Best Friend: When it comes to seating, always aim for a corner booth if available. This strategic choice eliminates background noise from two sides, helping to create a more focused and intimate dining experience. Plus, who doesn’t love a cozy corner booth?
  • Do Your Homework: Before heading to the restaurant, take a sneak peek at the menu online. This way, you can save precious time during the meal and focus on the conversation. And while you’re at it, keep an eye out for any specials posted on a board in the entryway. Knowing the specials in advance will make interacting with your server a breeze, as you’ll already be familiar with what they’re talking about.
  • Concentrate on One Conversation: In the midst of the dinner buzz, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when multiple conversations are happening simultaneously. Don’t stress; even those without hearing loss find it challenging to keep track of multiple conversations. To stay engaged and present in your conversation, sit next to the person with whom you’re most interested in talking. Enjoy the moment and let the other conversations flow around you.

Dining out with friends and loved ones should be an enjoyable experience, and hearing loss shouldn’t stand in the way. By being mindful of your restaurant choice, strategically choosing seating, doing some pre-meal menu research, and focusing on one conversation at a time, you can make the most of your dining adventures. So, go out there, savor the ambiance, and savor the conversation – bon appétit!

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other audiology-related topics, feel free to contact Brooklyn Audiology Associates by clicking here or by calling 718-745-6363.