My hearing partner tells me that he finds some deaf people incredibly direct – to the point of rudeness, sometimes: too much pointing, graphic descriptions, etc. It did make me wonder if deaf people don’t always understand how hearing people get hung up about this. Why are deaf people so direct? What do you think?
I think we are going to get a lot of replies to this one! My own view (I can relate to this as I have tried to tone down my directness – a lethal mixture of being deaf and from Yorkshire, a combustible combination) is that it is partly the way we are brought up and related to by both family and school.
We, as children, were told very firmly (and often loudly to all and sundry) to speak clearly – a surefire way to limit conversation! Who wants to talk whilst being attacked? I sure didn’t. We were often commanded to repeat to the neighbour or to Grandma, things which we did not really want to repeat so we would say them loudly and quickly.
Sometimes we’d be asked quite aggressive questions and were expected to bark out our answers. These are just some examples of how dysfunctional our communication training could be. (There are of course some lovely examples of parents and deaf children talking which seem just right.) Also if our speech was not clear we’d keep our answers short and to the point. I could go on…. so maybe we need to be aware of these things and adapt to whom we are talking to?