This is a short and quick post but will hopefully try to elaborate more later.
Hearing people who never had any exposure to deaf people tend to complain that it’s not fair they can’t understand what I signed to a friend or they become paranoid that we’re talking about them.
Well….erhm…hello…how do you think I feel all the time in this hearing world?
Even relatives will make the occasional comment that it’s not fair they didn’t understand something I signed to a friend.
It doesn’t seem to sink in that the frustration and self doubt they feel for a brief minute is what I feel ALL the time.
Why is it unacceptable if they don’t understand a sentence that was said but it’s totally acceptable and okay if I have no clue what they’re saying?
Why is it okay for them to become frustrated and angry but not okay for me to become frustrated?
Why is it okay for them to ask me to repeat what I said but they get annoyed when I ask them to repeat what they said?
It's one of those things that you wish could be a good "teaching moment" but the hearing person inevitably gets angry and/or upset. I went out to dinner with a friend (hearing, but signs) her son (hearing, doesn't sign) and a couple Deaf friends and their Deaf son. I saw Franco just staring off into space and asked if he was okay. He said he didn't know what we were saying so he was just watching. I told him that's what the 4 of us feel like most of the time. I could see the lightbulb go off in his head as it "clicked". It does work sometimes.
I agree! Wish it could always be a good teaching moment like your recent experience was.I have no problem with repeating information for people who didn't understand me. I just think it should work both ways. After all, shouldn't we always be thinking about how we can meet the other person halfway? 🙂