“But You Speak So Well…”

Right after I published my last post, my friend shared this with me. Dr. Don G and Ocean did an excellent job of articulating some of the reasons why it can be problematic to compliment someone’s speaking skills, and I wanted to share their point of view with you.

I know this doesn’t ring true for everyone, but for me – complimenting my speaking skills makes me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious of my speech. It makes me feel like my articulation is being judged, and what I’m actually saying isn’t as important. And as I mentioned in my previous post, my clear speech tends to make hearing people forget that I can’t actually hear them.

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5 thoughts on ““But You Speak So Well…”

  1. Vicki B, Whitney, Tx

    I just found your blog and want to tell you thank you for them. I read them all and have to admit I have been on both sides of what you talk about. Sometimes I fill the role of Stupid Hearing people very well. I have noticed several things about my hearing aids: the cockatiel that got to stay in the house and squawk was permanently moved outside, I had no clue he was so loud. the hearing aids did not help me to hear my husband any, he is the reason I went in the first place. Wearing them in public like a restaurant they were of no help there. and there are noises I can’t filter out..like the AC fan. When at home I don’t wear them..does not help the not hearing my spouse. yes I do have selective hearing..love caption TV, get frustrated when people turn their back to me during a conversation, love teaching and reinforcing what I know of ASL; I love the Deaf people in my life. One more thing about my hearing aids, I also wear glassed so I can lip read better and have my glasses holder(?)/chain attached to my hearing aids to keep me from losing them the hearing and Deaf both like the idea.

  2. omegaflare

    Social Security often use this obscure phrase to get Deaf people off from welfare by influencing the “determiner” decision, although it’s considered illegal even with doctor’s note.

    I’ve personally seen it myself. One of my Deaf friend was declined Social Security benefits because, according to Social Security, “she’s too hard-of-hearing.” Sickening, indeed. All of this republican ideologue is really ripening for revolution & rebellion. Not only this, some Deaf people were being “cattle-raised” by rich family and completely indoctrinated their mind with republican eschatology. Sad.

    1. starsforjars

      I’m not Deaf, but I can somewhat commiserate. One too many interviewers have spoken to me over the phone and have had quite a shock on meeting me in person and finding out I was black. I know it’s not the same, but I too well understand the insult behind the ‘compliment’ of “You speak so well…”

      *grumble, grumble*

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