Claire’s Corner: Don’t say never mind

The+Sidekick+executive+editorial+page+editor+Claire+Clements+wears+a+hearing+aid+daily+in+order+to+improve+her+hearing+abilities%2C+which+most+students+at+Coppell+High+School+are+unaware+of.+Clements+deals+with+people+refusing+to+repeat+what+they+say+every+day.

Mari Pletta

The Sidekick executive editorial page editor Claire Clements wears a hearing aid daily in order to improve her hearing abilities, which most students at Coppell High School are unaware of. Clements deals with people refusing to repeat what they say every day.

By Claire Clements, Coppell High School

Have you ever been left out of an inside joke? You’re with a group of friends, and they’re all laughing about some joke that you do not understand.

It hurts, right? Or maybe it is not super hurtful, but annoying.

But imagine instead of an inside joke, it’s just a regular joke anyone can understand, but you do not hear it. Or it’s a story, but you do not hear it. Or it’s just literally anything someone says, and you do not hear it, and people refuse to repeat it for you to hear it.

They brush you off by saying “never mind” or “it doesn’t matter.” That would be super annoying, right?

I hear these things on a daily basis. As a deaf person, it is all too easy to miss something someone says, especially when I am in a conversation with a group of people. What’s not easy, surprisingly, is getting people to repeat what was said.

For some reason, people do not enjoy repeating something they said. When you read that, it sounds pretty stupid. Repeating something should take five seconds. But on a daily basis, I, alongside many other Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing people, struggle to get others to repeat something they said, under the guise it is “not important.”

The thing is, when you refuse to repeat something for people, you are doing a lot more than you think you are: you are controlling their environment, controlling what information they have access to and ultimately, showing them you do not care for them.

What is important to people is their own choice. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You do not get to decide if it’s some “stupid joke” because maybe the person who didn’t hear it will like it. If they missed out on some “unimportant” information, they may find it important. Ultimately, it’s their decision.

Even if it is unimportant to the person who didn’t hear it, you’re leaving them out, which at most is incredibly hurtful and at least incredibly annoying.

Lastly, even if it’s not what you mean or feel, being too lazy to repeat something suggests you do not care about that person. I might be sensitive, but I’ve gone to the bathroom in tears because I just felt so left out with a group of friends who refuse to repeat anything, because I felt they did not care.

In a situation where someone missed what you said, rather than brushing off someone, take five, 10 seconds at most, and repeat what you said. This does not apply to just people with hearing loss: everybody struggles to hear someone else occasionally. Honestly, repeating something should be common sense, and it definitely should be when it comes to Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing people.

Being kind and considerate of other people’s issues should be something we ingrain in our everyday life. A great place to start is to stop brushing off people, especially disabled people’s needs.

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on January 12, 2020.