I have always struggled to understand what people are saying. The amount of times I have to ask people to repeat themselves is just phenomenal. Seriously, I have had (or been sent for) so many hearing tests over the years and yet I say the same thing every.single.time. It isn't the VOLUME that is the problem! The volume is fine. It is WHAT people are saying that is the problem. The way I explain it is that if feels like my brain has to translate everything into "Louise-speak" before I can understand it. It's like I know the person is speaking to me in English but it just doesn't make sense! Eventually I catch on. Now I know it sounds funny but this difficulty understanding voices makes it difficult in things like lectures at university, meetings at work and such. In fact I now dread meetings at work, especially when somebody unfamiliar is there (eventually I do learn to "tune in" to people) or when it's a teleconference. I have mentioned this difficulty to loads of people over the years and have always been met with a blank look.
You know that look? The one that suggests I'm barking mad?
And then I stumble over this article on the BBC website and it's like "aha!". The article suggests that many people with dyslexia also struggle to understand spoken voices. In my case I'd even say that I struggle more with spoken voices that reading language. Well why did nobody tell me this earlier - I thought I was nuts...or deaf LOL.
So next time I say "pardon" to you please speak clearly, not louder :)