Short and Funny Way to Explain Why I Wear Earplugs?

Discussion in 'Support' started by maestromusica, Apr 26, 2017.

    1. maestromusica
      Batty

      maestromusica Member

      Location:
      Edinburgh
      Tinnitus Since:
      22/10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Club
      Hi guys,

      Straight to the point (you can even skip the first paragraph):

      I'm going to grab a pint with a girl I met recently :) I chose a bar that is nice and cozy, and it is rarely ever louder than 80dB. Average around 70dB. I doubt I'll ever find a place quieter than that.

      Unfortunately, hyperacusis won't allow me to stay in this bar with no earplugs for 1h+ as I'm planning to (if it's going to go well :p ). I mean, I might survive that somehow, but I can't risk a spike now, just before finals. So wearing earplugs it is.


      The question: any hints how to explain this whole weird-ears situation to my date?

      Cause' sitting in a really quiet bar, I can't figure out a way to explain it in a way that doesn't make me look somewhat handicapped :/


      Any experiences you want to share, thoughts?
       
    2. Nonna
      Moonlighting

      Nonna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/17/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      guess
      U could tell her your eardrum is temporarily retracted.
       
    3. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      Well, you ARE somewhat handicapped. Maybe she will be somewhat understanding.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Elinor
      No Mood

      Elinor Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure and barotrauma
      I have always been straight forward about my ear problems when I'm meeting new people. It's such a significant part of my life and I believe people should know, especially the ones I date. I always find a way to tell them. It's easy if we are going to a noisy place such as a movie theatre. I simply explain why I will have to wear earplugs, before we go. If I'm not going some place like that I just say something like: my hearing is damaged. I have tinnitus and I have to be careful with sounds so that it doesn't get worse.

      Usually one out of two things happen after that.
      1. They say it's ok and don't ask questions. They don't seem to mind it at all.
      2. They ask a couple of question about, usually to understand the condition better. Normally people ask how I got it and what kind of noise levels I tolerate and don't.

      I have never been shunned by anyone because of it. To me it's no different than having an allergy or being vegan for that matter and letting someone else know. If it for some reason is a big issue, is it really worth having that person in your life?
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      maestromusica
      Batty

      maestromusica Member

      Location:
      Edinburgh
      Tinnitus Since:
      22/10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Club
      Fair point.
       
    6. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Yes, it looks like OP is somewhat self-conscious about this, as even considering shortening filters so they don't stick out so much.

      There is no reason to be. If your date finds your hyperacusis / tinnitus a problem, she wasn't worth your time to begin with.

      I would just say something like:

      "Hey so before you ask, I wear earplugs here even though it's not that loud because I have hyperacusis, it's a kind of sensitivity to sound I experience, plus I also have tinnitus and I want to protect my hearing to avoid any further damage. Tinnitus is actually awfully common, 1 in 10 has it. There's very little awareness about it, even less so on hyperacusis. Anyhow, it's part of me and I'm all about open and honest communication so wanted to share that with you. So what can I get you?"

      Maybe there's a reason why I'm single :D

      But seriously, try to get over that insecurity, who the hell is worth your time if they judge you based on your earplugs or your hearing disorders? You are much better than that. You deserve someone who accepts you for who you are, and is OK with your handicaps from the get go.
       
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      • Agree Agree x 3
    7. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      Spot on... most people I know with T/H are dating/married sooo clearly it's not stopping anyone. Just be honest from the get go and if it shakes out the right way you move forward with them :p
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. The Red Viper
      Curious

      The Red Viper Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 15, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Current Theory: Neck injury (Tendonitis @ trap/SCM junction)
      It's different for guys than for girls. As guys we are held up to a stoic, "suck it up" standard, so any vulnerability that we show will be seen as weakness.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Elinor
      No Mood

      Elinor Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure and barotrauma
      I have to disagree and I've never heard any other woman I know express something even close to this.

      Plenty of men have "issues" and are still dated.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      I don't think its that bad. Especially as you get older and people trend towards more empathy because they realize everyone has issues to deal with.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    11. NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Well, depends on who you are dating. Superficial people are superficial no matter the gender. A thoughtful and emphatic individual won't judge anyone by their limitations or conditions. So actually, if the date thinks having hearing problems and being smart about them (=using earplugs) is a sign of undesirable weakness, then you're better off without. Good riddance and all that. Sooner or later there will come situations where there's illness, unemployment, heartbreak or other humane problems, and these type of people won't stand by you then either.

      Cliché alert: be open and honest about your flaws and find someone who accepts and adores the unique you - happens more likely than if one tries to pretend something else.
       
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    12. NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Furthermore... as @maestromusica I'd take it this way: either the girl knows and understands T & hyperacusia (all settled) or is one of those many people, who are completely unaware what acoustic trauma can do. Not saying to go start a full lecture, but explaining this stuff to people is kind of important. That's one of my main motivations in trying to be very honest and transparent about my condition: by telling what happened to me, I might help someone else avoid the same fate. I think more bad will come out of trying to pretend or cover up, since it makes this all seem like there is something to be ashamed of.

      If you just say it out loud "I got this condition X, because of Y and that is why I need to wear earplugs in an environment like this" it won't be a big hidden monster anymore. If you try to hide the earplugs or downplay the handicap, that's when it starts to control you. So rather, be yourself with earplugs and all and open about it - it's part of who you are and being straightforward about can be empowering, in a way. And if someone mocks you about it or thinks it's ridiculous, embarassing or whatever, then all those adjectives apply to that person really.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. vermillion
      No Mood

      vermillion Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neurological damage
      Tell her that you are taking part in a NASA's program and you're receiving extraterrestrial signal. Wearing earplugs will make sure you won't miss transmission information! :cool::p

      Just kidding... but now that I think about it, humor is the best approach. It helps to break the ice!

      Good luck with the chic!(y)
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    14. Lex
      Blah

      Lex Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad decisions
      I sometimes forget I'm wearing earplugs. Weirdly enough, more men have initiated a conversation with me to ask why I'm wearing them.

      Anyway, since you want something short and funny to say, tell her you're a mutant and it's your way of controlling your powers.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I feel for you mate! Suffered with hyperacusis for a few years (gone now) and struggled with going out to bars and explaining plugs for a while.

      I have musician plugs that are clear silicon and most people won't notice them unless they look directly at my ear, but if anyone asks, I sum it up simply by saying: "I f*cked my hearing up from partying too hard back in the day" - which is basically what happened, that and working on music for hours on end.

      If they want to know more, I go into a bit more detail which can lead to some interesting conversations depending on who you might be talking to. Otherwise I just get on with it like normal. Never run into anyone who was an asshole about it, it was just mostly a lot of stressing on my end on how others would perceive me. I also find having a sense of humor about it seems to help break up any awkwardness.

      Anyway good luck! If you're really stressing, just make up some insane story that makes you look like a bad ass. ;)
       
    16. devonlee
      Badass

      devonlee Member

      Location:
      Ontario, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing Loss of Unknown Origin
      @maestromusica I would wait and see if she even asks about them. If by the end of the night, she hasn't asked, you can mention it if you feel the need to but I don't think you need to explain everything about yourself on a first date.

      I agree with the majority here. Be honest from the start. If this person can't accept something that is a big part of your life then they don't deserve to be a part of it.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    17. squeek

      squeek Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise impact/maybe seaborn
      Of course! It's a conversational starter for one.

      As a guy, you having those earplugs is a source of intrigue making you likely an interesting/quirky person with a story to tell.

      I don't bother with ordinary people.
       
      • Funny Funny x 2
    18. racerfish
      No Mood

      racerfish Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / T worsened with antiobiotics
      I don't have problems telling people I have ear issues. What does bother me though is how isolating this can be when people realize I can't go to all the "fun" places like clubs, concerts, any restaurants with live music, etc. I know that life isn't all about doing those things. But when you are constantly telling people "no" all the time to invitations, some people (not all) just stop asking you period.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      maestromusica
      Batty

      maestromusica Member

      Location:
      Edinburgh
      Tinnitus Since:
      22/10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Club
      Thank you all for your input!

      These are very wise words. I agree completely.

      Oh yes, I am. But the more I go out with earplugs, the more I realize - no-one cares. I shouldn't care either.

      I really agree - in this aspect honesty is the best solution :)

      :D

      I love it, thanks.


      That's what I went with, and it's what I would recommend to everyone.


      THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. Reading your replies gave me so much confidence and made me feel a little better about all of it :)
       
    20. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I know this is an old topic, but I hope that you just told her? There's no shame in wearing earplugs at all. It's obviously the wise move with your condition, and any sane or normal person on the planet - put in the same predicament - would (or should) do exactly the same.

      We need to stop pandering to society and live our lives freely without holding back. If I was put in your position I'd probably put the ears plugs in in front of her. Not to make it obvious or raise any point, but because it's most likely that you'd need to insert them whilst she's around. If she asked at that point, I'd tell her everything that had happened to my ears. If she said nothing then I'd carry on with some other awesome witty conversation. The significance of the ear plugs is of such little importance (but to some of us it can be). If you make a big deal of it then it becomes a big deal. Strong confident people look after number 1 and give zero f**ks as to what anyone else thinks. Women by and large are attracted to confidence.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    21. Julien87
      Happy

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      In such situations I think it's better to simply explain her briefly your issues and what caused it (but don't talk about this for half an hour or you'll make her run :D ). It's important that she knows and is aware of your problem so that she does not imagine something fancy or weird. This condition exists, it could happen to her and she should know about it.
      Then she will certainly express some sympathy and say that it's terrible. And that's when you can show her you are mentally strong and tell her that for you it's no big deal, that it could be worse ;)
       

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