A deeply engrained listening distortion can even lead to the loss of desire to listen, which in turn will diminish the desire to communicate, either because the person suffering from this distortion lacks confidence, or simply “gives up” trying to communicate, resulting in difficulties communicating effectively.
Let’s recall that having well-tuned listening is not necessarily a consequence of having good hearing. Listening is characterized both by a real intention to communicate and by the quality of perception and of interpretation of the received sound message. Well-tuned listening is therefore not a function of how well we hear or of our ear’s sensitivity, but rather of how well we process what we hear, that is, of the quality of exploitation of our hearing.
Even though the phrase “communication disorders” has an undeniably general character, and although difficulties with communication may have diverse and varied causes, it is nevertheless the case that a considerable number of communication problems originate in known distortions of the listening function.
Difficulties in communication may take on a variety of different forms. For example, they may show up as an inability to perceive sounds in the environment without feeling aggressed by them: For some people with a communication disorder, the honking of a car horn, the slamming of a door, the noisy ambiance of a restaurant, and even the familiar voices of co-workers, parents or friends may be perceived as aggressive. Others suffering from different communication disorders find it difficult, even impossible, to use their voice as a true tool of communication, due to a lack of mastery over its different melodic components – intonation, inflection, rhythm, intensity, etc. – and these peoples’ voices may consequently be perceived as aggressive, cold, or void of any power of expression by another interlocutor.