30. Making people repeat themselves
I’ve found myself in situations where I absolutely cannot hear what a person is saying, whether it is because they have a thick accent, or if they’re speaking too fast, it can sometimes be uncomfortable to ask them to repeat themselves a third time.
Sometimes people ask “what did you say?” even if they have already understood you, just for the heck of it. Actually that’s pretty awkward itself. I’ve stayed quiet before when people ask “What?” and they just end up answering the question that they “didn’t hear”. This post is about that awkward feeling when you can’t understand somebody, and ask them to repeat themselves over and over. Eventually the other person begins to wonder if you have a hearing problem, or if they have a speaking problem and are coming off as a weirdo.
I used to work answering and re-directing phone calls in an office, and sometimes I’d get people with thick accents that I could barely understand. I would ask them to repeat themselves up to three times and then deal with them raising their voices and saying a bunch of things to me (which thankfully, I still didn’t understand). Angry people..