A man and woman, both seniors. sitting on a patio, not quite beginning to talk about a problem.

All of us who share a home (which is mostly fortunate in this virus time,) have been communicating during the previous month and more in a confined space, and we’ve all been exposed to either dreadful stress or lack of outside stimulus. Staying calm and listening has become extra hard. Recently I was woken out of my dream of “I know what’s going on here” by actually listening without interrupting to my husband’s point of view.

Here are some ideas for stating what you feel and want. And finding out what your partner or roommate thinks and wants too. These suggestions are strategies that have worked for some other people with sight loss:

  • State what is important to you about a specific issue and ask your friend or spouse to do the same. This gives a basis for negotiation.
  • Ask how your friend is feeling and listen carefully to the answer; tone and pauses can mean a lot.
  • Ask your friend how strongly she feels about a suggestion you make on a scale of 10, where 1 is strongly dislike, and 10 is really pleased.
  • In a discussion, lay out your own situation in a clear way. How vision loss affects you may surprise even someone close. Then encourage your friend to do the same.
  • Delay awkward discussion to a set time preferably early in the day. You could consider a regular talk during rough patches.
  • Add your own comment. share your ideas and know-how with the rest of us. These tips are adapted from my new Book, When You Can’t Believe Your Eyes: Vision Loss and Personal Recovery.You’ll find links to print and accessible copies and the Talking Book and Bookshare catalog entries on my home page, and on the book page where you can also apply for a free copy of the print, or accessible eBook.

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