We don’t need to inform you of the symptoms of hearing loss; you already know them all too well. You have a different kind of challenge: persuading someone you care about to get their hearing screened and treated.

But how are you supposed to get through to someone who denies there is even an issue, or that merely shrugs it off as “just part of getting old”?

It turns out that it’s not as easy as just telling them that they need their hearing checked. They won’t understand the need, and you won’t get very far with threats, ultimatums, or other coercive tactics.

Even though it may seem like an impossible scenario, there are other, more discreet techniques you can use. In fact, you can tap into the massive body of social scientific research that reveals which methods of persuasion have been discovered to be the most consistently successful.

This means, you can use tested, researched, and proven persuasive strategies that have been demonstrated to actually work. It’s worth a try, right? And examining the techniques might help you think of additional ideas.

With that said, the following are 6 scientifically tested techniques of persuasion and how you might use them to persuade a loved one to get their hearing tested:

1. Reciprocity

What it is:

The principle of reciprocity is very simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re highly motivated to return the favor for them.

How to use it:

Timing is everything. You plan on asking your loved one to get their hearing tested at some point anyway, so why don’t you render the request after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a deep psychological motivation to think and behave consistently.

How to use it:

The trick is to start with smaller commitments prior to making the final request. If you start off by ordering your loved one to get a hearing test, you probably won’t see much success.

Instead, ease into the topic by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how prevalent it is. Without mentioning their own hearing loss, get them to disclose that hearing loss is a much bigger issue than they had assumed.

As soon as they confess to some basic facts, it may be easier to talk about their own individual hearing loss, and they may be more likely to confess that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

We are inclined to think in terms of “safety in numbers.” We have a tendency to follow the crowd, and we assume that if lots of other people are doing something, it must be safe or beneficial.

How to use it:

There are at least two ways to utilize this strategy. One way is to share articles on the many advantages of wearing hearing aids and how hearing aids heighten the quality of life for millions of individuals in the U.S. and across the world.

The second way to use the approach is to arrange a hearing test for yourself. Inform your loved one that you want to confirm the well being of your own hearing, but that you would feel better if they went with you and had their own assessment.

4. Liking

What it is:

You are more inclined to be persuaded by individuals you personally like than by either a stranger or by someone you dislike.

How to use it:

Enlist the assistance of those you know your loved one likes or respects. Attempt to find that one person whom your loved one consistently seems to respond to, and have him or her talk about and highly recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We are inclined to listen to and respect the opinions of those we think of as authority figures.

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, professional athletes, and other distinguished figures use and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from credible sources that show the necessity of getting your hearing tested. As an example, the World Health Organization recently published an article titled “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss.”

6. Scarcity

What it is:

Scarcity causes a sense of urgency when what we want is perceived as limited or in short supply. Scarcity creates the feeling that, if we don’t act promptly, we may lose something forever.

How to use it:

The latest research has connected hearing loss to a great number of serious conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and accelerated cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse over the years, so the sooner it’s corrected, the better.

To implement scarcity, share articles, such as our preceeding blog post titled 8 reasons hearing loss is more dangerous than you think, with your loved one. Show them that each day spent with untreated hearing loss worsens the hearing loss, deteriorates health, and increases the risk of developing more serious conditions.


If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Explain to your loved ones how their hearing loss impacts you, along with how it’s impacting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and emotions rather than their own, the reaction is usually better.

Have you had success persuading someone to have their hearing tested? Let us know your approach in a comment.

Source

The six principles of persuasion were developed by Dr. Robert Cialdini, and can be found in his book titled “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”