Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Nod of Bluffing

If you're Deaf, like I am, you've experienced it. Maybe you've been trying to talt with a hearing person and they can't understand your voice. Maybe you're trying to sign with a new ASL student and they can't keep up with your signing. There's a million reasons a hearing person would use the "Nod of Comprehension" to deaf people.

But deaf people aren't immune to this either. Say you're trying to have a conversation with a sign language student and you can't understand their signs, but you don't want to hurt their feelings. Or maybe they're talking to you and you've told them numerous times that you can't lipread, so you finally just give up and start acting like you understand everything. This, by the way, can get a person in a LOT of trouble!

I remember several years ago, when I, too, was guilty of bluffing, that I decided not to smile and nod. I thought, "I think I understand what he's saying." So, after watching him closely (and, by the way, I am NOT a lipreader), I replied, "Well, it would save us on braces." I thought this person was talking about my son's teeth being knocked out. I made a joke. Problem was, the joke was on me. He turned and looked at me, completely baffled. "I just said that I think Jacob is an alcoholic." He'd been joking, too, but, with my reply to his joke, it made us laugh so hard we couldn't see straight.

Case in point? Don't bluff. If you're hearing and you can't understand the deaf person, ask for a slower repeat or find pen and paper. If you're deaf and you can't understand the hearing person, do the same.

So now I ask you, tell me about a time when you bluffed and were called on it!


  1. I'm not good enough to even bluff! I have to shrug, or find a notepad. (I suppose I could fingerspell everything)

  2. Hi, That is true so I have an expernice with hearing people LOL! I just keep nodding at them that they thought that I understood them and they did too! LOL