My hearing isn’t so hot these days. So I sometimes have a hard time understanding what people are saying to me. Especially if they talk softly, or slur their words, or have a heavy accent. For some reason, I often can’t hear what cashiers at stores are saying to me. So I use this trick I picked up from Hate Man. No matter what they’re saying, I’ll just say: “I hear you.” And that usually satisfies them.
I used to say: “I can’t hear you,” over and over. But that’s embarrassing. And usually, no matter how many times I repeat that, I STILL can’t hear them anyways. And you can’t just stand there staring at them blankly. So “I hear you,” usually does the trick. It’s like an all-purpose response suitable for virtually any conversation. Especially if they’re just making small talk. “Nice weather we’re having.” “I hear you.” “How about those Niners.” “I hear you.”
It can get a little tricky, though, if they ask you a question. But usually it works. And it satisfies them, because — even though it’s actually a non-committal response — it gives the impression that you’re agreeing with them. And people always enjoy that.
Hate Man used to use the phrase all the time. “I hear you.” Especially if what the other person was saying to him was boring, and Hate didn’t really want to think about what they were saying. He’d just say, “I hear you,” to expend a minimal amount of mental energy, while giving the impression he was actually listening to them and following along. When in truth he was actually saying: “I’m acknowledging that your lips are moving, and a sound is emanating into the air, and penetrating into my ear drums, and that’s pretty much as much as I want to consider your point of view.” Ha ha.
Or if the person was broaching a controversial subject, and Hate really didn’t want to reveal what he really thought about it, one way or another, he’d just say, “I hear you.” And like I said, the other person would assume Hate was agreeing with him. Or at least not disagreeing with him.
You hear me?