Earplugged At Work.

My experiences are consistent with most of those here. The sounds of chewing, gulping, slurping, etc. make me extremely irritated and irrationally a bit angry. Gum is evil incarnate.

Working at a cubicle is a professional challenge. As soon as a co-worker starts munching, or worse, chewing/smacking/popping gum, I put in earplugs and then noise-canceling headphones with classical music. It's harder at meetings (someone comes in with chips or a salad and my heart sinks), where I can't just pop in earplugs.

Now I'm recognizing that this is likely part of what seems to be mild OCD on my part. I had some OCD habits as a kid, like flipping light switches more than necessary or going over lines in my writing with pen, with a vague sense that something bad would happen if I didn't--not directly because of my actions, but because tiny delays, etc., can change the course of events (the butterfly effect). 

I made myself stop most of the weird stuff when I was a kid and my mom told me I seem to have OCD and should see a shrink. That's when the potential craziness sunk in, and I stopped out of sheer will because I didn't want to be crazy. But I still recognize the remnants of these tendencies as an adult. I am a pretty perfectionistic person. It serves me well professionally but can be grating in relationships. I try to recognize that and keep it under control.

The chewing problem (misophobia) has been present for a long time, at lease since I was a teenager (can't remember if it was an issue before that).

My mom always admonished me to chew with my mouth closed, so maybe that's where it started. But later I learned from my dad that his dad, my grandpa, was the same way about chewing noises. So maybe there's a genetic element.

My loved ones know how I get about this and are generally tolerant, but sometimes get annoyed with my annoyance, understandably.

Has anyone here tried hypnosis or anything else effective and natural?


zeldat zeldat
26-30, F
Mar 13, 2010