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Loud sneezing or making sounds while eating makes me go mad. What to do in such situations without making anyone feel embarrassed?

109 Answers
Last Updated: 01/28/2022 at 12:31am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jennifer Fritz, LMSW, PhD

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Day to day life can be stressful and overwhelming and my strength is assisting my clients in a supportive, empowering and practical manner.

Top Rated Answers
August 6th, 2016 12:48pm
Take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling. It's okay to get annoyed but you do not want to embarrass anyone, so politely ask them to not sneeze so loudly or make sounds while they eat.
August 28th, 2016 3:36am
you can always excuse yourself and take a break on the restroom/outside the room,take a breath and just try calming your thoughts
September 23rd, 2016 1:20pm
I have it too! I usually focus on something or start humming softly and try and distract myself. It might help you too.
September 28th, 2016 3:05pm
You could be dealing with misophonia, which is a reaction to regular noises. Probably working on a way to tune it out would be best without embarrassing anyone and short of seeing a therapist.
July 29th, 2016 9:29pm
Maybe i would just change my place or silently walk away from people making the sounds without saying anything
August 9th, 2016 8:37pm
Most of the time these are things that people either can't control or don't realise that what they are doing can be irritating for some others. If this is something that is really bothering you, the simple thing to do would be to remove yourself from the situation without making a scene.
September 10th, 2016 12:33pm
Breathe I have the exact problem and I have learned that breathing helps me. Also maybe distract yourself with something else.
September 13th, 2016 4:03am
Excuse yourself and let your anger out into a pillow or something. I'm glad you're concerned with the other person's feelings of embarassment.
October 6th, 2016 5:38pm
Visit a professional or a talking forum about Misophonia. That's all I can say. I've read that using background noise also helps a lot, to go over the sounds.
October 12th, 2016 7:15am
Honestly, I have this exact same problem! I personally choose to ask them politely, "If possible, do you think you could chew a little softer?" or, "Maybe sneezing closer in your elbow would make it a little quieter!"
October 26th, 2016 11:39pm
Always carry earphones, simply put in your earphones if you can when you're in that situation. If not, politely remove yourself from the situation and go back when you have calmed down
November 6th, 2016 9:09pm
Concentrate on your own meal, if this doesn't work you can excuse yourself, go to the bathroom, take a few breaths. Maybe finish you're meal quickly and clear up, get busy to avoid getting worked up. The clattering will drown out the other sounds.
February 18th, 2018 10:35pm
This phenomenon is actually incredibly common and is called 'Misophonia'. As your negative reactions to these sounds is completely out of your control, I would advise you to subtly remove yourself from the situation wherever possible. If this isn't an option and your distress is very obvious, it might be worth explaining your condition to the offending person.
April 22nd, 2018 7:58am
If it was in a place you can avoid. the most easiest way is to leave the place. But if you had to stay, you can ask kindly for the person to not munch and anything else that bothers you, Explain to them that it makes you feel annoyed and mad so they can understand and feel less offended
July 31st, 2016 5:16am
I suppose it depends on who it is and the situation. If they're a friend, you could just tell them in a playful banter-y way. If it's someone in a more formal situation who you're close to, if you're comfortable, you might want to take them aside and talk to them. In other cases, you might just have to either move somewhere else or just try to manage it.
August 2nd, 2016 12:30am
There are many people who are more sensitive to specific sounds (misphonia). As it is often difficult to avoid either, learn some relaxation techniques for when you find yourself getting irritated by specific sounds. There are support groups as well. Blocking the sound and avoiding are obviously the first line of defense, but not always feasible.
August 3rd, 2016 11:31am
Maybe suggest nicely that they could maybe stop chewing so loudly and explain to them how it makes you feel
September 8th, 2016 12:20am
I sneeze way to much in class, as in if you combined all of the sneezes of everyone in my class combined I would still have more sneezes. Try dabbing, if you are able to laugh too you can make a joke out of it. In social situations I like to try the perspective of other people and in all reality I don't really mind when others sneeze, if people hate me because I sneeze a lot it's their loss.
September 9th, 2016 4:29pm
Find a thing that makes you feel happy and just 'feels' right, if you know what I mean. For example, I like looking at Watermelon and thinking of it because personally I find that calms me because it just 'feels right' and calms me down. I don't understand why, but thinking of the word calms me down in situations like this. For you, your thing could be anything, like kittens or those worlds most satisfying videos on YouTube or anything. Experiment, so you can imagine it in these situations and it should counter it
October 20th, 2016 6:33pm
Travel, so you can see more area and be more tolerant.
November 19th, 2016 6:40pm
Stop - take a breath, and say something good about the person in your head. Everyone has something good we can say about them - like they have pretty eyes, or a great smile . . . it's hard to upset when you are concentrating on something positive. We have more control over our thoughts and emotions then we think we do.
December 8th, 2016 2:24pm
Just try to ignore it, best way would be to try and learn how to live with it, It is okay to be annoyed.
December 11th, 2016 2:25am
Try counting or focusing on your breathing, or try to focus on something else. If the person can help it like if they are chewing loudly just politely ask them to stop :)
December 14th, 2016 9:15pm
Just be polite and explain how you feel when these things happen. You could say that it isn't their fault and you are not angry with that person for doing these things. There should be no need for them to be embarrassed!
February 12th, 2017 8:18pm
Something to do in this type of situation is to kindly let them know it bothers you. Simply state that when they make noise when they eat bothers you and kindly ask them to stop.
February 15th, 2017 3:16pm
I have this exact problem. Mine is a sensory disorder. I would seek professional help as it can differ from person to person
February 17th, 2017 3:22am
It is very frustrating when others around us do things that irritate or annoy us. There is always the option to politely ask the person to stop. I personally find that the more I try to control other people's behavior, the more unhappy I become. When I'm irritated I take a few deep breaths and try to focus on something else- the smell of the food, how it feels in my mouth, or the tapping of my foot on the floor.
March 16th, 2017 6:27am
You may have sensory overload, as I do, In those instances, if it is someone I know I try to confront the, but if it is a stranger I try to block out the sounds around me and focus in on one thing and only one thing and therefore, block out sound.
March 21st, 2017 7:04pm
Thinking about a simple sentence, like "the sun is shining, the grass is green" might be helpful for you especially if you repeat it couple of times whenever you feel you're possibly able to go mad.
March 24th, 2017 11:02pm
Sometimes something that helps me is gouge to the bathroom (as an excuse to be somewhere quiet) to calm down for a few minutes helps, and if you're eating during a lunch period and this becomes a habit for you, nobody ever thinks twice about you doing it
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