Does This Sound Bother You?

Eating can be a very noisy affair. Some people can get disturbed enough to go into a fit of rage by some particular sounds. An example of such sounds is knuckle cracking. Have you ever heard a teacher in school scold a kid for cracking his or her knuckles, especially those who do it one by one and it can be excruciating! This condition where someone is driven to an outburst because of certain sounds is called misophonia. This past week, Barron H. Lerner’s essay on misophonia, has been doing rounds of the internet. His study included sound clips to further elaborate the sounds that annoyed people. Of the many sounds that were listed such as cracking knuckles, nail clipping and sniffing the top two sounds are extremely common and annoy almost 25% of the readers.
These two sounds are, brace yourselves, gum snapping and soup slurping.  That’s right next time you decide to chew gum try not to make the snapping sounds because you really are risking annoying somebody and you really don’t want someone snapping at you in the middle of a crowd. That would be so embarrassing! Remember how your parents, teachers and all elders in general would tell you to eat with your mouth shut? Do that!
While gum snapping was the second most bothersome sound, soup slurping took the crown away. Apparently, the sound can really bother some people. If you have ever been through finishing school or at least watched movies which have scenes of finishing schools, you’ll know slurping is frowned upon and so is eating noisily. Eating food quietly is a sign of respect and shows your upbringing in most parts of the world. But did you know slurping is a sign of showing that you appreciated the food in Japan? Guess where you shouldn’t be going if the sound of slurping bothers you! Because in Japan not only will you have to tolerate slurping sounds but if you don’t slurp your host will not only be feeling disappointed but also you will be calling for undue attention from the rest of the party.
So the next time you chew gum or slurp soup check your surroundings and see whether you want to really slurp up your soup or continue snapping your gum.