Reply To: Misophonia at work becoming unbearable

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Hi miso-friend!
i’m about to go nuts. A young person sitting next to me has just chomped through a bage. Mouth open – chomping and slurping and making as much disgusting noise as possible. ARGHHHHHHHH!
I am fighting the urge to grab the bagel and jam it down her throat.

Anyway, the only thing that works for me, and it doesn’t work all the time, is to wear headphones. Invest in some noise cancelling headphones. Seriously do it. And to talk to your supervisor/manager so they understand. The research is still in its infancy, but the brains of individuals with misophonia process sounds differently. Give your supervisor/manager some information to read.
Once I started talking about my expereinces I found others. A work colleague’s husband, a friend and her children, someone’s cousin. The more we share the more we find company.
Also, I think what’s helped me too is accepting my condition and knowing that I need to either remove myself or manage the situation. For me this means avoiding quiet restaurants, music playing while eating at home (my family’s eating disgusts me) making rules where I can (eg no chewing gum in the car EVER) and managing my work and work space so that I do quiet work in a dedicated space (where no food is allowed) or at a time when no one else is around. This is where your supervisor/manager is important. Explaining your condition gives them an opportunity to help you and support you. I hate hot-desking, but it seems to be rolling out everywhere even though workers don’t like it. I would check your workplace policy around shared spaces. There is usually at least one space that is set aside for total quiet work, and should include the banning of food and beverage as well. Actually, I know of a workplace that BANNED EATING at the desk. It was to encourage workers to have a proper break, but it would also have other benfits.
Good luck