Day 183: Misophonia: Why do Eating Sounds make me Angry?
Did you know this is actually classified as a disorder called 'Misophonia'?
"We've all dealt with that one classmate or co-worker that would eat his/her food obnoxiously loud, chomp away, and slurp soda as if no one else was around. While some cringe and move on, it turns out that for some people, these sounds can be a trigger for outrage -- a symptom for a real diagnosed abnormality.
This "physiological abnormality" is called misophonia, and diagnosed people instantly feel rage, and "feel their chest tighten," when they hear the sounds of other people eating or breathing.
The anxiety and overwhelming rage is so pronounced that some, like Ms. Siganoff, reported by NYtimes, can't eat at the same table with her husband.
There are no effective treatment as of now, and people with this abnormality, such as Siganoff, try to cope with the condition as best as they can; Siganoff remains "enraged until she explodes and says 'shut up,' or 'stop it.'" From: Misophonia Disorder: When Sounds of Eating Cause Rage
This is really really ridiculous. It's strange how we never question such points of irritation, we just accept that apparently it 'makes sense' that for example, the sound of someone chewing causes me to experience irritation and anger. But - please explain to me -- what is the actual process that takes place where the sound of chewing apparently releases some kind of reaction-inducing chemical or force that permeates your solar plexus area and magically induces a reaction of irritation and anger?
Obviously -- there is no such process that takes place. So what's actually going on?
If we're Self Honest we'll see -- when the person is chewing, we immediately access a negative judgment, a negative-charged association toward the sound, toward the person. We immediately start backchatting in our minds 'oh that's so irritating, that's so annoying, that makes me angry, that sound is so annoying and irritating and it's making me so irritated and annoyed!' -- I mean, we really work ourselves up, reacting more and more, the more we participate in this backchat.
So obviously -- our reaction is our own problem, it has nothing to do with the actual sound of the person chewing. We're reacting because of our own Judgment. Just as a white supremacist will react to a black person because of the Judgments they've programmed themselves with, the judgments they believe to be real and valid, the judgments they've defined themselves within.
Funny how we'll call racists and warmongers ridiculous and fanatical, but we don't want to look at our own fanaticism in how we accept and allow ourselves to participate in judgments toward each other in such ridiculous ways.
The problem is, the judgment has an origin point - we've just forgotten about it. Because, when we were a toddler -- we didn't give a shit about the sound of people chewing. You'll notice you probably have no memory of yourself reacting and backchatting to yourself as a 3 year old 'man, that sound of the person is chewing is so irritating!'. That indicates that the reaction, the judgment had a starting point -- where, something that happened, some event, caused one to develop this judgment toward that sound.
For me, when I investigated this within myself, I found that the reason I became so irritated and judgmental toward people chewing loudly -- is because when I was young I was told -- chew with your mouth closed, don't smack your mouth, don't talk with your mouth full. And, I was told this repeatedly until I started to believe that if I chew with my mouth open and make smacking sounds - I'm 'bad'.
Then, later on I reached an age where I started noticing around maybe 9 or 10 years old or so, that I found myself becoming extremely irritated by the sound of other people making smacking sounds or talking with their mouth full. Now, I had always had this memory of when I first noticed 'how annoying that sound is' - but I had never investigated it - I never questioned How and Why I came to this point of irritation toward the smacking sound. Because as far as I was concerned, reactions, feelings, and emotions are just 'who I am'. And thus, if I experience a reaction toward someone, there's nothing I can do about it - and it must be 'their fault', 'they' are the one that must stop doing what They are doing.
But what I found in writing about this point, was that the reason I experienced this reaction of irritation and thus judgment toward the person making the smacking sounds, is because I existed within the belief that when you make smacking sounds while you're eating - you're 'bad', and you're 'impolite'. I had learned to eat within suppression - within a form of controlling myself, suppressing myself in fear of being told I'm bad or 'not polite' if I were to make smacking sounds. Within this, I had then actually defined myself within the idea of 'being polite' and 'having good manners', because when I would have good manners - I would be praised and complimented instead of reprimanded. So - I became this polite, well-mannered child so that I could be safe from being yelled at -- but all from the starting point of suppressing myself in fear of feeling like 'I'm bad'.
The fascinating thing I found within this, was that people who chewed loudly or made smacking sounds or whatever, actually represented like this 'freedom', that I had judged as 'irresponsible', and 'bad', and 'impolite' -- because I had defined myself within the idea that chewing loudly means I am 'irresponsible', and 'bad', and 'impolite'. I found that, with people who make smacking sounds when they eat, or talk with their mouth full - they represent what I've suppressed through self judgment and self belief, long time ago when I was very young.
And, I had defined myself within the idea of 'being polite', and 'being well mannered', which made me 'happy' - because through being polite and well mannered I was able to receive compliments and praise rather than receiving scolding. I had defined myself within an experience of 'happiness' through being 'polite', within the starting point of fearing feeling like a 'bad person' within being scolded. So, when I would hear someone chewing loudly or talking with their mouth full -- this like, completely fucked with my idea and definition of myself as 'polite' and 'well mannered' -- because I could actually See that - there's really nothing 'wrong' or 'bad' with making smacking sounds while eating -- which would mean what? It would mean that my entire definition of myself and experience of 'happiness' within being 'polite' and 'well mannered', is not valid! So - the reaction of irritation, blame, anger directed toward the person making smacking sounds, was like a way of defending my definition of myself, defending my happiness -- like, where the urge to tell the person 'why can't you be quiet when you're eating!' is a way of trying to manipulate the other to feel bad about themselves so I can continue feeling like my definition of myself as 'well mannered' is valid.
This is an example of Self Honesty - where, I'm actually looking at who I am - my starting point - within what I'm experiencing toward others. Whereas, with 'honesty' - one might say: 'Honestly, I find that sound annoying'. But - within that one is actually existing in Self Dishonesty -- in denying that Self is the actual Cause of what Self is experiencing - even though through simply writing out the experience and tracing it back to the beginning, one can see it is one's own participation in judgments, beliefs, definitions, suppressions, that are fueling the experience.
So is 'Misophonia' really a 'physiological disorder'? Is the body to blame? Is the brain to blame? No -- all we've done is accept and allow ourselves to program our physical bodies to react, based in our accepted and allowed definitions, ideas, beliefs and judgments. So it's more like 'Me-So-Phony-ya'. lol.
So, to remove this 'phony disorder', which is really just a Personality that we've designed -- we then have to walk through and identify all the Acceptances and Allowances through which we designed the reaction as a Personality possessing the physical body.
In the next post I'll walk the steps of how one can actually remove this entire personality of being 'irritated by the sound of someone eating'.