Why Certain Sounds Make People Angry

Everyone has sounds that make them crazy. Fingernails on a chalkboard, for example, or anytime Justin Bieber opens his mouth. I can’t stand it when people rub metal cutlery together. JAnd who doesn’t love the sound of anonymous bowel sounds coming from a stall in a public restroom?

Other people go ballistic when they hear other people eating or even breathing. This is a far more complicated syndrome known as misophonia. Not only do these sounds annoy sufferers, but they get so mad that they want to perform grievous bodily harm on the eater/breather. I’ll let the BBC take it from here.

UK scientists have shown some people’s brains become hardwired to produce an “excessive” emotional response.

Olana developed the condition when she was eight years old. Her trigger sounds include breathing, eating and rustling noises.

She told BBC News: “Anyone eating crisps is always going to set me off, the rustle of the packet is enough to start a reaction.

“It’s not a general annoyance, it’s an immediate ‘Oh my God, what is that sound?’ I need to get away from it or stop it’.

“I spent a long time avoiding places like the cinema. I’d have to move carriages seven or eight times on 30-minute train journeys, and I left a job after three months as I spent more time crying and having panic attacks than working.”

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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