Are you a noisy eater?

It doesn’t matter where – sitting on the couch in front of the TV, in an elevator, at the dinner table, or standing in line at the post office – if a person within my field of vision is eating noisily, I find myself going insane. Literally. We’re not talking a mild irritation here – an internal silent wish that the person would stop; I have to physically restrain myself from running out of the room, or, in the case of an elevator or bus, where a quick exit is less realistic, from screaming out loud in frustration. I can’t think of a habit that annoys me more in a person.

I have been afflicted with this intolerance for as long as I can remember. I am the youngest of four, and I recall as a bratty and spoilt five-year-old, I would threaten to leave the room (and actually acted on it) if my brother didn’t stop biting down on the spoon as if his life depended on it every time he ate soup. If I wasn’t only five years old at the time, and had greater powers of articulation and persuasion, as well as access to the then-non-existent Internet, I would have told him to take a leaf out of the Chinese book, and breathe in while sipping from his soup. According to the Chinese, this method prevents slurping.

Definitely the worst offences are eating cereal, munching on chips, slurping on soup, and chewing gum. I really thought that my violent reaction against noisy eating would have been something I would have grown out of by now, but no. If anything, I am even MORE intolerant now than I was when I was a child. I have more words at my disposal to lash out against the offender.

I am vaguely aware that this intolerance is not something to be proud of, and it is even quite trivial in the whole scheme of things, yet I wonder what it is that makes people eat as unabashedly loudly as they do. There are times when I even have to tell certain people in my life that I can’t watch TV with them if they plan on eating, and that kinda wreaks havoc on your recreational activities.

I’m interesting in hearing from either those who share a similar distaste for noisy eating (if so, do you know of a cure?) or better yet those who are noisy eaters themselves, who can help me understand what lies at the root of noisy eating. Is it your background? Your nationality? (I’m British, after all.) Your religion? (Just kidding.) Is it an emotional attitude towards eating that manifests itself once the food is in your mouth? (I know, I’m a freak.)

Before I sign off, I have to say that an interesting element of all this is that the only two people in the world who don’t disturb me when they are slurping or munching are my two little girls. But that’s probably because I am just so grateful that they are eating at all – they eat like birds – that I block out the noise. Hmm. 

100 thoughts on “Are you a noisy eater?

  1. Such a relief to find everyone here! I found this website after googling “noisy eaters” and for the first time in 30 years I feel understood.

    I am sitting across from a co-worker I have nicknamed “Piglet” who is an otherwise charming fellow – but for the fact that he slurps his way through every meal then follows with an hour of gum chewing, open-mouthed tongue twisting and bubble blowing.

    I have terrible neck pain as the tension of listening to this makes me seize up. I feel physically sick with the anger it causes. I cannot say anything because I was brought up in the custom that the only thing worse than bad manners was to comment on them. But I could throttle him?!

    I am destroying my hearing with my iPod turned up to try and tune it out. But of course that slapping, slurping, clacking noise he makes with his wide-open-mouth-gum-chewing is audible through everything.

    I know I make noise when I eat. We all do. I wish was not afflicted with this hatred of all things slurping – but I am. If anyone finds the cure please post it! I would do anything to get past this.

  2. Hello everyone. The relief I have to know that I am not the only one taht has this issue.

    When I was living at home, I would get hassle for not sitting at the table, but the truth is that a certain member of the family not only eat load but there jaw locked everytime they ate. Another member of the family, every bite, they banged their teeth together. It drove me insane. The sad thing is that I have had disagreements with them, and they still dont know that the only reason I got annoyed was before of the noisy eating.

    Now my latest scenario is work. Only in my area of the office do people stay at there desk EVERYDAY for lunch, and the food they eat is sooooooooo load. One guy after he is done with his curry or whatever from dinner the night before, and this is the truth, has a full bowl of raw veg and its it like candy, chucnks of carrots, peppers, cucumbers, raw, and you can only imagine the noise. Its probably as load as your going to get. Then another guy eats with his mouth open and smacks his mouth every bite. And all of them at lunch and outside lunch hours eat APPLES. My god, the noise of APPLES. There has to be employment rules about noise made in the work place. As a solution my latest trick is to listen to my ipod, but then I cannot consentrate fully on work I want to do at luch time.

    Has anybody had this issue at work, and has anybody said anything to the employer or upper managment.

  3. I am a so-called “noisy eater” according to a niece who has the syndrome you describe. How do I be considerate to some one who cannot even watch me chew from a distance? I have even over compensated for an entire meal to not make even the slightest noise. One scrape of the fork to tooth and I have failed as she will retire to another room to eat. We have tried MP3 therapy with her favorite music, but she knows I am making noise and that is enough to cause a reaction. I would love to help her, but it seems to be everyone else’s problem, not hers. Does any one know of a name for this?(besides bad manners or purposefully trying to irritate the crap out of her, which I seriously am not) She shudders at the thought of a dinner date or the theatre..I truly want to help and am considering sending her to a Pschotherapist.The world is full of wonderful people and rich robust cultures that eat noisily, I would hate to see this isolate her from society.

  4. I have a similar problem, although it seems to be slightly milder. Being from Brazil, my family was very strict at the table. From a very young age I was taught not to make any noise and to eat with my mouth closed, as people here tend to be very strict in general when it comes to eating. Once, I remember one of my friends getting very irritated at my other friend when we were kids because he could hear him eat.

    That all changed when I moved to Ottawa, Canada. I remember sitting at the school cafeteria with my friends and having to make up excuses to leave for the washroom because one of my friends kept making “om nom nom” sounds while eating pizza. Although the worst scenario happened while at a trip abroad with one of my friends, who remained my roomate for such trip. It was all going very well until one day he decided to buy some of those Cup – noodles. He slurped so loudly I bet the rooms surrounding us could hear us. I could maybe be more understanding of this if he was from China or similar countries where slurping on noodles is a custom, but he wasn’t. The slurping was simply unnecessary. Not only that, but he also ate like a dog, with his face so close to the damn cup and neck creating a 90 degree angle with the rest of his body, making him hunchback while he ate.

    I just couldn’t take it and said that I wasn’t feeling too well and That i was going to go for a walk.

  5. I’ve suffered from this over-sensitivity ‘affliction’ since around age 8 or 9 as far as I can remember (I’m now almost 40 and my sensitivity is ever-increasing, drives me crazy!), and other stuff too which I now feel is related. Till recently I had no name for it, but it is a revulsion and so I did think of it as a phobia… Noisy eating is like the audio equivalent (for me) of looking at a swarm of wasps, or cluster of holes or bumps, eg, a beehive, or frogspawn or similar, and this condition I discovered is known as Tryptophobia – which is loosely, the fear of holes… It is not widely known about, and as far as I know is not very well recognised by psychologists. My skin is crawling even as i write this paragraph alluding to the ‘yuck’… but the revulsion we feel towards chomping, sloshing and smacking noises of people eating I feel is related to that phenomenon… I dunno whether this helps anyone, maybe putting a name to it, or even if I’m (scientifically) correct – but that’s my two-pennies worth.

    I agree with mostly everything everyone else has written here, and wonder if there’s a group around online I could join to vent with like-minded, sensitive souls 🙂

    My very best to you all,

    Rod

  6. I came to this post after a loooooong search, just to vent like some of you, but I’m on the other end of the balance – I am someone accused of eating noisily and wanted to see if someone had success understanding WHY they make noises while eating.

    While I was a little girl, my family told me to quiet down. In college my friends made fun of me. Now my husband is completely irritated. I eat my lunch at my desk now and for the last year or so I’ve had a growing phobia of what you phobic people are thinking! I positively love food (which is probably one of the underlying causes of my eating heartily or noisily)

    I know I open my mouth wide while taking in food. I’ve been told to close my mouth while eating but it just makes it SOOO hard for me to eat and obviously within a few minutes I’m back to eating like I usually would. Crunchy foods like apples, carrots and chips are obviously noisier when I’m eating, but hey, one eats what one loves! I’ve tried imagining what my tongue is doing that it makes noises but I can’t for the life of me visualize or correct that. I’ve spoken to a dentist about what my jaw might be doing and he just laughed me off.

    I’m amazed at the amount of raging that even adults are doing. You have a phobia of something, others have other issues. While I understand people want to scream/run out/scratch eyeballs out, to be so venomous after the fact amazes me.

    This is a lot more than manners – I don’t think it’s lack of awareness or manners in most cases, it’s just how some people eat. And I know it’s not a cultural thing, because while some cultures do tend to act ultra-stiff about manners, mine is not all that stiff and my own people have told me off. And even if you preface your rant with a “I don’t know if this is racist”, if you talk about Indians or Chinese, that is being respectful. They eat loudly, you shoot off your mouth!

    All in all, the life of the noisy eater is probably just as miserable as yours. Only, the world would be a lot nicer if everybody didn’t act the exclusive victim.

  7. I KNOW WHY NOISY EATERS MAKE LOUD NOISE!

    It is simple really, they suck in air and blow out air with their MOUTHS! AS! they eat.

    Us quiet eaters eat quietly because when we eat we breath in through our NOSE and breath out through our NOSE!

    Science: Sound travels through air, hence noisy eaters can only be noisy eaters if they have EXCESS air in their mouths as they eat. Chewing food ALWAYS makes noise if their is AIR to carry the soundwave out of the mouth. But I discovered, No Air = No Sound similar to how in Space there is no sound cause there is no air to carry soundwaves.

    I am a silent eater and I have been able to make my brother STOP MAKING LOUD NOISE as he eats by telling him, “Please, breath through your nose ONLY as you eat.” I have to remind him cause he does it uncousciously. But once he obeys my advice it decreases his Loud Eating Noise by 90%. I tell him about loud eating and how DISGUSTING it sounds.

    I still have to suffer his contant Ahhhs after drinks something and suffer his dreadful depressing continous SIGHS which are horribly annoying, but at least I can kill his loud noise eating.

  8. I feel like I’ve come home…its so good to know that its not just me who is driven mad by people who sit slowly crunching their way through bags of crisps on trains, or next to me in public places!! Not only that, the CRACKLING of the packet! I can’t bear it – it makes me want to scream, but I just move away. How can people be so insensitive?? I can’t bear to watch / hear people eating in general. I also have a work colleague who habitually rrrubs her fingers over pages of customer’s letters to see if there is another page there- that drives me nuts too. I just have to get up and walk away.

  9. Just left the room in a hissy fit. Am now downstairs eating on my own.

    Neighbors daughter is over and she a mouth open lip smacking one hell of a noisy eater.

    AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHH

  10. I agree with many of the comments on this site about some people and their eating habits. The slurping of tea or other drinks, and people who eat with their mouths wide open so you can see everything it contains horrible. There is no need for it especially in adults,
    sometimes it is true some elderly people can’t always help it, i once went into Macdonalds and a man sat opposite me with a burger he must have finished it in a few minutes flat he nearly put the whole of the burger into his mouth in one go and the contents inside went all over the table and he chewed loudly with his mouth open to be quite honest it made me quiet feel sick and put me off my meal.

  11. I too suffer an affliction with others audible mastication. I only recently began to have serious issues where I desperately need to leave the room if someone is slurping, chewing or banging utensils on dinnerware. I realize how nonsensical it appears to others but I have a theory as to why such sounds are so disgustingly distracting and it is so simple I dare others to dispute it. The lips and mouth are sexual organs. The sounds produced while eating such as sucking and slurping are very distinct in that regard. As well gutteral swallowing, gulping along with moaning “mmm” in the back of throat. We recognize this subconciously and the end result is the terror of listening to members of your family essentially fellate their food. I notice it seems much worse with family or loved ones as the psychological implications of even hearing your parents is freudian nightmare fuel by itself. But in our case they’re doing at the dinner table and lo you wanting to flee for sanity! Food for thought.

  12. My Dad feels the need to do the following when eating:

    -slurping up his soup loudly
    -chewing with his mouth open making disgusting sounds
    -talking with food in his mouth
    -even when he opens his mouth to have another bite he feels the need to make the loudest disgusting noise possible!
    – if he’s eating something hot, he doesnt blow on it, he feels the need to eat it while its piping hot, making even more disgusting sounds
    – plus many more

  13. YES!I can’t believe this post was started in 2007 and has lasted 5 years! My dad’s chewing is out of control. I think the problem is that he takes HUMONGOUS bites. He eats bananas in 2-3 bites, with it sticking out of his mouth like a lollipop or something while he chew the end in his mouth. I first noticed it when I was 10 and I asked my dad why he was chewing with his mouth open,and he said because the food was hot. But one day I saw him doing it with cereal, and then I started noticing it with EVERYTHING HE EATS. Omg it’s like SLAPSLAPSLAPSLAP PLOPPLOP SMUSH. I be around him when he eats. Once I was sitting in the car in a parking lot with him and he was eating. I got out really quickly and he was like “What is it cuz I’m chewing?” And it just irritated me because he made it sound as if that was the normal way to chew. THe only time I ever chew with my mouth open is when I’m sick and can’t breathe through my nose,so my mouth must be open, but even then I eat alone so as not to offend anyone.

  14. I am so glad to find people who share the same sentiments. Ever since I was a child, I have always told my older sister to try to eat less loudly. Unfortunately, she was very stubborn. She would always tease me with the nerve-wracking eating sounds she makes whenever she notices my annoyance. When I went to college I felt relieved thinking that I would finally be spared from enduring the vexing habit of my sister. But! who would’ve guessed that my roommate was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more irritating when it comes to bad eating habits. Now that we’re already in med school, I still put my headphones on whenever she eats. I wish she would stop.

  15. Thank God, there are real people out there who feel like me on this subject. And I remember that I always found noisy eating and eaters unbearable: ever since I was a little kid.
    Consider also that I am from India where eating noisily and indulging in the worst display of table manners possible seems to be the national past-time; my trying to drill sense into people around me-relatives, friends, colleagues, et al, has been met by offensive force. I am glad that there are other members of the homo-sapien species who feel the same way.

  16. OMG! I am not insane after all. I found this site while desperate for help to prevent me from attacking my husband. Who was eating toast. Complete with the “harch, harch, harch” vocalisation on every, single, endless, bite.

    I actually worry that one day I will hurt him because he is eating. The sound of people eating bothers me generally, but I am particularly aware of his many, many eating noises- the throaty gulping, the satisfied “ahh” complete with mouth wipe, the open-mouthed deliberate crunching, vacuuming tooth sucking, the lip smacking, and my very very favorite .. The “harch, harch, harch”..

    He finds it somewhat ironic that I scream at him for eating again so soon after dinner – after all, I am the fat one, not him. He can’t comprehend that I feel set upon by him eating – I had relaxed, congratulating myself on making made it through another dinner without charging at him wielding weapons of cutlery, and here he is EATING AGAIN!

    I swear he does it on purpose. I really think so. Not to intentionally annoy me, but because he gets so deeply engrossed in eating, he becomes oblivious to the revulsion and irritation of his companions. I think he really enjoys making loud noises when he eats. It is like it is part of the package deal. He always looks somewhat surprised that we find his eating so deeply irritating. To him, making those noises is a big partvof him enjoying the food – the noises are always loudest when he is eating something he really likes. He crunches and harches much more loudly on toast than on carrot sticks, and sucks and slurps a spoonful of sugar and cream sweetened porridge with much greater gusto than, say,vegetable soup.

    OK. I have to stop listing foods because I am hearing and seeing the eating of each one and am feeling rage even though it is in my head. Now I am imagining crackers and dip.

    I cannot believe that at 45, after 20 years of being married to someone who has told him to eat more quietly and to eat with his mouth shut at least 3times a week for the last 21 or so years, he still has not found a way to prevent the loud disgusting noises or to keep his mouth shut. He tries for about three minutes and then relapses into piggery.

    And it is not just me – I remember his flatmate saying “Dude! Shut your mouth! You mixing cement in there?”. Back then, I wasn’t as hyper-aware and thought I could reeducate him. Wrong!

    Mike’s post about excess air carrying the sound wave makes sense so I have hope that it can change if he really wants to. Mind you, we never have a family meal without someone having to ask him to chew with his mouth shut so I doubt he does want to change. Our family eats every night at the table, and sometimes I know he must feel something akin to hatred radiating towards him; the eminity I feel about his noises is so strong and my children have caught it too. Not good.

    I nearly broke down when we ate out and there was a buffet carvery with roast pork ….. And crackling. I had to make an excuse to leave the table before he returned with his plate full and wait in the toilets until I thought he would have finished eating. I still saw and heard the crackling eating though – it was like a 4 second movie spooling through my head.

    I find myself selecting recipes based on the anticipated sound, rather than flavour, coscan triton. I hear the sounds in my head exactly the same way as I see images on the ingredients in my head.

    Is there a way to desensitize ourselves because noisy eaters are everywhere and the rage and irritation I feel has to be having physical effects. I fear it will be the death of me (or him!).

  17. Grateful to know I’m not alone but it doesn’t help that we don’t know why…I have also been disturbed by loud chewing, gulping, slurping since I was a child. I used to sit at the table with one elbow (my left one) on the table so I could plug my ear and not hear my dad. My children are the same as me. We ALWAYS had the radio playing during dinner to drown out each other’s noises, especially my husband. I have a boss who sounds like there is a microphone in his mouth and he has this annoying habit of bringing his ‘treats’ into MY office and noisily eating and chewing and gulping his precious hot tea–why? can these people not hear themselves? I also hate hearing other people text or type…literally makes me crazy. WHY???

  18. I think Mike’s right– it is excess air. I mean, for those people who are still noisy even with their mouth shut. I just tested it with my noisy-eating husband.

    After reading Mikes Dec.16, 2011 post, I popped right up, grabbed a bag of crackers from the kitchen, and stuffed one in his mouth (unexplained) to watch him chew. He was conscious of my unusual behavior and thus eating slower and keeping his lips sealed, but he was still pretty noisy. I think he just has a big, cavernous jaw. But then I tried it with a few more crackers and I noticed it was definitely significantly quieter when he ate in a slow, controlled way and didn’t open his mouth to breathe. Then I popped a cracker in my mouth and though I can obviously hear myself chewing, I noticed its mostly quieter because I close off the back of my throat and only breathe through my nose.

    It so clear to me now! For him, chewing and breathing both happen together in his mouth, which explains why he usually coughs when he eats spicy soup! Because he’s essentially passing his air through his mouth as he breathes!!

    Well, I just checked and he doesn’t agree. I think he just believes that its his big, cavernous mouth, thus allowing him to drop all responsibility for his noisiness and absolving him of any necessity to change. That’s a bummer for me. It will just force me to do what I really must do anyway: learn to cope. I know, consciously, that its so tremendously trivial. But in the past, I just haven’t been able to understand how a person could POSSIBLY be so freaking noisy with their mouth shut. But *maybe* now that I can understand how it IS possible for him to make so much noise (even if its negilgent), maybe I can forget about it more easily. Before I was just fixated: WHY the EFF is he so goddamn loud??? Now I know… I hope I can get over this. I believe I can… 🙂

  19. Hello there my name is Kimmi & I am a noisy eater.. I really dont know how to fix this that’s why im on this forum Im looking for a cure

    I close my mouth when eating yet my boyfriend says he can still hear me, I can hear myself but dont know how to stop it :/

    It’s terrible at dinner because we have a strict eat around the table rule at my new home.

    I never got pulled up for it by my family
    perhaps because they do it too

    I hate it and want to stop it, but dont know how to. im scared to eat around my boyfriend because he really hates it and it upsets me when he’s upset..

    Any advice how to fix this AWFUL habit?

  20. Also when i open my mouth my jaw clicks and it’s uncomfortable & doesn’t help my noisy eating problem :/

  21. I seem to be a noisy eater, my husband freaks out when I start eating, I can’t seem to help it. I close my mouth, but somehow find it hard to breath through my nose and this seems to exaggerate sounds coming from my mouth. I don’t know how to change it but he freaks out when I eat and this upsets me because I can’t help it even though I try.

  22. I am not glad to find other sufferers, coz that means there are more RUDE BEASTS out there! May God help us all. I could not read all these entries coz I started to get semi-livid. Anyway, I have every phobia/pet peeve on this page, and more, including (but not limited to) sounds of: chomping gum, food being eaten (crunchy or not, open or closed mouth), knuckles cracking, fingernails or skin being bitten, breathing, speech by a dry.mouthed individual, saying a word with a hard C starting too high in the throat… And that’s just a few. I hate ringing and vibrating phones, tv, voices echoing on hardwood floors. I have struck and yelled at relatives and close friends for their transgressions, and fly into a rage and walk out of a building where some bovine WENCH is chomping her gum like a fatted calf! No, I am not happy about my outbursts, which were when I was a teenager. Now I’m 30something and have secluded myself in order to avoid these stressors.
    I am a professor and have sent students out of the room for breaking my no food or drink or gum or candy rule. Oh, and hard candy rolling around on teeth-Hell on earth! I think I’m mad or something… Even the sound of my beloved dogs licking their paws makes me almost homicidal, though I have never harmed them. The male one is shameless about it, but his sister hath learned to leave the room to do so, and stops immediately when I turn my head to look at her. I’ve literally been awakened from sleep by the sound of her ‘grooming’ two rooms away. (I live in a small flat, tho). Anyway, my phone batt abt to go but wanted to say hi and wish all the best to each of the dear, beleaguered friends on this page. May God protect us from the rude hellions and the people who are truly unaware and the people who don’t know how to stop… But may God protect the peeps who DO know and DO enjoy tormenting us, ahem.

  23. I’m the parent of a teen with this phobia. The problem is that we try really hard to eat as quietly as possible but she still can’t stand it – even though she can also make the same noises.

    There are noisy eaters and I hate it too, but I really need help on how to help my daughter deal with this as it’s causing real problems at home

  24. You might get your daughter checked to see if she has SPD (sensory processing disorder). Our middle one has it and it is hellish.

  25. I feel the same as most of you. The two worst offenders are my husband who wants to chew ice and my mother-in-law who not only makes loud chewing noises but chooses the loudest foods. Her meals are noteals is they don’t include fresh apples, celery, lettuce, etc. I hate it when she chooses fresh cherries with pits inside them. And no meal is finished until she has beat up the bowl or plate in order to scrape off all the “yummy goodness”. (her phrase). When I complain I am told it’s all my problem. I think it’s a combination of breathing through the mouth and being so in love with food that personal enjoyment of food is more important than those that one is eating with.

  26. It is so irritating. My dad eats like that and it makes me sick, most of my friends eat like that. My brother agrees with me that it is annoying. We have been taught manners but it doesn’t stop my dad from eating like that. I felt that I was going to throw whatever was In my hand (my phone). Glad I am not the only one. We have told my dad several times!!!

  27. I forgot to mention that every thing he eats is noisy in some way. Crunch food is the worst!

  28. Aaaargh its driving me insane.

    I have a colleague who I sit next to day in, day out and he eats like a tramp. Come to think of it, if he didn’t have food he’d most likely eat a tramp.

    He’s obese, yes, but its not just junk food that he eats with such gusto that it threatens to bring the ceiling in.

    apples, even salad leaves, all of it is eaten so loudly that it hurts my eardrums let alone my sensibilities.

    if there was ever a recourse to justifiable homicide then this must be it…

  29. I googled to find this site, as I spent a weekend in hell listening to a new aquaintance lip smacking and chomping her food with her mouth wide open for three days. I know I find this habit incredibly disgusting, but this isn’t an auditory perception problem – it is a rudeness problem. For some reason, today’s society feels that everyone should simply tolerate everyone else’s bad manners, or we’re just being too uptight. It is a disgusting habit, and over the years I’ve noticed that the perputators usually have little regard for any manners and not just the chewing with your mouth open bad habit. It is rude in Western culture, full stop. I won’t comment on other cultures, but needless to say, it is not something that NEEDS to be done – you simply have manners and do it; or you don’t. You respect the culture that you are in.

    I know nobody is perfect, and we all slip sometimes. Maybe some people aren’t taught this as children, and now with our “anything goes, never hurt anyone’s feelings” society, it ends up that the agreived person with manners is cast as the villian and the ill-mannered are cast as the …what? disabled?

    If there is food in your mouth, keep your lips closed. It’s as simple as that. I am not overly sensitive, I just have respect for the people around me and expect the same.

  30. The first post for 2013 on this subject.

    I too am enraged by noisy eaters. Currently, the worst offender being a colleague I sit opposite who gnaws and gnashers his way through a multitude of crunchy fruit and veg at regular intervals (he’s a vegetarian). The worst of it is at lunchtime – out comes the lunchbox and the contents are literally poured out onto his disgusting, sticky desktop. On a good day these will consist of carrots (whole ones – extra crunchy!), celery (also the whole variety), cucumber (slurped and crunched), strawberries (yes these are mixed in with the veg and slurped with great gusto). At this point I have to leave the room. He munches and crunches his way through a multitude of apples every day and can’t even suck a sweet quietly.

    I have felt this way about noisy eaters for as long as I can recall and think it stems from my Father who wore dentures. He loved peanuts and the nut crunching combined with the clicking dentures is a sound I would not wish on my worst enemy. He clicked his way through dinnertime whilst I quietly seethed, as my sister and I were not allowed to leave the table until everyone had finished their meal. Hmm!

  31. Please, please somebody help me. I am seriously thinking about seeking professional advice: my husband irritates me with his slurping. I think he produces too much saliva and he breathes in through his mouth. When he does, it produces a slurping sound which makes me feel anxious, tense and annoyed. I sometimes avoid talking to him as I can’t stand the sound. We have been together 20 years and I have only noticed this in the last 2 or 3 years. He had an operation on his nose 3 years ago, and it seems to have started after that. I still love him, but this is a real issue for me. I haven’t told him, but I’m findng it difficult to be with him. thanks

  32. Why do you think I eat at a separate time than my DH? His loud noises (all the above ones mentioned) are revolting to me. The thought of food being squished around in the mouth and teeth scraping each other and saliva mixing around by the tongue makes me physically ill. Yes, I had an aversion to food as a teen and this is probs a holdover. I wish I could be more tolerant of this stuff but for now … separate tables please!
    I should add that he doesnt eat loudly in restaurants tho.

  33. I really wish you would take the bit out of your article about Chinese culture… it is SO FAR from being true.

    I live in Beijing, China and just left a restaurant, leaving my lunch on the table because I forgot my ipod headphones and physically could not sit there and eat with all the noise around me.

    This was a small restaurant, only about 15 people in the room, all the other patrons were Chinese. The noise of Chinese people eating is only comparable to that of pigs or starving dogs.

    They revel in the noise they can make with their food. They hoover rice with the loudest of sucking and shovel massive quantities into their faces while inhaling.

    They slurp soup with such a deafening noise that it sounds like when you let the plug out of a bath tub.

    They exclusively eat with their mouths open and smack loudly with every flapping, gaping mouthful.

    They laugh in wide, cackling roars, exposing semi-masticated slop to everyone around, they spray food over the table and talk without pause to swallow.

    They spit unwanted food back onto their plates without any thought of covering the process with a napkin and in the cheapest food-holes they spit mucus right on the floor and grind it into their piles of cigarette ash.

    They make constant guttural grunts, sounds of choking and trying to cough up a wad of phlegm at the same time as they clank their chopsticks into their bowls over and over again while simultaneously screaming at the waitress.

    None of this is generalizing, yes, there are some Chinese people who have developed a few more table manners but even my educated Chinese friends still participate in the thrice-daily feeding frenzy that is, meal time.

    No, I don’t hate China, I have lived here for years and love it most of the time. Without an iPod I would have murdered hundreds of people by now and I will never get used to their lack of table manners and loud eating, this is not a “cultural thing” this is a straight-up NO DAMN MANNERS thing.

    Loud-eater-phobes, a warning, do not come to China.

  34. I can’t believe I came across this site. Unlike some of you, I don’t recall this issue bothering me as a child, but that certainly makes sense to me. I DO know that I’m getting to the point that I can’t stand eating in the same room as my husband anymore. This breaks my heart because I love to cook and enjoy what I’ve made with him but I literally have to restrain myself from screaming at him to stop eating like a PIG!!!!! He sucks food loudly from his teeth over and over again during a meal and I literally want to throw up. Along with the squishing, vile sounds of the food churning in his mouth, the audible “sucking in” of air before he takes a sip of anything, the SCRAPING of cutlery across his plate and teeth with every bite, … and on and on. I literally could rip his face off. I gently mentioned the tooth sucking thing to him “once” and naturally HE got offended, so now I find myself forced to eat alone/rush to finish before he eats/find an excuse not to be there etc. I don’t want to argue about it, yet bringing it up again would do just that, and makes ME look like a fool. I agree with many of you that this is NOT a phobia, it is, I believe, a valid concern for those of us who respect others enough to eat QUIETLY. Coversely, I CAN tolerate this from people who are cognitively impaired, and therefore unaware of what they are doing. It’s those who clearly ARE aware yet still persist in this disgusting and selfish habit I will never understand. What is SO HARD ABOUT IT????STFU!!! To add further insult to injury, I have noticed that he refrains from the tooth sucking in the company of others, which further infuriates me because it proves that he IS AWARE OF THIS BEHAVIOUR. I don’t know what to do. MY meals are no longer enyoyable, which is so unfair as I’m trapped most of the time obviously, but hearing that I’m not alone helps a lot. Thanks for listening, and thanks for this forum.

  35. I have a roommate who is great in all ways but when she eats, it actually makes me feel a combination of rage and nausea. It is so visceral. I hear all kinds of wet smacking noises, saliva, slurping, her tongue mushing her food around- and it kills my appetite. I wish there was something I could say to her to alert her to it. She generally eats in our common area and I have to leave when she does because it makes me feel like I am going to vomit. It also just really makes me angry, like I want to hit someone. Her.

  36. I would like to say to Ann I found this post after searching because my husband was doing exactly the same thing and I feel exactly the same way, except I tell him and he still does it. I searched the Internet to release some of my tension instead of ripping his face off. The swishing of food in his mouth and that crunch a crisp loud enough to break glass. It makes me so disgusted and angry I could cry. I don’t know which one of us isnt normal.

  37. I found this out of desperation while sitting at the table with my sister who refuses to drink anything other than scalding hot coffee out of a lidless travel mug, bothers me to start with. But because of this combo, she feels she must loudly slurp any liquid out of the cup without even tipping it back, until it gets to the point where she is literally creating a vacuum with her mouth to get the drink out!! This is the main thing thing that drives me up the wall, and despite playing loud music, when ever I have asked her to tip her cup a bit more she has been outraged, it’s really very awful. So glad to have found this post!!

  38. I work for a small location as an administrative assistant. One of my co-workers is decidedly horrible about anything remotely obnoxious.

    I’m busy with work a lot of times; handling billing, training, or paperwork. However if there isn’t much to do for our mechanics, they often just sit in the office. My aformentioned obnoxious co-worker can’t seem to go five minutes without making odd sounds, muching on chips / sunflower seeds (which by the way, seems always been open mouth acompanied with smacking), or whisling an off-tune song.

    I’ve worked with him for about six months, and only recently have we needed to work side-by-side more often. However today I’m trying to fix a paticularly confusing problem while I get to listen to him sit in the break room muching on chips.

    I ask him to give it a rest, explaining my pet peeve. My boss then informs me I am “messed up” and cannot tell someone not to eat. This isn’t break time or lunch hour, it is nearly an hour before the end of the shift. So how am I in the wrong here?

  39. I have the same problem. I feel for my husband as he tries to be quiet; and probably is by most standards. But, I swear there is a loudspeaker in his head magnifying every little sound he makes while eating. In general, any sound that comes from the human body (except for speech and even that is often bothersome), sends me in to a tizzy. I was unaware of the cultural habits of making noise while eating amongst the Chinese when we agreed to host an international student. Good God, I’ve never heard anything so soul destroying in my life. I am very fond of the young man but could send him packing just over the slurping, sucking and smacking he does at table. Most nights I either don’t eat till later or make up an excuse to eat in another room. I wouldn’t dream of offending him as in all other respects he is a lovely young man and is completely unaware of how miserable he is making me. My husband is quite deaf and in this instance I truly envy him.

  40. I am exactly the same, I’ve always found it infuriating. Sometimes I feel quilt because i’ll be sitting with friends just feeling totally enraged at them for something that i know logically is silly. It sends shivers through me and i just want to scream, especially when I am trying to watch something or read etc… I never know how to approach the subject either, even with close friends – so i usually just leave the room in a bad mood.

    I’m Scottish and have wondered if maybe it is a British thing – though upon moving to London I seem to be around people way more often who do eat ridiculously loudly and eruhferh I can’t even describe the noises and it’s currently making me angry.

    I read online that it is a condition called Misophonia?

  41. I found this page because my eating occasionally irritates my wife. She had the same visceral reaction you guys are describing. The key thing is that I don’t change the way I eat at all… but her sensitivity does change. I haven’t pinned down what it is exactly, but I think its when she’s annoyed with me for some other reason. It pains me to see something I do every day sometimes drive her crazy, even after I very carefully try to minimize the sound.

  42. My mom is a noisy eater. Sometimes i actually run out of the room, or turn my cd player on
    High.now i hear everyone eating, and sometimes i get annoyed with myself because i feel i am a noisy eater. I dont eat at friends houses anymore because i dont want to make them angry.

  43. My mom also bites down on her fork along with my brother and sister. I am so annoyed. Unfortunately, i do not know of a cure.

  44. Chris, probabely your wife is always annoyed with the eating noises but when she is not in a good mood she does not manage to hide her annoyance from you.

  45. My girlfriend is the worst for sound making when eating… She can’t keep her mouth close …from eating candy to eating popcorn or chips… But the worse of all is when she eats sunflower seeds… She breaks them apart seed by seed with her mouth open. It so bad that i am boiling inside myself…it so unberable that i can’t stand it and i usualy leave the room or i am going to have a meltdown! I sometime tell myself i really have problem!!!lol

  46. Finally! I feel at peace here because I know I am not alone. I have the unfortunate luck to be married to a slurpy, sucking, teeth clacking, mouth breathing, annoying, sickening, life sucking man. He was not like this early in our marriage. It has only been the past 7 years of our marriage. I honestly have thought about divorcing him because of it. I have to leave the room every time he starts eating or drinking anything. I make excuses after I prepare a meal so I won’t have to eat at the same time he does. When he drinks coffee he sucks it into his mouth and swishes it around. It makes me want wretch. While he is eating he will sniff loudly because he says his nose runs. I only live in peace when he is not eating or drinking something. Just telling you about it makes me feel sick and I dread spending time with him.

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