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I am currently living with my parents (rent-free at the moment) and as such, I eat dinner with them nearly every night.  The problem is my mom chews in such a way that it always sounds like she's chewing with her mouth open (and sometimes actually is).  I don't think I can even say anything about how it is driving me absolutely crazy because I am living here for free.  I get so irritable after dinner because I've had to hear this for upwards of 30 minutes.  I don't know what to do!  I am desperately trying to get a job so I can move out, but at the moment it isn't possible.  What would you do in my case?

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if i can, i avoid it entirely (eating after or before other people, or eating separately). gradual exposure and meditation/breathing exercises is what gets me through stuff like this or extracting myself periodically for breathers. it's harder for me to deal with it when i already have a lot of baseline anxiety and irritation. this is a major issue for me and it's not just chewing sounds that bug me though eating noises are probably the worst triggers of them all.

i wouldn't say anything to her about it. it's your problem, not hers, and she's minding her own business and not doing anything wrong. in my experience, mentioning your irritation or asking someone to try to be careful about not making a certain noise just causes friction/anger/self-counsciousness and anxiety on their part.

if you can and if you're able to manage it, play music or the radio or put on the tv in the background during the meal and sit the furthest away from her and the closest to the music, this helps me drown it out a bit.

Edited by cosima

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I would eat separately if I were you as cosima suggested.

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I'm in the same boat. my dad and som er times my mom chew with their mouths open or sound like it. I can't eat separately or else all hell would break lose. I focus more on my brain chatter to avoid listening to their noisy eating. 

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I have misophonia aka "4s", too. This coupled with severe anxiety and mood issues, I feel like the most bothered/irritable person on the planet. It seems every little thing makes my brain twitch.

I remember it started around age 11-12. I could hear my dad snoring or talking on the phone through my bedroom wall and it enraged me to tears. I would sometimes cope by imagining doing violent things to him. I learned to keep my box fan on year round to drown out the sounds so I could sleep. It's been a life saver to this day.

I agree with cosima that it's better all around that you refrain from trying to control another's noise making by telling them to chew more quietly...or perhaps to stop... breathing (which remorsefully I'm guilty of; an ex boyfriend had pretty bad asthma and also snored like hell :( ) 

I don't really have any advice for dealing with other people's eating around you. I either suffer through it, trying not to look/glare at the person, or leave the room. And I try not to leave the room noticably irritated, especially if the person is aware I have this problem. 

My mom is a huge trigger for me...she makes a variety of sounds that frankly piss me off. It's terrible. I feel ashamed of myself because I'm very close with her and she's a huge support to me. So I try to remind myself of this when I'm triggered.

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I get that bad with my father... he normally pisses me off everytime he speaks, but when he's eating I just want to flip out and scream at him. 

I sit as far away as possible now.

I find it happens more if I'm irritated, or the person isn't someone I like. Don't get me wrong, he's my father, I love him, but he drives me up the wall at times. Same with my sister in law... 

Family dinners are no fun.

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