A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Is there a word for ...

Post 1

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

.. a person who has an intense dislike of listening to other people's loud conversations on a bus (or anywhere else where you are a captive audience)?
I use buses very rarely these days and when I do, I usually make sure I have noise-cancelling headphones with me to block out such a thing, but today I did not smiley - grr so I was subjected to a vacuous teen talking loudly on her phone about somesuch series of events at her work, which she assumed would be of great interest to others.

I got off the bus half-way through the journeysmiley - erm It irritated me *that much. I have zero patience for this; it's not quite a phobia, just something about being forced to listen to a sound I hate; same effect with piped christmas mu-suck in shopping centres (remember those?), that drives me into a simmering, barely-contained rage.

I have a friend who actually feels ill when she is forced to listen to something she cannot stand. She had to give up a job years ago in a shop because of the music tape on repeat. And she was driven to medication in a previous house because kids would kick a football against a nearby wall and the repetitive thumping noise would drive her to distraction.

I'm almost as bad as her and getting worse. I envy people who can just tune out sounds the don't like. I can't.

So is there a name for this kind of sound intolerance or a person who suffers from it?

Is there a word for ...

Post 2

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

Phonophobia is the fear of loud sounds.

Misophonia refers to bad reactions to certain sounds.

Is there a word for ...

Post 3

SashaQ - happysad

My sympathies - I know what you mean.

I managed to live fine a few yards away from a railway station where the trains would hoot every few hours, as I stopped hearing the sounds after a week or so, but I once might have had to leave a job because of a sound - the sound of the malfunctioning air conditioning in the office gave me auditory hallucinations... A87945358smiley - headhurts

I'm fortunate to find random conversations more amusing than rage inducing, thankfully - there were a surprisingly large number of people on the phone in the supermarket today, so I learned what they were having for their dinner tonight smiley - laugh

Is there a word for ...

Post 4

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I heard about a woman who talked on her cellphone while at Panera (a quasi-Italian restaurant), loudly (because it was noisy), and indiscreetly (she mentioned medical conditions that some of her patients had). Maybe the ambient noise protected the sensitive information.

That was before Covid-19. Nowadays everyone would be six feet apart, and crowded restaurants would not be possible.

Is there a word for ...

Post 5

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

I just don't know what it is about certain types of conversation, in certain types of environment. Overhearing random conversations in busy places doesn't bother me. There's just something about (per this example) the combination of a young person having a vacuous teen-angst type discussion and the fact that I can't do anything to block it out. smiley - groan

Is there a word for ...

Post 6

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

If being six feet away from the person doesn't work, how about twelve or eighteen?

Is there a word for ...

Post 7


"I have zero patience for this [it] drives me into a simmering, barely-contained rage"

I recognise this as something I used to have. And the non-specific term for it is "being mentally ill". If just the sound of another human's conversation, however inconsiderately loud and specific and inappropriate, causes you to simmer with rage then it's important to recognise that YOU have a problem. And it's a problem you can get over, but the first stage is recognising that it's not them, it's you.

With me it used to be driving. I think it was a learned behaviour from other drivers I'd been driven by, but any slightest deviation from the Highway Code and I'd be tailgating, flashing headlights, gesticulating, swearing etc. I printed up and laminated an A4 sign with the word "MORON" in huge letters to hold up to people (the flipside in mirror letters so people looking in the rearview could see it), and enraged plenty of people by showing it to them. I followed people home if they cut me up. I was a nutjob.

And then... I wasn't. If someone cut me up, I'd just... let them in. If someone pulled out in front of me, I'd just slow down and give them space. If someone looked like they MIGHT pull out in front of me, I'd slow up and wave them out. I stopped getting het up. As a result, my driving experience is much nicer and more relaxed, and I'm not simmering with rage the whole time I'm behind the wheel. There are no fewer morons on the road, Bod knows, but my experience of them has transformed.

I wish I could point to a thing that I did or used to make this change, but I can't recall anything in particular.

Think about it though - reacting this way is harming you, and possibly other people. You might want to think about getting help for it.

Is there a word for ...

Post 8


Well I was thoroughly beaten to that one. Completely concur with Hoo there.

It's not healthy to get stressed and enraged by things you cannot control. You sound like you should get some stress management help to me.

Sorry if that's not welcome but I'm in need of it myself - just been officially reported and had to meet my boss over it.

Not healthy - try and get it dealt with.

Is there a word for ...

Post 9

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Hmm, maybe.
I can have a very short fuse.. but then again I can have an exceptionally long one too. I've had people marvel at how laid-back I've been when being insulted or treated unfairly. Curiously with your driving example; other people's bad driving or mistakes simply do not register a flicker on my rage-o-metre.

What enrages me in the driving world is when others get angry or drive aggressively at me. So if someone toots a horn at me because I've delayed by a second at a green light, I'll feel instant rage, but if someone in front of me sits for 10 seconds at that green light, I'll just completely let it pass and have not the slightest anger.

I'll have infinite patience for someone screwing up at a roundabout; who doesn't from time to time, right? But if someone tailgates me or toots at me for being indecisive or being in the wrong lane; that angers me. I find myself shouting and gesticulating (with or without passengers) at the impatient driver.smiley - erm

Is there a word for ...

Post 10

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

No one is perfect. It's okay to forgive yourself for the small stuff. smiley - smiley

Is there a word for ...

Post 11

Baron Grim

Another misophonia sufferer asked a similar question on Reddit today.


Is there a word for ...

Post 12

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

Hmm kinda; not a 100% match for what I feel. That said, the micro-bursts of talk, music and sound effects from a tinny speaker, which emanate daily from my wife's phone as she scrolls through Instagram, certainly triggers my instant rage. But as I acknowledge that, that is unreasonable reaction, I don't say anything and just try to put headphones on or something; it's not worth an argument right?smiley - erm

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