As a person with misophonia, I spend a lot of my time worried about the noises that other people make. Today, I had an experience that made me wake up and realize that none of us are perfect when it comes to noise. I received a visit from my downstairs neighbour asking me if I could stop walking so loudly. My immediate reaction was shock. But, I realized something after being the one who was yelled at (not actual yelling, haha) for their “loud walking”.
What I realized was that everybody who is asked to stop doing something is going to take it as a personal attack. At first I was really offended and I felt as though I had to walk on eggshells in my own home. It was disheartening and I really felt bad. I didn’t want to be responsible for making the life of my neighbour (who has cancer by the way) miserable. I kind of felt absolutely horrible. This made me realize that for the past few years, whenever I have complained about sounds, actions, or anything about misophonia to friend, family (and strangers) that they might have been taking it personally. This really concerned me because I never want to make people feel bad, even though my disorder is the problem.
I think misophonia sufferers need to realize that to some degree, what we’re asking of people can be hard for them. It isn’t easy being asked to change your behaviour for somebody else. Of course, if we care about somebody we are usually willing to accommodate, but people triggering you are likely not doing it on purpose. Often times we don’t realize that we clear our throats or walk “too loud”.
Misophonia sufferers should realize that the people making accommodations for them are making a sacrifice. They are sacrificing their autonomy so that we can be comfortable, and that’s an absolutely wonderful thing. You should thank this person and try not to snap at them when they fail. Instead, warmly remind them that it’s a trigger, and thank them for being so kind as helping you. Let’s not treat this disorder as an excuse to be mean to each other. Unless the person is triggering you on purpose to use it against you, then you should generally consider the efforts that they do make, instead of those few times where they fall short.
We’re all in this together. Also… does anybody know how you can stop walking too loud?