How do I eat quietly?
June 10, 2010 4:28 PM   Subscribe

I eat noisily and I want to fix it. I eat with my mouth closed, but it's still quite loud. What am I doing wrong?
posted by krisjohn to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if you think you do, or if someone mentioned it to you, but keep in mind that everyone's own chewing sounds louder inside their heads than it does to others.

If you are still worried, take smaller bites.
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:34 PM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eat less crunchy things. Just kidding.

Do you make that smacking sound that happens when you open your mouth and kind of slap your tongue against the roof of your mouth? THAT is the worst kind of loud eating. So avoid that, and you'll probably be a quiet eater.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 4:43 PM on June 10, 2010

cestmoi has it-- the question is really whether other people are sensitive to your eating noises, or you are sensitive to it.

If it's other people/another person, he/she/they may meet criteria for misophonia. I sympathize with them, and with you for bearing the brunt of their abnormal sensitivity. Good on you for wanting to help. Other threads talk about it from the perspective of a sufferer: one two three, and one from a mom asking about her son.

If it's you that minds your own noisy eating... I'm not sure. All the information I've seen about misophonia states that the sufferer tends to only be sensitive to noises that others make.

I am sensitive to certain types of eating noises; sort of wet suction "smacking" noises. (In contrast, I don't mind crunching. Go figure.) People who get under my skin will mostly eat with their mouths closed, then open once or twice and make noise right before another bite. I find that keeping the lips closed up to and through swallowing will get rid of this type of noise.
posted by supercres at 5:21 PM on June 10, 2010

Get your ears checked - you may have some fluid or inflamation or just plugged and this will make internal chewing noises very loud.
posted by jkaczor at 5:24 PM on June 10, 2010

MrTaff is a very noisy closed-mouth eater (even pasta!!). I cannot work out what he is doing that makes it noisy. He is a neat and careful eater but he does seem to chew more thoroughly than other people. That's what I've put it down to, anyway. But you're probably not imagining it.... it's a very real least in our house.... and it drives me absolutely mad some days.

I'm sure some of it is related to the quantity in his gob, also. Sometimes he fills his fork incredibly full and then chews very slowly and carefully. I think because he hates western food and thinks if he takes fewer mouthsfull, he is eating less of it. Ha!

I shall look forward to other answers in order to preserve my sanity and my beloved husband's dignity.
posted by taff at 5:29 PM on June 10, 2010

Since people are suggesting it might just sound loud to you, you could try using an external recorder to see how it sounds outside your head. And compare to how other people sound, to you, from about the same distance.
posted by galadriel at 5:32 PM on June 10, 2010

Data point: my daughter has been making really loud food eating/crunching noises since she had her adenoids removed. She eats with her mouth closed but it doesn't matter.
posted by iconomy at 5:36 PM on June 10, 2010

I know a couple of people who seem to bang their teeth together really loudly. It's very odd. I never hear other people's molars meeting each other as they chew, but these people seem to really chew hard or something. So watch that. Another person I know - a kid from another culture - makes a lot of noise when he has dinner with us. I was trying to figure out the other night how so much noise comes from a closed mouth. Maybe if you keep our tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth as much as possible while you chew, that might help. (The back of your tongue, too. I'm chewing as type this to observe what is happening in my mouth. My son thinks I'm nuts.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:32 PM on June 10, 2010

Since I'm eating dinner right now I did an experiment, and discovered the amount of noise I make is directly proportion to how vigorous I move my tongue and how far I open my jaw. When I tried to make as much noise as possible (with my mouth closed) I moved my tongue all over the place and could make all sorts of sloppy wet sounds--even with no food in my mouth. When I eat normally (at least normally for me) I really don't move my tongue around very much or move my teeth very far apart. I suspect taking smaller bites and being conscious of how much you move your tongue will help.
posted by Ookseer at 7:16 PM on June 10, 2010

Eat more slowly, too, and focus on the food that you are eating rather than the conversation/book/computer screen. It makes a huge difference.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:25 PM on June 10, 2010

I knew a very polite brother and sister who nonetheless made a lot of eating noise. I think it had something to do with repeatedly creating suction at the back of their mouth somehow as they chewed, like a miniature sink plunger. (You can create this effect on purpose. Don't.) Maybe that's it, but I don't know whether it has to do with anomalies in throat structure or just family habits.
posted by zadcat at 7:58 PM on June 10, 2010

Thanks everyone.

Yeah, it's not just me who thinks I'm a noisy eater.

Since on my list of personal development is eating slower, I'll try:
  • Smaller pieces
  • Chewing slower, &
  • Swallowing everything before taking the next bite
If that doesn't work I'll see if I can stop my tongue from moving around as much, or avoiding that suction thing a couple of you mentioned.
posted by krisjohn at 10:09 PM on June 10, 2010

« Older Foods/resources for healthy weight gain?   |   Please help me plan my trip to Italy. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.