I've encountered this problem several times and under different circumstances. It really annoys me when people constantly make noises with their mouth. Now, I can't name them and they come in different shapes and forms, e. g. different kinds of sucking in air (involving the lips or not, tongue, saliva), or movements with their tongue and I don't know what else. They are not loud, but too loud to not be heard when in their vicinity.
This doesn't concern a one-time occurrence, but when I am subjected to these noises for a prolonged period of time. Perhaps, I'm more sensitive about it than others are.
While learning in a computer room, another student sat down at the PC next to me. I didn't know that student and am not sure if I even saw them ever again. There was often a distracting acoustic level (people talking or laughing), but that student made those noises described above and this really got on my nerves.
Some noises I can tune out pretty well and then they really do not distract me, but these are really none of them.
There are two issues that make it hard for me to handle:
- I don't know how to address it.
- Adding to that, I can't be sure that they are even aware of what they are doing.
How do I politely communicate to a stranger to stop making a noise that I can't even name?
My goal is that they stop doing it or at least become aware of it, and I hope to avoid an awkward situation arising as much as possible.
- I'm looking for IPS approaches to solve the issue that are also applicable in situations where I can't shield myself from noises/voices, e. g. via headphones.
- This is not about whistling, noises made while eating or anything needing the vocal cords.
- Sorry if there is actually a name for these noises that I'm unaware of. But if it's not widespread, I can't use it.
For those who are curious: I finally wimped out and went to another computer room.
To clarify what noises I'm taking about, I will try to describe them, although it's hard (since I can only speculate how they are done by reverse engineering). It's not about necessary noises that maybe louder than usual, e. g. breathing noises (in case someone has a medical condition). These are noises that happen, for example, when you press your tongue in between your teeth and then suck air into your mouth, or if you suck in air through the closed lips. And probably variants of that.