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The startle response is a reflex, the brain's way of preparing you to defend yourself against a threat sneaking up on you. People get startled when they 1) aren't aware that you're there and you 2) suddenly make a sound 3) at a relatively close range. Eliminating any one of those three factors should resolve your problem. In a lot of cases, the first is ...


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I've had similar issues. Growing up, my father worked night shifts and I had to be quiet around the house while he slept during the day. Growing up, I took being quiet as part of my persona and hadn't really noticed it until I started living with my partner. She tells me off regularly for frightening her when I come up stairs and she doesn't hear me. Some ...


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I don't have this level of problem, but I am aware of the potential as I go about my day. Most often it occurs when I am out walking and come up behind a slower pedestrian. I certainly don't want to give some elderly citizen a heart attack by overtaking them "out of nowhere". So I whistle. A few jaunty, bars, as if I walk and whistle all the livelong ...


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I'm quite quiet on my feet, to the extent that in soft shoes I make less noise with my footsteps than my keys make in my pocket. Combined with being tall it's easy to sneak up on people without meaning to then seem to stand over them. Wearing shoes with harder soles helps, as does getting out keys as I approach the (lab/office) door even if I know it's ...


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Difficult question, I don't think there is any singular set of actions you can do to make sure the other person won't jump. In fact, I think its far less to do with something you are doing and far more to do with the other people. Growing up, I don't think I made a single person jump. Ever. I could hide in a wardrobe and then bomb-dive on the bed right ...


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I also have that ability to scare people because I move silently and without noise, so I have developed a series of actions that will get people's attention: 1) Knock on the door frame/wall when entering a room This sound is associated with people entering. Feet stomping can be mistaken for neighbors and are usually tuned out. A knocking sound, however, ...


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The basic thing you are doing wrong is talking to people before they have realized you are there. How do you know when they know you are there? Simple: you watch to see when they look at you. You don't need to make noises, etc. Just position yourself so you are in the person's peripheral vision, and wait. Human peripheral vision evolved to protect people ...


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I've had this problem myself in the past. The easiest and least obtrusive way to make someone aware of your presence is through vibration; if they're sitting at a desk, simply knocking a couple of times on the top of the desk as if it were a door works a charm. (This can be arbitrarily moderated if even this causes people to jump; one of my teammates ...


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Without seeing you "in action", it's really difficult for us to know what the issue could be. I was going to suggest that you might be very quiet, but you tried stepping loudly and still have the same results. I was also wondering if maybe your friends and coworkers now have make it "a thing", and that they now jump even if they do hear you coming as a joke. ...


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