Turns out, I may be right about offending certain people. NPR ran a piece this week on misophonia, or “When Life’s Noises Drive you Mad.” If you are over-the-top annoyed by other people’s smacking and chewing, you may have this condition, which “is characterized by intense emotion like rage or fear in response to highly specific sounds, particularly ordinary sounds that other people make.” NPR says that mouth sounds are common triggers, as are nose sniffles, throat-clicking, and pen clicks.

Although misophonia technically means “hatred of all sounds,” researchers point out that people who have it are only irritated by certain sounds (granted, I can’t imagine anyone not being annoyed by pen clicks). One small study connected the disorder to certain patterns of brain activity, but more research is needed for misophonia sufferers. In the meantime, I promise to try to keep it down as much as possible.