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Co-workers heavy breathing driving me mad..

(23 Posts)
WendyBloomers Sun 15-Jun-14 17:08:16

Okay so I'll keep it as short as possible (don't want to bore you all with my first post!) basically I work in a small office with a guy who breathes SO LOUDLY through his mouth it makes me feel a bit queasy. We both listen to music through earphones but sometimes I can't use these if I'm really concentrating so I'm stuck listening to Darth Vader in the corner!! His breathing is even worse when he's got his earphones in as he can't hear himself. He's not got a cold or anything or a reason why he can't breathe through his nose.

I've a sneaky feeling I am BU to let it wind me up so much, I think part if the problem is the fact he's a work shy bugger so everything little thing he does annoys me lately..

Also, he's got this habit of leaving a pen in his mouth so all you can hear is a 'chhhhhhhh' sound. Writing this up makes me it seem so trivial but the thought of having to listen to that for 8 hours tomorrow is giving me the chills..

SO, I guess the crux of the matter is AIBU to think if other people can hear you breathing you're doing it wrong?

ApproachingATunnel Sun 15-Jun-14 17:14:34

UANBU, the only excuse for this kind of breathing would be heavy cold/asthma/other breathing difficulties. Would annoy me too!

YoureAnIdiotGoodNewsImTakingOv Sun 15-Jun-14 17:17:24

I can't breathe through my nose. It's a medical issue... My respiratory system isn't functioning well, I have to mouth breathe.

That said, I do try to be mindful of it, and I really hope nobody finds me annoying or Darth Vadery

SybilRamkin Sun 15-Jun-14 17:17:36

YANBU! Maybe you could mention it to him next time he's wearing his headphones, so he's at least aware that it bothers you and tries (hopefully!) to make an effort to breathe quietly.

sykadelic Sun 15-Jun-14 19:02:36

You could tell him you have this issue with noise (my colleague knows not to file her nails around me - even thinking about it makes my hands hurt) and you've noticed he's breathing louder than normal and is he feeling okay? It's less rude than "your breathing is irritating" and make him more conscious of it.

I suggest you get a fan, or a noise machine or a little water fountain thingy for your desk though. That's the thing about irritating things though. Once you notice it it's ALL you notice and it sounds louder and louder and you get more and more annoyed...

Incidentally, I can't breathe through one of my nostrils because of a deviated septum, but I'm EXTREMELY conscious about making noise when breathing through my mouth so I shallow breathe. It's possible, it doesn't need to be loud.

LizzieMint Sun 15-Jun-14 19:06:33

I also can't breathe through my nose and it's not something that's possible to tell from the outside, so you don't actually know if that's the case with your work colleague.

OTOH I used to work with someone who slurped his tea really loudly and that was incredibly irritating so YANBU to find it annoying but really there's not much you can do about it.

Pumpkinpositive Sun 15-Jun-14 19:16:44

Can't breathe through my nose for any length of time. Asthmatic, never feel I'm taking in enough air through my nose.

I feel like such a failure. Can't even breathe "right" according to the OP.

Woe, woe and thrice woe.

WendyBloomers Sun 15-Jun-14 19:21:52

Thanks all was a bit worried I was being really petty about this! I think I'm the 'you're breathing really loudly are you feeling alright' is a really good idea so will definitely give this a try and he'll hopefully get the hint.

If I knew he had a medical issue like other posters mentioned they have I would certainly be more understanding, to be honest if it was anyone else I probably wouldn't even moan about it but like I said he's bloody lazy so most things he does annoys me, ha!

Oh and Lizzie he slurps his tea too (not just him doing this that annoys me but anyone-my DF included!) I just think for gods sake if it's too hot to drink properly wait til it cools down!

Christ I'm getting miserable. Also, no doubt he had a list as long as his arm of the things I do that drives him up the wall even though I am perfect in every way and not a lazy arsehole

SaggyAndLucy Sun 15-Jun-14 19:24:13

How do you know he has no issues?
I look perfectly normal but have a deviated septum and a lifelong history of invisible ent problems.
I often mouth breathe. I can breathe through my mouth but it's not always easy and its not always pleasant. your mouth dries out, your throat gets sore, cracked lips...
but it's better than slowly suffocating!

Jumblebee Sun 15-Jun-14 19:26:45

YANBU! I used to sit behind someone who was a loud mouth breather in school and it bugged me confused

Sadly I don't think there is anything you can do about it-it's hard to change the way someone breathes hmm

WendyBloomers Sun 15-Jun-14 19:37:50

Well I don't really know for sure, he's never mentioned anything and what makes me think it's not a medical thing is that sometimes he makes no noise at all?

Like I said if it was just general breathing through your mouth I wouldn't mind but with a pen constantly in his gob it's really annoying and not unavoidable!

Hope I've not made anyone with difficulty breathing through their nose feel self conscious about it, what he does is not just breathe through his mouth it's like a heavy breathing (wink wink) kind of thing which I think is where the queasiness comes from!

TheFuzz Mon 16-Jun-14 10:03:14

YABU. I work with quite a lot of older very unfit colleagues and there breathing can be rather heavy, especially if they have to walk up stairs.

It would be unreasonable if he was younger, but there are meny folk who are very unfit and or may actually have a health problem.

There could be many reasons why he is a heavy breather, and ENT issues are common.

DaffyDuck88 Mon 16-Jun-14 11:32:05

I once had a colleague who made a sound like one of those tipping cows toys after every and I mean EVERY sentence. I used to count them in batches of 5. Then I saw the toy in a shop and brought it in with me. Thereafter every time he did it either myself or someone else in the office would tip it over. He never figured out what the noise was. Just looked confused. Someone asked him about the noise he made and he swore he had no idea he was doing it.

SaggyAndLucy Mon 16-Jun-14 12:10:08

well he might not do it all of the time because his entire problems might be sporadic. It may be because sometimes there is a drier atmosphere in the office, or that he is a little dehydrated. maybe sometimes he notices that he's being noisy and makes the effort to stop but then forgets and starts again when he's concentrating.
This thread is actually making me annoyed! confused as others here are so fond of saying on MN, not every disability is visible! no, your colleague is probably not actually disabled, but you have no idea what's going on inside him.
mouth breathing is often flipping uncomfortable. Try a little sympathy instead perhaps?!

SaggyAndLucy Mon 16-Jun-14 12:11:01

ENT problems even!

Cactuar Mon 16-Jun-14 12:20:04

OP - he may well have anxiety issues. I do and I feel like I am contstantly struggling to breathe and can sound like I am breathing heavily. It makes me feel really self-conscious but I can go for months when I am absolutely fine which could be another reason why he does not do it all the time. Maybe should you just ask him kindly if he is ok.

7Days Mon 16-Jun-14 12:22:06

You will have to find some way of stopping that

run amok with a hatchet?

BristolRover Mon 16-Jun-14 12:29:36

I'm with 7Days. With the tea slurping, it's punishable by decapitation.

Xcountry Mon 16-Jun-14 12:33:31

it is a bit harsh tbh, and its maybe unreasonable that you just seem to assume he has no reason for mouth breathing. DH cant breath through his nose a large portion of the time because he has polyps which flare up from time to time. This also makes him snore and means sometimes its difficult to eat with his mouth closed without asphyxiating but he doesn't wear a flashing sign saying "I'm not darth fucking vadar - I just have polyps".

Yes the snoring and loud breathing gets on my nerves, as does his eating with his mouth open at times but he actually cant help it. To have a pop about it is a but like saying "look at all these wheelchair users taking up all the room on the pavement with their wheelchairs" isn't it?

WendyBloomers Mon 16-Jun-14 12:58:04

I'm feeling bad now, honestly though it's not just like the sound of someone breathing through their mouth though..You know when you're at the dentist and you've got something in your mouth and it's quite difficult to breathe..well that but it's because he's constantly got a pen in his mouth he can't breathe properly!

The other half of the time when he's actually using his pen it's like a heavy breathing which to be frank sounds like someone's under the desk sucking him off.

Maybe I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it all, but honestly guys I'm not a control freak who doesn't like people breathing too loudly..blush

Runesigil Mon 16-Jun-14 14:00:05

Apologies in advance to anyone who absolutely can not nose-breathe, this is not a criticism.

Pumpkin, there are breathing exercises to do that can help asthmatics.
Buteyko is the famous one, lessons can be pricey but there are descriptions online. Yoga or qigong instructors can also teach several different types of breathing exercises, particularly how to inflate different parts of your lungs for full oxygen refreshment and getting rid of the stale air. The downside of mouth breathing is you bypass the body's nasal germ-filters.

Wendy, perhaps ask him if he has a problem. My dn 'gaped' constantly, lots of kids do, particularly if bunged-up, too much dairy in his case. I find myself watching Alun Davies on QI and wanting to scream at the TV 'Close your mouth and breathe through your nose'

stayathomegardener Mon 16-Jun-14 14:08:02

Pumpkin I would second the Buteyko breathing method,used a great paper back to teach myself and DD,no asthma symptoms since-about 8 years later although I was only mildly affected.

PrincessBabyCat Mon 16-Jun-14 14:29:05

I hate mouth breathers. Having a medical condition doesn't make the sound less annoying.

I also hate loud chewers, pen tappers, nail tappers, and snifflers.

But seeing as how you're in an office where you can't get away from annoying sounds, can you wear headphones or get a little white noise speaker that you can play softly to drown it out?

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