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People with sniffing tics

(43 Posts)
HakunaFritatta Fri 04-Dec-15 09:35:55

The people who sniff every 10-20 seconds, all day, every day, of their whole lives. I've already encountered six this morning and didn't even get public transport to work (the worst danger zone).

Whenever I'm within 20 metres of a sniffer, every sniff makes my whole body tense up, I get a rush of adrenaline and can't focus on anything but anticipating the next sniff. It's aural torture.

I have misophonia so realise I'm completely unreasonable about many sounds. But this phenomenon just baffles me - so many questions:

Do you notice the sniffers? Does it bother you? If it doesn't, why? Do you hear every sniff or can you block it out?

Are you a sniffer? Has anyone ever pointed it out to you? If so, how did they bring it up and did it upset you? Did you change your behaviour? Do you notice other sniffers and do they bother you?

I think that a lot of the problem stems from sniffers being blissfully aware of their tic. Do you think making them aware of the problem will do them (and everyone in their vicinity) a huge favour, a bit like with the office smelly person thread?

How do you bring it up diplomatically?

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KakiFruit Fri 04-Dec-15 09:38:59

I share a small office with a sniffer. I doubt he realises and it doesn't annoy me enough to bring it up with him.

Honestly I think you should work on your issue rather than trying to get them to stop. Work out a method to stop it annoying you so much. At least that's in your control!

maybeanotherdaysoon Fri 04-Dec-15 09:41:33

As a teenager, I used to sit next to a girl with a sniffing tic in maths class. Not being the best at maths anyway, I found it very distracting, especially in tests when the room was silent!

I don't notice people with sniffing tics as much now. Can't say it's bothered me recently.

Seeline Fri 04-Dec-15 09:43:09

YABU - if it is a real tic, there is nothing they can do about it. If they are not aware of it (which I think is unlikely), then you are just going to make them feel awkward and embarrassed. it's not like a smelly person where (usually) a bit more attention to personal hygiene and a can of deodorant can sort the issue.

Birdsgottafly Fri 04-Dec-15 09:47:27

I can't blow my nose, or rather it would stop me having to sniff and do go through phases of regular sniffing.

I'm aware it can be annoying, but people do lots of things I could decide to get annoyed about.

Your reaction can't be helped because of your misophonia, but if you didn't have that, then you would have to learn to block out the behaviour of others.

ThisWillSoOutMe Fri 04-Dec-15 09:49:23

My XH is a sniffer - I did block it out tbh.

He got bollocked by the judge for it in the divorce hearing 😄

HakunaFritatta Fri 04-Dec-15 10:06:49

KakiFruit - I find that earplugs (never leave the house without popping them in) and avoidance are the most effective ways to deal with this. Despite decades of trying, I just can't stop the visceral physical and psychological reaction.

Re. people not being able to stop sniffing - I agree that may be the case for some. But for a high proportion, I believe it's down to not being a tissue person. Managed to nip my bf's sniffing in the bud within the first couple of weeks of meeting. He said that they never had tissues in the house growing up, so they all just sniffed instead. He's pleased I pointed it out, and we laughed about it. But I do agree with Seeline - I'd hate to make someone feel embarrassed and self-concious, particularly if most people aren't bothered about it.

OP’s posts: |
HakunaFritatta Fri 04-Dec-15 10:15:53

ThisWill - love your court story. What did the judge say exactly?

OP’s posts: |
wasonthelist Fri 04-Dec-15 10:22:53

I notice sniffers on the train/plane. It bugs me in some cases when it's so repetitive. I suspect that rather than being unable to avoid doing it, the majority of sniffers just don't realise they're doing it, and/or don't realise/care that it might be annoying.

Gatehouse77 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:23:12

In my experience it often goes hand-in-hand with allergic rhinitis.

My DS was a sniffer until we worked out it was his dairy intolerance. When we took him off dairy I would say 70% of the rhinitis went.

I wonder if it's the cause of some serial sniffers...(an allergy, not necessarily dairy)?

2rebecca Fri 04-Dec-15 10:45:41

I hate sniffing. Blow your nose. If you've chronic rhinitis see your GP and get it treated.

Birdie85 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:47:26

I used to work with a snorter. It was horrendous! I'd count the snorts (since I couldn't possibly concentrate on work with that going on) one day she got up to 77... I begged my manager to have a 'casual word' and it cut down massively.

In another office, there was a serial sniffer and I took a slightly less diplomatic approach; I left a big box of tissues on his desk with a note saying 'Sniffers will be flogged!'. Pissed him off, but he used the tissues!

KeepOnMoving1 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:49:36

It grates on me too! I would just move tbh. I can't just sit there and ignore it.

Booyaka Fri 04-Dec-15 10:49:40

I don't really notice it. I agree with the poster who says it is your issue to work on.

myusernamewastaken Fri 04-Dec-15 10:50:43

My 18 year old son sniffs constantly especially at night and has done for years...i'm in the bedroom next to him and it was torture laying there waiting to hear the next sniff.....he has moved out now for uni and i'm getting decent sleep for the first time in years.....

Oldraver Fri 04-Dec-15 10:52:54

My OH does this and at times it drives me batty. I've tried to encourage him to sort it out, but as a smoker I think kicking that would be his first port of call

ThisWillSoOutMe Fri 04-Dec-15 11:05:28

"... blah ... blah ... (generally bollocking for his arrogance and being a dick) ... and will you please use a tissue, blow your nose and stop that horrendous sniffing. This is not a playgroup."

I admit I may have been a little bit in love with the judge at that point 😄

HPsauciness Fri 04-Dec-15 11:18:20

I shout 'get a tissue' at the first sniff of winter in my house, and that seems to set the tone for the rest of the year. My dd had a friend who sniffed incessantly and was never asked to blow her nose, she was a lovely girl and very sweet, but the sniffing was something else. Obviously her parents didn't want to say anything or perhaps they didn't care.

In some countries, blowing your nose in public is considered totally unacceptable, like where my husband comes from, but people don't sniff too much, they go to the loo to blow their nose although a discreet wipe is ok if not too visible.

On these threads someone usually comes along who says they can't possibly blow their nose as their type of rhinitis/sinusitis is permanent and they can't aggravate it all the time. I feel sorry for these people, but I think they are in the minority of sniffers, most just don't think about using a tissue.

TheHouseOnTheLane Fri 04-Dec-15 11:21:36

I feel the same way about people who HUM tunelessly whilst I'm looking round shops.

"Hmm hmmm hmmm hm!"


WHY are you polluting the air!?

TheHouseOnTheLane Fri 04-Dec-15 11:22:27

HP I feel like that about nose blowing. It's gross. People should expell their snot in private. I'm English I suffer a lot.

Notagainmun Fri 04-Dec-15 11:31:57

I have chronic rhinitis and it is a nightmare to cure, seemingly impossible in my case. I also have completely lost my sense of smell which is really upsetting. Sometimes I would need to have a tissue to my nose constantly but as it is often necessary to use two hands to complete a task I need to sniff or have snot dripping to the floor. Really upset to know how much I am disliked.

HakunaFritatta Fri 04-Dec-15 12:01:06

Oh Notagain you poor thing, that sounds like hell. Remember that it doesn't bother most people. It may be worth mentioning this thread to close friends/family and ask them how your sniffing makes them feel - they may be able to reassure you.

Anyway, just realised that I'm a massive hypocrite - I actually have mild rhinitis but rather than sniffing, I carry a tissue with me at all times and am always popping it out, even when I don't need it (probably a tic in itself) - I am TheHouseOnTheLane's nightmare so am going to try to nip it in the bud poste haste. House - thanks for bringing this up.

OP’s posts: |
HakunaFritatta Fri 04-Dec-15 12:07:09

The HPSauce and the judge's no-nonsense approach to sniffers seems to be the way to go - address it straight away, without hesitation or self-conciousness. It's an incredibly awkward thing to do if it's gone on for years.

Have tried the subtle 'would you like a tissue?' many times and they usually say 'no thanks!', leaving me secretly seething 'it's not for your benefit, IT'S FOR MINE!'.

Myusername - yours is an interesting case - have you mentioned it to your son?

OP’s posts: |
HPsauciness Fri 04-Dec-15 12:08:41

Surely the odd sniff if you really need to is just fine. It's the incessant sniffers who have just developed the sniffing habit who are annoying, the child I was talking about sniffed all day every day, summer and winter, it was all the time.

The odd discrete sniff if you really have to is fine, blowing noses is a bit gross too, but again, needs must and in winter it's normal to have to do both.

StarkyTheDirewolf Fri 04-Dec-15 12:49:19

The first words out of my mouth yesterday morning to my Dh were "I love you..but will you blow.your fucking. NOSE!" It Drives me up the wall.

He works outside a lot and it definetly gets worse when it's cold, but at least I've trained him into carrying a handkechief round with him now rather than tissues, which would get left in pockets and then go in the washing machine to disintegrate and glom tiny bits to each piece of clothing!

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