Remember that time on the dining table when you couldn’t help but notice the chewing sound of the person next to you and got annoyed? You can’t help but tell them to chew quietly but somehow control the urge to not insult them, isn’t it? Well, you might be a creative genius.
There is an actual medical term for the feeling when you do not like a certain sound (scratching of nails on the blackboard for example). The term is ‘Misophonia’. It is a selective sound sensitivity syndrome.
According to one study conducted by researchers at the Northwestern University, those who are hypersensitive to certain sounds are actually more creative than those who are not. The lead author of the study, Darya Zabelina, explains that hypersensitivity happens when the brain processes more information than the average human – thus giving scope for increased creativity as the person’s scope of attention is wider than others.
“Overall results suggest that leaky sensory gating (the ability to filter out unnecessary information) may help people integrate ideas that are outside of the focus of attention, leading to creativity in the real world,” reads the study.
It is a known phenomenon that people have created blocks to sound as they happen to be sensitive to it, which in disturbs them. An article on news.northwestern.edu reads, “The literary great Marcel Proust wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise — and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound.”
Misophonia is part physical, part mental. If it bothers you too much you can visit your doctor. According to WebMD, “Doctors aren’t sure what causes misophonia, but it’s not a problem with your ears. They think it’s part mental, part physical.”
It is okay to be annoyed with sound and seek silence. You are not at fault. There are various ways to deal with – the first is to understand that it is alright to feel the way you feel.
Don’t curse yourself the next time you wake up due to the slight sound of water dripping in the next room. It is your hypersensitivity that makes you super creative! Be grateful.
Preview Photo: slate.com