How to Deal with that Loud Eating Co-Worker!

How to Deal with that Loud Eating Co-Worker!

We’ve all had them, those annoying co-workers who talk over your phone conversations, interrupt when you’re talking to your boss, talk about their Friday night antics when you’re trying to concentrate, or bring smelly tuna and egg salads to eat at their desk. These things can often be approached (carefully) and things may be able to change.

What if that’s not all they do, they’ve now started eating loudly too! This becomes a bit of a tough one; it’s like picking out someone’s body odour problem, this issue is a bit more personal.

Well don’t fret, before you feel the need to rip off your arm and throw it at your colleague, read these four foolproof ways to deal with that loud eating co-worker:

#1 – Escape! The simple way to deal with something that annoys you is to escape it. Head out for lunch, or pop to the staff canteen; anywhere that means you get away from that dreaded co-worker! Even if you don’t head out every day, a couple of days a week may help you to deal better with the irritation.

#2 – Talk to them… This may seem simple, or it could seem like a mountain you don’t even want to attempt to climb, but talking to someone in a confidential way can help to solve the issue. Your co-worker may not realize they have a problem, but when you mention it to them they will become aware and try to fix it. Remember to be kind to them when you present the issue – we all have annoying habits!

It may be worth chatting to your manager about what you’re planning to do first though, there’s always a chance your co-worker could take it badly and be upset by your comments.

#3 – Noise cancelling headphones? This may seem a bit extreme, but if you really can’t face talking to your co-worker, and you have nowhere else to go to escape them, this tip could really work! Even regular headphones or ear-plugs could do the trick.

#4 – Is it you? Does your co-worker really eat loudly? If you can hear them, it’s very likely they do eat loudly because you’re either sitting far too close (I’m hoping your workplace is a little more considerate than putting you on top on your co-workers) or they are just inherently loud eaters!

But, have you considered that perhaps they don’t eat loudly? Perhaps you’re blowing it out of proportion? It may well be that your stress levels are particularly high, in which case all sounds seem louder and it becomes harder and harder for you to shut them out. If this is the case, maybe you need to ask yourself why you’re so stressed and what you can do lower your stress levels. Perhaps you have more on your plate than you realise, or than you can handle. 

Final Thoughts

Sometimes problems can feel like they’re out of control, but there’s always a way to solve an issue. Think carefully about the ways that work best for you and remember everyone has annoying habits – even you. 

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