Please Stop Talking

I don’t like loud noises. I’m not the first person to say this, nor will I be the last. I become mentally drained after continuous exposure to loud noises, which makes events like art openings and sporting events a problem (movies are another issue).

I’m not a loud person. I was raised in a house where silence only exists in sleep. Whatever you’re doing can be heard through the walls and floors. That said, I learned that silence can be golden. So whenever someone new shows up at our house and is louder than normal, I get agitated because it goes above the normal threshold.

This week, I have loud company staying at our place. Needless to say, I’ve been itching to seek solitude. If it was in a larger space that could accommodate the volume, like a gym or a park, then I’d be fine because it’s sometimes necessary to have a louder voice. But no, I hear each foot hit the hardwood floor like a fallen piano and screeching.

I’ve had moments where I would mutter the phrase “please stop talking” under my breath or in my head because the sound would be too much. In a futile attempt to drown out the sound, I sometimes slip on some earbuds and crank out some Pink Floyd. It’s fighting loud public sound with loud private sound; either way, both parties lose.

In large settings, like a baseball game or an art opening, I shut down entirely. I don’t become upset because I don’t want to make a scene. Instead, I retreat to my inner thoughts and plan the following week. I’ll go about and interact with people if the opportunity arises, but odds are that I’m not going to be as grounded as I’d like to be.

The obvious option would be to remove myself from the situation. That’s not always possible. I’ll step out from time to time and fiddle with some spools that a good friend of mine gave me. Other than that, I have to stay through the whole thing because I didn’t drive to the event in the first place.

I’m planning on getting some noise-canceling headphones for my birthday. At the same time, I know that I’ll need those kind of headphones for my senior project for acoustic reasons. For now, I have to grin and bear it. What doesn’t kill me will make me stronger, I guess.

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