Yale - Engineer navigates life with misophonia.

S1 E15 - 2/19/2020
In this episode, Adeel engages in a revealing conversation with Yale, a software engineer based in Portland, Oregon. Yale shares his journey of living with misophonia, detailing his struggles in both workplace and personal settings. He emphasizes the significance of finding coping mechanisms, such as using noise-canceling headphones, choosing remote workspaces, and seeking therapy specialized in misophonia management. Yale also discusses the challenge of attending public events like plays and movies, and how misophonia affects social interactions, particularly dining out with friends or attending quiet venues. Additionally, he touches on the familial aspect, mentioning how his sister shares the condition, and how his family adapts to accommodate his needs, such as using plastic spoons for ice cream to avoid triggering sounds. An interesting point raised was the potential link between being an engineer and having misophonia, as Yale highlights that a significant portion of Dr. Marcia Johnson's clients are engineers, suggesting a prevalence among those requiring intense concentration for their work. The conversation concludes with Yale sharing a humorous anecdote from his past, showcasing the lighter side of dealing with misophonia in relationships.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to another episode of the Misfonia Podcast. This is episode 15. My name is Adeel Amat, and I have Misfonia. This week I'm talking to Yale, a software engineer in Oregon. In Portland, Oregon, actually. Yul and I have quite a bit in common, as you'll hear in the podcast. We have a lot of laughs. He actually asked me a bunch of questions. And so you get to hear a little bit about my dealings with misophonia. But yeah, this is a great conversation. Talk a lot about the workplace environment and just being out there in the world with me. As always, let me know what you think on social, at Misophonia Podcast, Instagram, Facebook, or you can email me, hello at misophoniapodcast.com. There's still stickers I'm sending out, and I'm loving the pictures I'm seeing of people posting their stickers all over the world. And don't forget, please leave a review in iTunes or wherever you get podcasts. But right now, let's get started with my conversation with Yale. Welcome, Yale. Good to have you here on the podcast. Hi, Dale. Thanks for having me. And where are you located, Yale? I live in Portland, Oregon. And before that, I lived in Denver, Colorado. How did you find out about the podcast again? I think you had to email me or through Twitter. I don't remember. It wasn't the conventional route. I saw you had announced it on the subreddit. And I'm not terribly active on the subreddit. I just paged through it. But I think I just happened to see it when you... when you posted it and and uh i love talking about misophonia and it's not often you can get a captive audience to listen to me talk about it so so where where do you usually talk about it do you just kind of um just random people on the street or people you know i'm just kidding but uh like people do you know anyone else with it My sister has it. Um, uh, and I had a therapist who here in Portland that specializes in treating it. And, but other than that, I've never met another, another misophone. Is that what we're called? Misophones? I guess so. Yeah. Yeah. I guess that's kind of what I, what I, what I've been going with. I should find out for sure. But did you talk to, uh, in Portland? No, I tried to get an appointment with her, but she was apparently too busy or something. But I was really elated to find out that she has an audiology office here and is actively studying it. I can't remember the name of the therapist here. This was a couple of years ago, but she specializes in misophonia and she has it too. And I went perhaps five times and it was pretty helpful. It was kind of just more of a logistical thing that I've I stopped going, but it was a great outlet to talk to another missive phone. She, I don't know if I'm talking out of class, but her main trigger was her cats, like her cats licking and cleaning themselves, which I had never heard of. And it's not a trigger for me. So it's always interesting to find out. Was that kind of her only trigger or did it start there and kind of expand? She had most of the typical ones, eating. Sniffling was a big one for her, like people that... Okay, yeah, the usual, yeah. Yeah, I think the one that we didn't overlap on was cats. And I was kind of fascinated by that because we had cats and it doesn't bother me at all. So that was pretty intriguing to me. Got it. And did that help at all, the therapy that you got? Was there any therapy specific to misophonia that came out of that? Yeah, we started off just kind of, she would talk about the firefly response and some of the, she was saying something about how we have evolved this since caveman days because we could hear animals licking their chops. Some of that was a little far-fetched for me, but a couple of great strategies that she gave me. One was, at the time I worked with a man who sat right across from me and he had a really loud, startling cough. Oh, God, yeah. It's one of mine. Yeah, it was painful. And so she said, instead of, you know, getting up and storming off, which is what I would do, I'd go storm off and sit in a conference room. She said, just keep it calm, try not to get too wrapped around the... how angry you are about it just calmly say i'm walking away this is this is causing a big response in my brain i'm just going to go walk away and work somewhere else for a while so you do walk away you just don't storm off kind of thing yes yes although i uh definitely failed at that last weekend at a play which i can talk about later yeah Yeah. Let me write that in my notes for play incident. Okay. Yeah. I hope it wasn't an Abraham Lincoln kind of situation. No, it was Chicago. The other coping mechanism that helped me a lot was just trying to develop empathy for other people. So in Portland, we have good public transit. So I ride the train to and from work. And as you can imagine, there's all sorts of personal functioning going on with people's uh bodies and so yeah you know that's exactly what i'm talking about so um she suggested that making eye contact with somebody and developing some kind of human empathy with them and their situation and that actually does help like if somebody bad cold and it doesn't always work but sometimes if i could just have a look at them and see oh this is another human know they probably aren't really thrilled about having a bad cold they would probably blow their nose if they have access to you know a kleenex but they don't so and this happens to me too like you know with missile phones actually i'm sure you can identify it's okay if we do it you know it's okay if we have a bad conference if if we have a sniffle on the Yeah, self-triggering doesn't usually happen. Yeah, that's interesting. If you know that it's a condition that's temporary, you can kind of talk your brain out of it potentially. Sometimes, yeah. So where do you work then? Sorry, what kind of work do you do? I'm a software engineer, so I work in an office. And in that line of work, you kind of have to keep a lot of complex things in your brain at once. And if you get distracted by some normal, most people consider normal office noise, it can really throw you off your game. Is it like an open office environment, too? Yeah, yeah. So I'm wearing noise-canceling headphones pretty much all day. Did you get them from your company, or did you purchase them yourself? I bought them myself. I thought about asking, you know, this is kind of a special condition that I have and would really help if you can float these, but I don't know. I've not mustered the courage to do that. I'm okay paying for them too. I mean, I'm a software engineer too. And the last start, they gave, uh, they gave everybody headphones, not, not a noise canceling, but you know, headphones just to, just to where to listen to stuff, which, which was not related to Miss Phonia at all, but it was just like a, you know, we want to do like some kind of an office perk. So, um, I support any company doing that for any reason. And, and, you know, Do you work in an open office as well? So I now work from home. I was. Yeah, I used to work. Yeah. When I was in offices. Yeah, it was always an open office. Yeah, there were definitely, you know, you knew. who was going to trigger you and, you know, had that all mapped out time of day and all that stuff. And which rooms to go to and when to, when to go, when to go to lunch. Yeah. Just like who not to go to lunch with is, you know, all that stuff. Um, but no, I, last few years I've been, I've been working from home remotely, so I'm not even in the same city. And that's been good. Yeah. That sounds really nice. Now, when you did work in an office, is it okay if I ask you? Yeah, go for it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, when you did work in an office, was it, Did you find yourself getting constantly distracted by, I mean, were you just constantly having to leave? Um, yeah, I, um, I don't, I don't know how many times, uh, how many times I left, but yeah, I mean, there were times when I would just kind of cringe and deal with it. If, uh, if I knew, like, you know, let's say you're about to finish, uh, you know, about to finish a feature or something and, you know, you're really close and it's almost like good time to take a break for lunch coming up, then I'll just cringe with it. Time boxing seems to be a, um, kind of a coping mechanism. Like if you know that the triggers can, it will end by a certain time, it kind of, kind of helps you get through it. So I used to do that.

Yale [8:40]: Yeah.

Adeel [8:41]: uh but if it was a kind of more greenfield thing that i was working on uh that required a little bit more you know imagination concentration yeah if there was like uh triggers happening i would just go into a small conference room or like um yeah or a lounge area or something or just go uh maybe even work at a coffee shop downstairs or something because you know it'd be we were kind of located in downtown san francisco so you know oh yeah so there's no shortage of remote spaces And I love, I mean, honestly, I love working with, you know, in a team and in those kinds of environments just because just the energy and the, you know, just being able to just... be stuck on something and then just go to the whiteboard for like 30 seconds with somebody else and then have it yeah uh you don't get you know it's not as easy to do that here um i you know working from home so but you know i control my environment so um do you do you find that you had to trade your workplace triggers for home ones like if you have more noisy upstairs neighbors that That's one reason why I moved to a cheaper place so I can get three floors plus a basement. Lots of rooms with thick walls. And no one else is home usually in the day. It's literally just me. Yeah. Three floors and a basement in San Francisco. Yeah. Well, no, no, no. I'm not in San Francisco anymore. Oh, I see. I'm in Minnesota now. So. Oh, wow. So. Yeah. Yeah. I could not have. Yeah. I could not afford this. This kind of this kind of place in San Francisco. That means. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. But, you know, that's the tradeoffs you got to do. Like, you know, you're constantly being triggered. Yeah. Those I remember that I live in those apartments in San Francisco and here. Yeah. Yeah. and yeah and i think i got triggered i mean uh it's i wasn't as conscious of it i guess i mean i think um you know like most people uh you pick up triggers or you pick up sensitivities as you get older um no i i do because i heard i heard about um miss funny about 10 years ago and so i was obviously i don't remember exactly when or where but i obviously was looking for it and identified with it immediately so i you know i had been obviously getting triggered i just don't remember you know we probably block out our biggest kind of negative negative moments right um yeah and it didn't childhood so me too yeah i think i was eight i i distinctly remember the first time oh you do it's interesting most people don't remember the exact time but i've heard that each eight for um for a number of people. So tell me about that. What was that? Oh, okay. I had a friend, I guess I was second grade. I think that's about how old you are. And I was over at their house for dinner and I had never noticed it before, but he, my friend and his brother were just repulsively loud eaters. And I was just kind of gobsmacked at how loud and obnoxious it was. And then I never noticed it before. And I, you know, remember being kind of I couldn't really focus on anything else because I was just so blown away by how gross it was. Yeah. And also at that time, my dad smoked a pipe back then and he had a pretty bad smoker's cough. And I remember just getting really, really agitated when he would have these coughing fits and like running across the room and burying my head in the couch cushions and Yeah, this was pre-Walkman and stuff, so we didn't really have any ways to isolate ourselves from that kind of sound. And that really, my dad's coughing and my friend's eating really, really set me off. And like you said earlier, I hoped this would get better as I got older, but I only seem to get new different triggers. And those sounds, the coughing and your friend and their sibling, were they basically breaking silence, basically? It was otherwise a quiet room, relatively? Yeah, they were one of those families that kind of sit there in silence during dinner, which just makes me, the idea of it just makes me panic. Yeah, even to this day, if I walk into a restaurant and it's too quiet, I have a deal with my... with my family that I had to be able to say, this place is too quiet. We got to leave. I can't handle this. I can't handle the fork tinking. I can't handle that. Yeah. All of it. All of it. Yeah. Um, and so did, you know, as you were after eight years old, was it, were you starting to hear stuff at school? It didn't start to, oh, you're a software engineer. We're not, we're not total dummies. So obviously it didn't, uh, it didn't, uh, take your grades down too much. I'm wondering if you remember any, um, any memories of it affecting your school? Yeah, I don't remember it too much in high school, but I must have blocked it out. But in college, it was a huge problem. How did you get out of that? Because it's... Yeah, I mean, I had those exams in gyms. How did you... Did you find accommodations? Yeah, I mean, I didn't, like, excel in college by any means. Probably it was because I didn't... I would just skip class if I, you know, if it was a big class and people were just chewing gum, I would just walk out or... Did you get visual triggers too? I didn't really notice that until my 30s. I'm 48 now. So probably in my 30s, I started noticing that I would get pretty angry if certain people were eating. And if certain people, you probably experience this too, but it doesn't apply to everybody. And that's one of the weirdest things about it. For me, it seems to be how self-conscious the person is or isn't about what they're doing. Like if they're just obnoxiously plowing away at their food, I get pretty angry about that. But if somebody seems like they're fairly... trying to keep, they're aware of it, then that makes me a little calmer. Right. Makes your brain think that they're not out to assassinate you or something. Right, yeah. Just one of the many baffling things about this. So you did get through college in, um, in one piece somewhat. Um, and then you're out, you're a, you know, you're a young man in the, in the big world. Um, let's go back a little bit to maybe, uh, how did, what'd your family think? Did you, did you communicate at all? Um, yeah, my, it must've been like the eighties or whatever. So, yeah. Yeah. My sister, as I mentioned, has misophonia too. And so it was always kind of a joke. Go ahead. No, I'm just wondering, what kind of older, younger... She was two years younger, and we talk about it frequently, I would say. We did back then, too, even though it didn't have a name. We would always just kind of demonstrate on, you know, mom's chewing gum really loud, dad's got the cough, you know. Well, that sounds not too bad. At least you weren't completely alone. Yeah, I didn't feel too alone about it, and my parents didn't make me ever make me feel bad about it and and now that has a name obviously it's much better i can say i have this thing if i have to get up and leave the room don't take it personally and they understand yeah yeah they do they're very understanding about it Well, that's great. Okay. Does your dad still smoke or smoke the pipe? No, he quit about 30 years ago, luckily. For many reasons, that's probably good. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I remember our drapes were all yellow. Oh, God. Yeah, luckily he quit. Well, drapes in general. Yeah, exactly. Very cool. Okay. So, okay. So yeah, you, yeah, you got out of college. Yeah. Your family, your family seemed to be relatively, yeah, obviously triggering you, but on the, on the whole relatively good. So now, yeah, so you got out in the world. Did you go, did you start going to work right away and were you just kind of being hit by triggers everywhere or? Yeah, I definitely, you know, the first time I started working in an office, well my first job i had my own office which was which was odd yeah me too actually yeah it's not weird that was it that's kind of ended around somewhere in the 2000s but yeah that just seems like unheard of unless you're you know a fancy fancy person um yeah it was it was a problem i was not I should have known that it would be a constant set of triggers, but I just wasn't prepared for it. And it was fairly overwhelming. And back, you know, this would have been the late 90s, early 2000s. Remote work just wasn't really a thing that a lot of companies were tolerant of. So you were kind of just stuck. And you also didn't have a laptop. You had a desktop computer. I mean, it was like basically dial up. So you couldn't really do much remotely. Yeah. Unless you had access to like a... a fax machine or something. Right. Yeah. Oh, and at one point I had a job where, if you can believe this, we were forbidden from wearing headphones while we were working. I can't believe I took that job, but after three months I was just like... I can see that happening back in the day, back in the stone ages of pre-iPod. I mean, as of now, I can't even imagine going to work in the 70s or something where you're just sitting in a room with a bunch of people eating. And smoking. And smoking, right. Smoking in the office, for sure. Was that your second job that just turned into a big trigger hell? Yeah, I left one job. I got that trigger. Always software engineer? yeah i started off in in gis geographic information systems and i got more into um web development and then now more kind of data engineering and devops kind of stuff oh okay okay cool what kind of what kind of uh languages is it just uh slight tangents because i'm interested sure sure what kind of stacks Well, I did Java and Enterprise Java for many years. And then I kind of got pretty burnt out on that. And then I switched to Ruby and Rails. And I did that for about another eight years. And now it's more... More Python, since I'm doing data engineering and that kind of stuff. It's Python and automations. That's like, you know, simple. Oh, it's funny. You have a very, yeah, it kind of mirrors mine. But except when you were doing Java, I was doing hardware. I was a hardware engineer. Oh, really? Wow. Switched right to Ruby on Rails for like, yeah, like about eight years. And now it's a mix mash because there's so much, you know, you use Flutter for mobile stuff, a bit of Python. Oh, wow. That's cool. Node and Rails. And they don't, you know, yeah, I don't have to do these days. It's not, you don't have to do a big backend from, for every project anymore. You can do a lot of server. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's wild. We do. Yeah. We should talk about that another time. I mean, yeah. But another reason why I asked that was just because Dr. Marcia Johnson, I see her now every year at the Miss Phonia Association convention. And she said that about 30% of her clients are engineers. Is that right? So I led kind of like a, you know, a little table talk or not table talk, but kind of a roundtable discussion, impromptu one. And a lot, yeah, there's a lot of people there and interested because, and we, you know, obviously we don't know anything about this. Well, don't know as much as we should know about misophonia, but there seems to be a high prevalence. wow that's pretty fast and that's another thing that motivates me to try to get into these uh you know the hr departments of of tech companies who are yeah fighting for talent and if we can give them a competitive advantage by giving them ways to talk about misophonia and just give away goddamn headphones and that can bring in like maybe some great engineers um anyways Yeah, for sure. That's really interesting. And did she specify whether it was software engineers or any kind of engineers? No, I forget if I'd even asked that. There was an article just in the past week or so about how misophones are predominantly introverts. And I wonder if that's why so many engineers tend to draw introverts as well, I think. Yeah. I don't know if that's, I don't know what's the causation there or if it's kind of like mutually reinforcing, but yeah, there's, yeah. I mean, obviously we enjoy silence, you know, maybe with some background noise, but, but we like to concentrate. So, and we just happen to be a profession that requires periods of intense concentration. So it's, maybe it just, yeah, maybe, maybe a high percentage of, yeah misophones end up in software because of that i'm not sure and also a lot of us end up in open office environments you know more than yes that's another kind of very factor there another variable well yeah go on i was just going to say i often wonder if i weren't a software engineer or i weren't working in this kind of environment what would i do i mean i've worked in restaurants and that's actually not bad because it's pretty noisy but what if i had to be like a emt you know where i always see them parked eating lunch together in the car and i think oh my god yeah yeah yeah that's no that's that's an interesting question uh yeah i mean at this point i wouldn't give it up because i i like kind of like where i've kind of uh navigated to now but uh yeah you're right i think the open office just came up um came well i don't want to say out of the blue but it just it did kind of like hit every company sometime around 10, 15 years ago. Now there seems to be a movement away from it, which I'm all, you know, I try to tell everybody, you know, whether we use, whether we, you know, we should just attach ourselves to that, add our voice to that movement because it's, you know. Yeah. And it seems like there's a lot of lip service about moving away from it. Yeah. A lot of companies don't actually follow. They don't actually do it. I like the idea of working around everybody so that you can quickly ask questions. I like companies that have multiple... It's one reason why I set up my house to just have different places to work. I like offices that have different kind of quiet rooms. open office, maybe kind of like half open, kind of... With some little... Yeah, a little loungy, kind of more... Yeah. So having the ability, knowing that I have the ability to move around, you know... That you're not just stuck at that desk, right, in a big row, in a big room with a bunch of other people in there and they're functioning for sure. Have you worked with anybody else that has misophonia? No, I mean, I think it's fairly common that if you say you're really bothered by the sound of people eating, a lot of people will say, I have that too. You know, a lot of people are actually bothered by the sound of eating, but I think that's pretty distinct from our thing. yeah that's what makes it hard to explain what we have i think exactly like uh people just assume it's like a small spectrum and they're on one side you're on the other one it's more like a big step function right yeah and and i i kind of worry that it will come become like ocd where you know like a lot of people say they have it but very few people yeah it's kind of used casually yeah right yeah and it's kind of cheap and dead and i hope that doesn't happen in this symphonia Yeah, we'll see how it progresses. And that's one reason why, I mean, this podcast is mainly by Misophone for other Misophones. I'm not here to just kind of like try to convince other people to start using the term. But it is part of the, yeah, at some point we're going to have, we want to push through into the mainstream and then it'll be interesting to see what happens. We'll all just deal with the ramifications then. Right. Or you and I can start a misophonia based startup. I'm not sure what the business model would be, but we can we can do the software engineering for it. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yeah. There are. Yeah. I mean, yeah, there I mean, you know, these AirPods and various earpieces are kind of going seem to be going in that direction where, well, noise canceling everybody knows about. But I think it can be done a little bit. Yeah. Maybe it could be taken to the next level. So. Or we'll join Elon Musk's Neuralink company and just go right into the brain and slice this thing out. Wouldn't that be great? I mean, it would be so... You probably have heard misophones tell you that they wish they were deaf, and I've found myself saying that too, although I don't think I actually wish that. But just to imagine not having to think about this thing that just takes over your life and makes you seem like a fussy asshole would just be such a relief. Yep, yep. Like socially, has it affected outside of work? I know we talked about work and whatnot. Yeah, well, I would say I would decline to... go out to eat with certain people. I mean, you find yourself kind of making. Okay. I thought you said, yeah, well, I didn't want to talk about it, but no. Oh, no, no, no. yeah there are certain people i would just prefer not even though i really like them and think having them i know that they're loud eaters and i would just take the pass i was going out to get them um going to things like movies and plays i very iffy about that in general because i know for one thing When I go to something like that, I'm already anxious about something triggering me, so it's pretty hard to get into a relaxed state, which kind of leads me into that play thing I mentioned earlier. I went to a play with my wife and daughters, and as we were standing in line to get in the theater, they were selling candy. And although there was a sign right at the entrance that said, no food or drink in the theater. So I was saying, okay, great, no food or drink in the theater. And then before the play started, a woman came out and said, please turn off your phones, no food or drink in the theater. But of course, as soon as the play started, tons of candy wrappers and... including a kid and his dad right behind me, and I was just spiraling, just so on edge. I glared at them probably three times. The misophonia glare, yeah. The misophonia glare, yep, you know it. We should do a calendar. How many glares per day? um after about 20 minutes i i just kind of swore under my breath and stormed off in you know in direct contradiction of what i learned at that therapist office and uh moved to a different seat hoping that the people behind me saw me storm off and then at the other seat it was a bunch of people with bad cold so i just laughed and went home and that was I felt really bad about that situation because it seemed like there was a whole theater full of people that were... at ease enjoying the play and i was completely unable to focus on it and just really spiraling and so that was a big bummer probably kind of a setback it was i just told my wife i don't think i can you can i don't think i can do stuff like that anymore it's just too much yeah yeah you know one time um yeah when we have season tickets to like uh local children's theater and yeah that's that's always that's always the fear there is one time when i brought i just i just i just had a you know usually have a hoodie on or whatever i just put on um earbuds and just listen to um something while uh while the play was going on and um does that does that help Yeah, it helps. Yeah. And, you know, it doesn't take up much. It's not very noticeable. And sometimes it's just having it there. So it's like you can just bring it out if you really need to. So that takes away the initial anxiety of like... you know what do i do i'm kind of like yeah armor armorless here so well that's a good tip i think i will try that that's i was uh your previous guest you were talking about the headphones at the movie theater i've i've heard about that but i've never tried it but now i kind of want to give it a shot yeah i've tried that too yeah those ada things and uh that didn't work for me but um oh it didn't it didn't work for because i think all it did well at least the ones i Like it pumped up the voice, but then it also pumped up kind of the high frequencies of the voice. And it didn't really mask much that was around me. And then you're just getting a lot of trouble blasted in your ears, I suppose. Yeah. Yeah. But it works better. And they're always there. I think even like a theater will have them. I've heard that it's not just movie theaters that... Oh. I think. But I don't know how that would work because it's not recorded sound. I don't know. I don't know. You'd have to find out. Just carry some earbuds or something in your pocket and try that out. Yeah, I will. I don't know why that never occurred to me before. A lot of theaters now also have like a quiet room or a quiet rose at the back. I've been to some concerts recently where they say, you know, if you need to, I think it's for people who have other sensory processing disorders, maybe a little autism. And so there are, um, I know the theater I go to, there's like a whole, there's like a quiet room at the back. It's literally says quiet room. And, um, I think you can just kind of go here if you need to. No eating or no talking is allowed in these quiet rooms? I would assume no eating, no talking. Yeah. Wow. I mean, if there was, I would just, I would just go out in the hall. Yeah. There's nothing else you can do. So. Yeah, you're right. I think there's a lot more awareness about these sorts of things. And. I don't, you know, everybody has something, as my wife is fond of saying. And so this one, it seems like it's coming to the forefront a little bit more. People are, it's a thing that you can, that has a name. Yeah, yeah. Everyone's been, how did you find out that it had a name? When did you first realize it? I think it was maybe 10 or more years ago. There was an article in the New York Times. Something like the certain sounds drive you crazy. That was the first time I had heard that name. And periodically you'll see another article about it or about word hate, which I also have. And I don't know if that's related. Do you have that too? Where certain word hate, like certain words really trigger me, like milk or meal. I get very oogie whenever I, or oogie is one too. I had never heard, I hadn't heard about word hate. Interesting. My two young daughters both seem to exhibit some of that too. We often will sit around and talk about the words that bother us. Oh, okay. So do they have misophonia at all as well? They... I don't think they do. They kind of exhibit different misophonia-like traits. Like word hate, they both seem to have that. My younger daughters really freaked out by knuckles popping. Gotcha. Which doesn't bother me at all. So that's, that's weird. And, um, I don't know, they, they, they don't seem to have it anywhere near as badly as I do. So, and I hope that, I hope it stays that way. I've, I've tried to be careful about, you know, putting too much pressure on them to appease my needs, but. Right. But they are aware that you have, uh, misophonia. They are. And in fact, um, we have found that if when we're eating dinner as a you know together with our as a family i will stand in the kitchen like 10 feet from the table and that seems to put me at ease and and nobody seems to mind because i'm still active i'm still participating in it yep they um they know that they are Yeah, that's a tip I found myself giving on that subreddit a lot just because it's worked so well for me. I mean, some families are really hung up about people sitting together at the table, but luckily they know that if they're eating ice cream, they should use a collection of plastic spoons that they use. So they go upstairs and eat ice cream with a plastic spoon so that they don't get freaked out by the... And they know that... if they're walking across the Harvard floor, they should not dig their heels in too much because that's another trigger. So it's just kind of, I mean, it's comical when I, when I sit here and miss them out, but. No, no, I don't think it's comical. I know it would be comical to, uh, yeah, to the, uh, the others. Let's call it. So we've come to a nice arrangement about it. And there are times. You can probably identify with this, but I see them accommodating me and it makes me kind of guilty, you know, that. Yeah, the guilt. Yeah, but they're coming across the floor when I'm home and they don't seem to mind going upstairs to eat ice cream with a plastic spoon. But I mean, they're very understanding about it. And I've made a point of saying, you know, this isn't your fault. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. It's just this thing I have. Yeah, that's kind of what I've heard. I'm sure you read about it, but yeah, I've heard people try to suggest that people spin it where it's not immediately attacking the person for making the sound, but more... acknowledging, having a self-awareness to acknowledge that it's their own inability to process the sound properly. Yeah, for sure. You never will get far with lashing out and blaming people, as I'm sure we've all learned. That was actually something I had to overcome early in my marriage because when you are close to somebody and you live with them, you tend to feel like you've I'm entitled to lash out about them, about the way they walk or breathe or eat or whatever. But slowly, I've learned to approach it more gently without blame. And that works. That seems to work pretty well. And my wife's very understanding about it. It seems like the family you grew up with and the family that you have now seem to be, compared to others, it seems to be relatively, you've kind of got a relatively good situation there, luckily. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you see on that subreddit, a lot of people saying stuff like, you know, I said I can't eat around my dad and so I'm moving out or just these really awful situations. Yeah. And on the Facebook as well, it's who have the energy to write stuff down are going to point out the most negative things. And, you know, it's cathartic. And it's not to criticize that. It's kind of what they need to do. Right, yeah, yeah. So that tends to kind of take over a lot of the discussion, which is not bad. I mean, people at least are expressing themselves and other people can offer tips. yeah so what what other um yeah are there any kind of interesting um you know other coping mechanisms that you've come up with it seems like uh you've tried a lot of things um any other um yeah any other coping mechanisms you come up with over the years Let's see. Noise-canceling headphones. Headphones in general are a lifesaver. Eating dinner apart from my family. White noise machines are great. When do you use those? Like working, sleeping? For sleeping, so I have a fan and a white noise machine going, and that seems to help quite a bit. Just trying to breathe and stay relaxed and not get too... wrapped up and how mad you are in it that that seems to help you quite a bit yeah yeah not always though it's so weird that sometimes you just you just there's no way to get around it yep yep at the time of recording thanksgiving is next week um and christmas is coming up um There's a lot of eating and I like your standing by the kitchen kind of thing. Do you have any plans ready to go to deploy for holidays? I'm not too worried about it because I'll just be around my immediate family and then my parents. And they're, you know, as long as we're playing music and we have lively conversation, I'm usually not too bad. Yeah. There's usually a lot of movement too. People can move around and yeah. Right. Yeah. You don't have to sit in a quiet room and just sit next to somebody that's eating really loudly usually. And I don't think I love this here. So I'm not too worried about it. Yeah, it'd be interesting to see how everyone's experiences are. I'm sure there'll be kind of maybe an uptick in ranting online, but hopefully more awareness and hopefully more, yeah, more support. Right. I think it's, you know, we've got a lot of people researching us, hopefully, and now we've By the way, I didn't even know about that convention until after it happened. What was it like? Oh, it was good. Yeah, it was the second one I'd gone to. Yeah, it was the second one I'd gone to. And I found out about it, you know, also just after one of them had passed. And so I decided to go the next year. And that actually happened to be in Minnesota. And so I was like, oh, sweet. I don't even have to book anything. It was good. I've met some great friends that I see at the convention and now we actually have bi-weekly calls where we talk about stuff. A bunch of them are coming on the podcast. Amazing stories that you're going to hear soon. And you get to meet people like Marsh Johnson and you hear about some of the latest research from Dr. Kumar and Dr. Michael Menino. I've seen presentations by all of them there. And the presentations are great, but the best part is kind of like the in-person version of this where you're just talking to other music phones. Cool. Well, on that note, Yale, I think we'll wrap it here. Anything else you want to tell people who've been bottling this up, maybe are just discovering it, or other engineers like us? Anything you want to tell folks? I just thought of a funny story from before. This was probably in the early 90s. I had this girlfriend who was a pretty loud eater and it was a point of conflict between us often. And one night we were driving to a concert in her car and she was eating pizza in the car pretty loudly. So I asked her if I could have a bite of it and I rolled down the window and threw it out the window. I'm silently clapping. That's awesome. Well, I want to end it on that because that's a great story. Well, thanks again, Yale, for talking about all this stuff. Yeah, it's great talking to you. And yeah, hope to see you at some point. Likewise, likewise. I hope you enjoyed that. That was a fun time for me talking to Yale. Another batch of interviews will be starting around May. A lot of slots have been taken, but stay tuned for more. availability you can find out via guest link somewhere on the website once again please follow us instagram facebook at misophonia podcast on twitter at misophonia show my email hello at misophonia podcast.com and until next week wishing you peace and quiet

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